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  1. #1
    weltenbummlerin84 is offline Newbie
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    Default how to address a universitary teacher?

    Hi everybody,
    I'm struggling trying to write an e-mail to a professor at the university since I don't know if I should address him either as Doctor or as Professor.

    I searched the web and found many different explanations.
    Some people say that Doctor is anyone who has a PhD, some others that Professor is a higher qualification.
    Some people say that Doctor is to be preferred in Britain and Professor in the USA.

    Where is the truth?

    So my question is:
    given that my teacher has a PhD, would it be offensive to address him as Professor?
    Or would it be offensive to address him as Doctor, since Professor is a higher qualification?
    In this case my teacher is the head teacher for the subject.

    In my country Professor is an higher title, but I don't know in Britain, and my teacher is English.

    thank you so much for your help.
    bye bye

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: how to address a universitary teacher?

    There's an element of truth in both definitions, and they're both flawed. 'Professor' isn't a qualification; it's a position. US universities are more inclined to give people such status - it's all part of the typical status inflation that affects the modern world. (Some companies have 30 or 40 Vice-Presidents). I expect part of the pressure for it is due to the melting pot of language among US immigrants; in many European languages the prof- word just means teacher.

    Autobigraphical tid-bit: I was taught Romance Philology by one Dr Cremona. He was a leading authority, widely published, and by far the most knowledgeable in this area on the staff of the University. But the 'Professor of Romance Philology' was a man who was a distinguished classicist - not a philologist, and retired from any teaching duties; so Jo (my teacher) was not a Professor. In contrast, a post-graduate student in a US university will have the job position 'Assistant Professor' and expect to be addressed as 'Professor'.

    As a rule of thumb, call someone 'Professor' if you know they are. In British universities, most holders of PhDs (or DPhils) are not Professors, and should be addressed as 'Doctor'

    b

  3. #3
    weltenbummlerin84 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: how to address a universitary teacher?

    Thank you so much Bobk .
    Now everything is clear

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