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A Matter of Title

I have a horrible habit.  My father and brother were both military and due to the military culture in my house growing up I picked up the habit of calling people by their last name.  Doesn’t matter if I am referring to a man, woman or child., I use their last name.  Doesn’t even matter if it’s a mayor or judge, either.  I have angered my spouse more than you’d like to know because calling people by their last name is completely ok and apropos on the base, but off base…off base.

I actually had to try to learn HOW to use titles for the simple matter I needed to be proper in order to be thought of as well-mannered and professional.  My best tips:


1.  All former mayors, senators, representatives and presidents keep their titles until death.  They have earned those titles and they keep them.

2.  Whether or not you are religious or of a specific religious persuasion you always refer to religious leaders by their titles.  Ex.,   A nun is always Sister and a preacher is always Pastor.

3.  Use a persons’ professional title.  Ex., a doctor is always referred to as Dr._____.

4.  Do not use nicknames unless you are invited to use them by the person with the nickname.

5.  Even on a military base use the persons title.  Ex., Sergeant, Commander, etc…

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