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Using Personal Titles #15: Other Common Titles, by Dennis Oliver

 

 

Using Personal Titles #15:
Other Common Titles

 

There are many other personal titles. The ones noted below
are particularly common:

 

Medical Doctors


Although there are many kinds of medical doctors, all of
them (famous specialists and general practitioners alike)
use the same title: doctor.


In speaking, use doctor with or without a name. If you use
a name, use the surname:

Thank you, doctor.

May I make an appointment for Tuesday,
Dr. Williams?


In writing the address of a letter to a doctor, two forms
are common:

Dr. Chet Williams
address

Chet Williams, MD
address


In writing the greeting of a letter, two forms are common:

Dear Doctor:

Dear Dr. Williams:

 

Nurses


Although nurses have specialized training and often have
advanced academic degrees, there is no formal title which
is commonly used in speaking to them. You can, however,
use nurse if you don't know the nurse's name.


In speaking, use nurse only if you don't know the
nurse's name:

Thank you, nurse.

Excuse me, nurse. May I ask you a question?

In speaking, use Ms., Mrs., Miss, or Mr. ( + a surname)
if you know the nurse's name:

Thank you, Miss Kato.

I appreciate your help, Mrs. Svensen.

I apprecaite what you've done for me,
Mr. Telemann.


In writing the address of a letter to a nurse, these forms
are common:

Nurse Tova Feldstein
address

Ms. Tova Feldstein, RN
address

Mr. Rubén Sánchez, RN
address


In writing the greeting of a letter to a nurse, these forms
are common:

Dear Nurse:

Dear Nurse Feldstein:

Dear Ms. Feldstein:

Dear Mr. Sánchez:

____________________________________________

 

Lawyers / Attorneys


The title most commonly used for attorneys in speaking
is counselor:

I appreciate your help, counselor.

What are my chances of winning, counselor?

You can also use sir or ma'am when speaking to lawyers.


In writing the address of a letter to an attorney, there are
several possibilities:

Sandra Kovacs, Attorney at Law
address

Ms. Sandra Kovacs, Attorney at Law
address

Mr. Steven Cheng, Esq.
address


In writing the greeting of a letter to an attorney, use
Ms. or Mr. plus a surname:

Dear Ms. Kovacs:

Dear Mr. Cheng:

 

_________________________________________

 

Special Notes:

1.  

Although doctor and Dr. mean exactly the
same thing, Dr. is not used as a form of address
and doctor (not abbreviated, no capital letter)
is not used as a title.

wrong   right

Hello, Dr.

Please help me, Dr.

 

Hello, doctor.

Please help me,
doctor.

     
2.  

For nurses, RN ("registered nurse") and
LPN ("licensed practical nurse") are commonly
used after complete names.

Marsha Thompson, RN

James O'Riley, LPN

     
3.   In some English-speaking countries, the title
sister is used for female nurses. In the U.S.,
the title sister is used for nuns
     
4.  

When you are writing a letter to an attornney,
Esq. ("esquire") is written after the attorney's
full name:

Gamal Al-Nasser, Esq.

The title Esq. is generally not used after the
name of female attorneys.

 

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