[ExI] Ms. vs. Dr.

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Mon Jul 27 17:16:16 UTC 2009

At 11:57 AM 7/27/2009 -0500, Natasha wrote:

>Yes I know, but she can still be called Ms. Clarke.

I mentioned this because you expressed an interest in meeting her in 
Melbourne. My impression is that in Australia it tends to be regarded 
as impolite to refer to someone with a doctorate (or holding a 
professorial chair, etc) as "Mr." or "Ms." I'm always taken aback 
when the NYT does that (except in the case of medicos, apparently). 
This politesse is usually offset in Oz by the person in question 
waving one hand airily and saying, "Call me Bob" (or whatever--I 
rarely invite people to call me "Bob"). By the same token, people you 
don't know (cops, say) really do tend to address you as "mate," 
rather than "sir" (etc), as USians tend to. Formality is such a complex thing.

Damien Broderick

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