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  1. Bushwhacker's Avatar
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    #1

    Cool humane letters from his alma mater

    In USA, what's understood as someone earning a doctorate of humane letters from his alma mater?

    Not a clue.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Bushwhacker; 20-Sep-2011 at 20:34.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: humane letters from his alma mater

    I'm afraid I don't understand the part about humane letters at all.

    Your alma mater is where you went to school. To say you got your degree from your alma mater is quite redundant. It's like saying you got your dipoma from the school you graduated from.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: humane letters from his alma mater

    A Doctor of Humane Letters is an honorary degree. It is usually given to a distinguished or celebrity graduate of that particular university as a way to get that person to appear in person to accept the honor. Well, technically, it is awarded to the person to recognize their achievement in a particular area (literature, entertainment, humanitarian endeavors), but it is also good publicity for a university to have, say, Meryl Streep make a personal appearance to collect an award. For example, many former U.S. presidents have been awarded Doctor of Humane Letters degrees in recognition of their various accomplishments, even if they never progressed any further in college than getting their Bachelor's degree.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: humane letters from his alma mater

    So in this case it's NOT redundant.

    If the university from which I got my undergraduate degree (my alma mater) gave me this honorary degree, it would be okay to say it that way.

    Thanks, Ouisch, I was out of my depth on this one!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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