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Using Personal Titles #8: More U.S. Government Titles, by Dennis Oliver

 

Using Personal Titles #8:
More U.S. Government Titles (#2)

 

Here are a few more titles for people who have offices in
the U.S. government--but at the state and local levels.

 

The Governor
of a U.S. State

If you are speaking directly to a governor of a U.S. state,
use Governor and a surname. You can also use sir or
ma'am without a name:

It's a pleasure to meet you, Governor Scott.
(It's a pleasure to meet you, sir / ma'am.)

May I ask a question, Governor Barnes?
(May I ask a question, sir / ma'am?)

Write a letter to the governor of a U.S. state as follows:

address:

The Hon. + complete name
Governor of (state)
address

greetings (in the letter):

Madam: / Sir:

Dear Governor + surname:

 

A Judge

If you are speaking directly to a judge, use your honor
without a surname (family name). You can also use sir
or ma'am without names:

Thank you, your honor.
(Thank you, sir / ma'am.)

May I explain what I mean, your honor?
(May I explain what I mean, sir / ma'am?)

If you write a letter to a judge, use this form:

address:

The Hon. complete name
(address)

greetings (in the letter):

Your honor:

Dear Judge + surname:

 

A Mayor

Use Mr. / Madam Mayor or sir / ma'am (without
a name) if you are speaking directly to a mayor. Do not
use a surname:

I'm very honored to meet you,
Mr. / Madam Mayor.
(I'm very honored to meet you,
sir / ma'am.)

I've enjoyed the visit to your city,
Mr. / Madam Mayor.
(I've enjoyed the visit to your city,
sir / ma'am.)

If you write a letter to a mayor, use this form:

address:

The Hon. + complete name
Mayor of (city)
(address)

Mayor + complete name
(address)

greetings (in the letter):

Dear Mayor + surname:

Dear Sir / Madam:

 

A Police Officer

There are actually many different titles used when speaking
to a police officer, but the most common one is probably
Officer--which may be used either with or without
a surname. Of course, sir and ma'am are also appropriate:

I wasn't speeding, Officer.
(I wasn't speeding, sir / ma'am.)

How may I help you, Officer?
(How may I help you, sir / ma'am.)

If you write a letter to a police officer, use this form:

address:

Officer + complete name
(city) Police Department
(address)

greetings (in the letter):

Dear Officer + surname:

Dear Sir / Ma'am:

Sir: / Ma'am:

_________________________________________

 

Special Notes:

1.   Other titles used for police officers include
Captain, Lieutenant, Sergeant, Chief
(for Chief of Police), and Detective. These
titles may be used with or without a surname.
Sir and ma'am are also appropriate (but
without names).
     
2.   In the U.S., the gender-neutral title police
officer is used instead of the gender-specific
titles policeman and policewoman.

 

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