Archive for July, 2009

       How do I address a retired Brigadier General on a namebadge?  
        — Connie Upton

Dear Ms. Upton:
     All of the graded ranks of General …. General, Lieutenant General, Major General, and Brigadier General continue to be addressed orally as General (surname) after they retire.  If you are doing the name badges with form of address others should call the retired officer in conversation … then write:
        General (surname)
    But sometimes name badges are written less for just what to call someone andmore as “ID badges” to promote networking at an event. I’ve seen them withcomplete name+the office+the organization too.  So if you are providing more information … then write the form of his name normally used in writing (including the correct branch of service, of course):
        Brigadier General (full name), USA
        Brigadier General (full name), USAF
        Brigadier General (full name), USMC

            — Robert Hickey     www.formsofaddress.info 


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        I was wondering if you could tell me what is the appropriate way to address a retired Air Force Captain when having an informal conversation.  I was not sure if Air Force captains hold their title after retirement.  
        — Adam Scott

Dear Mr. Scott:
     No … Retired USAF captains do not normally continued to be addressed asCaptain (name).
    Usually “continued use of military ranks in retirement” by US military officers is by O-6 officers and above. Colonel is the O-6 rank in the USA, USAF, and USMC.  Captain is an O-3.
    When a captain in the Air Force retires, he or she is generally addressed as:
         Mr./Ms./Mrs./etc. (name)
            — Robert Hickey     www.formsofaddress.info 

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    Are State Senators and State Congressman addressed as “Honorables”?
       — PJ in Lincoln Nebraska

Dear PJ:
     Yes … anyone elected to a state legislature is addressed as “The Honorable (full name).”
            — Robert Hickey     www.formsofaddress.info 

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   What is the correct form of address when meeting a Count from Austria? He has a daughter that travels with him. What would be her form of address also? 
       — Matt

Dear Matt:
   Austrian nobility was officially abolished in 1919 at the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. So, count in Austria is a courtesy title – an unofficial title used as a courtesy in social situations by friends to honor the person’s family history.  I’ve known Austrian barons who did not like being addressed as a baron saying was not legally accurate to use the titles with Austrian citizens, but if your guest likes it, use it in social situations.  E.g., he would not be officially introduced to the President of the United States as a Count (name), but it could be included as a point of interest in the introduction.
    All that said, there would a form of address in German, but I assume you want to address him in English. In English it is O.K. to use the forms for a British Earl. In the UK they have 
earls rather than counts but they are equivalent ranks.  
    See … How to Address an Earl or Countess … and just replace 
earl with count.
    If his daughter is the eldest, she will inherit the title, but since he is still alive the title has not yet descended. As a daughter of a count, use the form for a daughter of an earl. As a courtesy (in English using the British model) she’d be addressed asLady (full name) or in conversation as Lady (first name).

            — Robert Hickey     www.formsofaddress.info 

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    How do you address (in a e-mail) a Muslim religious teacher who self-identifies himself as a “shaykh”? 
       — Paul in California

Dear Tonyalee:
     Shaykh is a form of address used by some Shiite Islamic clerics. Both Sheikh and Shaykh (and many other variations) are attempts to write the Arabic word in phonetically English. It’s sort of equivalent to Catholic clergy using Father or protestant clergy using Pastor. On a e-mail you could address him as: 
        Dear Shaykh (surname),
           (Text of your letter)
        Paul (your last name)

    My book has a section that includes forms for the highest to lowest Shiite and Sunni Islamic clergy …which is as far as I know the only book in English to include them.
            — Robert Hickey     www.formsofaddress.info 

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    What is the proper salutation when addressing a Mayor and multiple city council members in the same letter?
Do I write?
        Honorable John Smith and Athens City Council Members
      Mayor John Smith and Athens City Council Members.
Then as a salutation:
       Dear Mayor Smith and Athens City Council Members?
I have to have the letter for signature in the morning, and it’s my first day on the job.

— Thank you, Tonyalee in Athens

Dear Tonyalee:
     It would be best to address a letter to actual officials rather than addressing one by name and the others by their office.  I’d prefer you address it to the Mayor (by name) and find out the names of the members of the City Council so you could use them.
BUT trying to answer what you’ve asked with the info you provide …. Here’s a nice option

ENVELOPE and ADDRESS BLOCK on the letter
        The Honorable John Smith, Mayor of Athens
        and Members of the Athens City Council
        Athens City Hall
        301 College Avenue
        Athens, State, ZIP
          Note: For symmetry, Athens mentioned in both name/titles

        Dear Mayor Smith and Members of the City Council:
            Note: For symmetry, Athens mentioned in neither
            — Robert Hickey     www.formsofaddress.info 

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