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  1. NDQuattro's Avatar
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    #1

    a Mister Brown

    Hello there. Let me admit you guys are the best. Thanks for all you're doing.

    When I came home my mother told me that Mr.Brown had called.
    When I came home my mother told me that a Mr.Brown had called.
    I want to ask you about this article. I guess it's wrong to use it when we have "Mister" but we can use it when we have just "a Brown" (as some member of Browns family). Am I right? If so, what if the Browns is a gay family?

    Thanks

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: a Mister Brown

    This question comes up a lot. I wish I knew how to search for it so I could just point you to another thread.

    We use "a" before a proper noun to mean "some person by this name who was unknown to me."

    If you and your mother know Mr. Brown, then the first is right.
    If a man called for you and said "Please let him know that Mr. Brown called" and your mother did not know him, then the second sentence is right.

    You need to leave a space after your punctuation marks. And before anyone else says it, I understand in the UK, the period after Mr., Dr. Mrs., etc. is not used as often, but they are absolutely required in the US.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 26-Jul-2014 at 00:12. Reason: correction of typos
    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. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: a Mister Brown

    What on earth does the possibility of Mr Brown being gay have to do with it?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. NDQuattro's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: a Mister Brown

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    What on earth does the possibility of Mr Brown being gay have to do with it?
    I assumed it could be appropriate to consider family as an assosiation which includes just one Mister and one Missis. But yeah, that's probably wrong..

    Barb_D, that's clarifying enough, thank you very much dear.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: a Mister Brown

    It is certainly not appropriate these days to assume that a "family" is one man, one woman and one or more children. In any event, even if Mr Brown were gay, he would still be called Mr Brown.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: a Mister Brown

    Please do not address me as "dear."
    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.

  7. NDQuattro's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: a Mister Brown

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Please do not address me as "dear."
    Ok, I see and I beg your pardon.
    May I ask you, in this respect, if there is any difference between just "dear" and "dear teacher"(or "dear stranger")? Would I face the same reaction using "darling"?)

  8. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: a Mister Brown

    Unless you are starting a letter, there is no need for "Dear" at all. There is certainly no need for "Darling" on these forums. That is reserved for family and your loved ones.

    We simply address each other using our usernames here.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #9

    Re: a Mister Brown

    NDQuattro, it's enough to use someone's username. Dear + name is used in letters, but that doesn't transfer to forums. Just dear is used as a term of affection, like darling, and is fine between people dating, but I wouldn't use it elsewhere. It's used in some regions in the UK when talking to strangers, but I wouldn't write it. Forums are somewhere between spoken and written English- fairly informal, but not as informal as spoken language. It's a new form of language use and the customs have developed over time. In the past, chatroom language and total informality were common, but over time, people have settled on a midway position.

  9. BobK's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: a Mister Brown

    'Dear' on its own can be used to sound patronizing. Google 'Calm down dear' for examples.

    b

    PS I thought the original commercial would be most readily Googled; but David Cameron's usage is even more notorious.
    Last edited by BobK; 30-Jul-2014 at 12:37. Reason: Added PS

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