are you the secretary?

Karen Allendoerfer ravena at cco.caltech.edu
Thu Feb 29 12:49:50 EST 1996


In article <4h2pga$rqu at news.cuny.edu>,  <jcoleman at msvax.mssm.edu> wrote:
>In article <leew.89.0010ACD0 at wadsworth.org>, leew at wadsworth.org (Bill Lee) writes:
>>In article <mcb10-2602961221340001 at 132.236.129.71> mcb10 at cornell.edu (Peggy Barr) writes:
>>
>>>This is one of my pet peeves, although I don't usually respond to it.  I
>>>have not one but two degrees (DVM and PhD) which entitle me to "Dr." as
>>>much as the next person, yet I am frequently called "Ms. Barr" or "Mrs.
>>>Barr" (I am married, but my husband's last name is Stuart).  I usually

-(snip)
>>
>>when talking to an M.D.  I remember being introduced by a resident to "Dr. So 
>>and So" as Mr. Lee even though we had just finished chit-chatting about 
>>different topics, including my thesis work.  Reminds me of recent Ann Landers 
>>column about PhD's wanting to be called "Dr." in social settings.  Her 
>>viewpoint...it is improper.  I remember a physician wrote in on the subject 
>>and was livid that we would even have the temerity to consider being addressed 
>>as such.   We just don't know our place, I guess.

>(snip)
>
>I remember talking to some people about this once.. the consensus was that
>PhD's don't usually make a big deal of the title Dr. when in mostly PhD
>company...
>
>Jen

I was in jury duty last year, and had an experience that ties together a
few of these experiences, as well as the "men saying things that are 
obnoxious without realizing it" thread.  

While waiting outside to get into the jury box, the official was reading
out names, loudly, he got to mine, which is long, distinctive, and German-
sounding.  An older man who had been standing next to me used the opportunity
to strike up a conversation, "is your name German?" etc.  Then, "so, is it
MISS Allendoerfer or MRS Allendoerfer?"  I said, "actually, it's DR.
Allendoerfer."  And we then got into the PhD/MD type of doctor distinction.
He wasn't very impressed with the PhD type of doctor, and didn't know what
it was, really.  But I think he got the message that I didn't appreciate
the implicit question about whether or not I was married, or the assumption
that I would use one of those two titles only (Miss or Mrs.).

Personally, I don't mind Ms. at all, and use it in almost all social
settings, but I think the point is well-taken that PhD's have earned
their doctorate just as much as MD's, and there is nothing wrong with
pointing that out.

Karen



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