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    #1

    "Prime Minister Cameron"

    A teacher here has just stated that the term "Prime Minister Cameron" is "bad" British English.

    Would someone please explain why?


    Thank you.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "Prime Minister Cameron"

    Apart from military ranks and academic titles such as 'doctor' and 'professor', the BrE custom was not to use job titles in this way. We would say, "The Prime Minister, (Mr) David Cameron".

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    #3

    Re: "Prime Minister Cameron"

    Would you use "President Obama"?

    (On a side note, I remember learning that when the presidency was first formed, there was much discussion about what title to give and how to address the president. I believe it was agreed to use "Mr. President" to avoid too much pageantry.)

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "Prime Minister Cameron"

    Yes; also President Hollande and Chairman Mao.

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    #5

    Re: "Prime Minister Cameron"

    I never knew that. What about Ambassadors? Ambassador Joe Smith, or Joe Smith, Ambassador to Chile?
    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.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: "Prime Minister Cameron"

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I never knew that. What about Ambassadors? Ambassador Joe Smith, or Joe Smith, Ambassador to Chile?
    The (British) Ambassador to Chile, Mr (James) Peasmould, ..., or Mr (Cecil) Dewdrop, the (British) Ambassador to Mexico, ... .

    It's only in the last fifty or so years that we have used their forenames, although we always have done for knights: Sir Muffin Marmite, the British Consul in Ulan Bator, ... .

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    #7

    Re: "Prime Minister Cameron"

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Sir Muffin Marmite, the British Consul in Ulan Bator, ... .
    Ah, Sir Muffin Marmite. I remember when he was on a roll. Such a sweet man. I remember him as if it were only yeasterday. I read an extract from his book once.

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    #8

    Re: "Prime Minister Cameron"

    Perhaps I’m being obtuse, but am I to understand that within the UK, job titles for those within the UK are not used, but for those jobs outside the UK, they are used?

    I.e. you refer to Louis Susman as Ambassador Susman?

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    #9

    Re: "Prime Minister Cameron"

    He's Mr (Louis Susman), the American Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Foreign presidents and chairmen of the Chinese Communist Party are among a number of exceptions to our traditional way of referring to People.

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