Titles and office

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Titles and office

Post by tony h » Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:38 pm

Listening to an American newsreader I heard the phrase “President Bush” and wondered when the office became a title in that country. In England we say “The Prime Minister Mr Blair” which neatly separates the office from the person who is holding that office. But “Prime Minister Blair” raises our hackles and gets our blood boiling at the impudence of the everlasting nature of that claim.
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Titles and office

Post by kagriffy » Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:39 pm

But do you say "the Queen Elizabeth"? *G*
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K. Allen Griffy
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Titles and office

Post by minjeff » Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:31 pm

Perhaps the "Mr." in front of the Prime Minister's title comes from the German where one always keeps "Herr" (Mr.) with other titles like doctor or Chancellor.
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Titles and office

Post by tony h » Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:56 pm

Dear K.Allen,

Queen is a title (as is Sir) so it is Queen Elizabeth II but Queen is also an office so you can say The Queen, Queen Elizabeth II. Sir is a title so it is Sir Anthony.

Similarly :
- His Grace the Duke.
- Mr Brown The Chancellor
- The Chancellor Mr Brown
But not :
- Mr Chancellor Brown
- Chancellor Brown



It can get all very confusing.

And while I think about it.
if "the word was God" is "God the word" and so does an aethiest not believe in words?
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Titles and office

Post by haro » Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:50 am

Jeff, things aren't quite that simple in German. For instance, you may say, as kind of a formal address, "Herr Doktor, I need another appointment," as well as "Herr Doktor Müller, may I call you later?" But saying, for instance, "I was admitted to the hospital by Herrn Doktor Müller" sounds overly formal and old-fashioned. In other words, in a sentence that does not contain a personal address you'd normally omit the 'Herr.' Also here, as tony stated, sometimes it can get pretty confusing.

On the other hand, the handling of titles in German generally differs very much from the English system (both in the UK and in the USA, as far as I can tell). It seems unlikely that German really influenced the way native English speakers address their dignitaries. Despite a lot of blue blood transfer from Germany to Buckingham Palace, it's still the Queen's English, after all.
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Titles and office

Post by Edwin Ashworth » Fri Mar 24, 2006 1:48 pm

If "Prime Minister Blair" is hackle-raising, and I could not possibly comment, with or without the quotes, and Doktor Muller is herr-raising, with or without the umlaut, should British Political Parties indulge in fund-raising by giving titles to doctors who lend their support?
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Titles and office

Post by Ed Prue » Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:13 pm

mr Blair, the prime minister misses out the implied "current occupier of the post of"
whereas president bush sounds more like "private jones" a conscript with limited power :-) IMHO
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Titles and office

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Mar 24, 2006 8:43 pm

Edwin, the current debacle involving the Labour party shows yet again the folly of trussing a politician.

Ed: It would be nice to think that President Bush is akin to a 'conscript with limited power'. But no such luck, alas!
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Titles and office

Post by Edwin Ashworth » Fri Mar 24, 2006 10:56 pm

Definitely, Erik. People put their truss in someone who turns out to be an arch-enemy. AFTER they've got their bridging loan, of course.
Ed : Does "Mr Blair, the Prime Minister" beat "Mr Bun, the Baker"?
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