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Thread: Honorifics

  1. #1
    Tina3 is offline Member
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    Default Honorifics

    We can say 'the president'. We can't say 'the Barak Obama'.

    It is not accurate to write more than one honorifics.
    I think some of the following are not good.

    His Excellency Barak Obama hosted the G8 summit in Camp David.

    His Excellency Mr. Barak Obama hosted the G8 summit in Camp David.


    His Excellency President Barak Obama hosted the G8 summit in Camp David.


    His Excellency the President Barak Obama hosted the G8 summit in Camp David.

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    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Honorifics

    You can certainly stack titles, like the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.

    None of your suggestions are appropriate because we do not use honorifics like "His Excellency" for the President of the US. The president is elected by the people: he is our servant, not our master.

    The title is President Barack (note the spelling) Obama. He is referred to as "Mister President."

  3. #3
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: Honorifics

    Just to clarify, in case someone is confused. The president is addressed as "Mr. President" but when referred tosimply as "President Smith" or "the president."

    I believe we use "His Excellency" for ambassadors, don't we?
    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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    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Honorifics

    I know that Catholic Bishops are "His Excellency," but did not know about Ambassadors. So I found this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Style_(manner_of_address)

    The Honorable (oral address Mr./Madam Ambassador) — U.S. Ambassadors by Americans. Typically U.S. Ambassadors are addressed as "His/Her Excellency" by non-US citizens outside the United States.

  5. #5
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Honorifics

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    ...

    I believe we use "His Excellency" for ambassadors, don't we?
    - at least they did in The West Wing.

    b

  6. #6
    Tina3 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Honorifics

    In the US, it is Mr.President.
    In small third world countries, it is common to use the title His Excellency.
    To stack the titles look odd.
    I have seen this.
    His Excellency Mr President Girma will ...

  7. #7
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Honorifics

    Quote Originally Posted by Tina3 View Post
    His Excellency Mr President Girma will ...
    They may do that in some countries, but it is not normal in Britain, Ireland or the USA. I suspect that it is not normal in Canada, Australia or New Zealand, either.

  8. #8
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Honorifics

    Actually, "His Excellency" could well be used to address the President of the USA at diplomatic meetings or in diplomatic documents. It's not uncommon to call presidents Their Excellencies, not only in third world countries. Here is an example of a letter to Barack Obama from a US-based organization, in which this style is used. Here (pdf) is a letter to George W. Bush from a Hungarian Member of Parliament, also using this style.

    The President is one of the US officials who can be styled "the Honorable", for example:

    The Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States,

    as used here (pdf, page 2).

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    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Honorifics

    Here
    is an example of a letter to Barack Obama from a US-based organization, in which this style is used.
    It's inappropriate, but I see they carbon copied many other heads of state, so they probably didn't want to appear to be slighting the US president. They also applied the honorific to the Canadian and UK heads of state.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Honorifics

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Actually, "His Excellency" could well be used to address the President of the USA at diplomatic meetings or in diplomatic documents. It's not uncommon to call presidents Their Excellencies, ...
    I suspect there may have been mother-tongue-influenced false friends in many post-colonial situations. In living memory, in Portugal, it was not uncommon for any person of higher status than the speaker to be addressed as 'Sua Excellência' (a bit like 'Governor' in British English, though not so informal). So I imagine Angola, Mozambique, and other such Portuguese-speaking former colonies may have a tendency to be quite free with this honorific.

    b

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