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Archive for September, 2011

I’ve seen people in civilian clothes saluting, but I thought the rule was only the military saluted. Can a regular civilians salute the flag?
— Dwight Roland

Dear Mr. Roland:
      #1: Armed Services personnel in uniform salute the flag.
      #2: Regular citizens remove their hat, stand at attention, face the flag, and put their right hand over your heart.
That’s the norm in for what to do when the the US Flag is ‘in motion’ or when the US National Anthem is being played. But of course things aren’t always totally black and white.
       The Fine Print: Among the Armed Services there are practices confusing to those of us outside the military because it looks like some ‘civilians’ are saluting the flag.
* Veterans wearing civilian clothes are authorized to salute the flag (See press release). 
     * And other directives (e.g., Air Force directive (AFI 134 1201 Paragraph 2.17) — which I am told is the same in all branches of service) specify that active duty personnel when outdoors and wearing civilian clothes — may also salute the flag. It says:
“When the flag is displayed, all present except those in formation, should stand at attention facing the flag with their right hand over their heart. Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present, but not in uniform, may render the military salute.  All others should remove their hat with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart.  Individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the National Anthem and maintain that position until the last note.  When the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.”
So the Armed Services have their own rules, but for us regular civilians … we should follow #2 above and we will be just fine.
– Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

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How should a letter and envelope to a former First Lady be addressed?  The Honorable ______?
— W.T. Wynne

Dear Mr. Wynne:
A First Lady is not the honorable when her husband is in office — much less after.
She might be identified in an introduction as the First Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989 but she is addressed as a private citizen.
So, for example, most formally, Nancy Reagan would have been addressed on an envelope as:
Mrs. Ronald Reagan
              (Address)
And the salutation would have been:
Dear Mrs. Reagan
Laura Bush did use Mrs. Laura Bush sometimes on invitations while she was in The White House, so if you know Mrs. (Her Name) was her preference, you could use it. But using the formal form — Mrs. (Husband’s Name) — is safe because using a formal form is never wrong.
Addressing Hillary Clinton is a bit different because she was elected to office — and is entitled to The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton — in her own right — and is thus an exception among First Ladies.
– Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

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We are preparing place markers for a panel discussion.  Among the panel are three attorneys (one of whom is also a state representative) and the Chief Justice of the Wyoming Supreme Court.
The only two “civilians” are members of the press.
Would we simply list their names on the first line, followed by the title on the second line??
— Anne Leslie.

Dear Ms. Leslie:
I am assuming by place markers — you mean tent cards with their names on them so the audience can tell who is who?
If so, give the elected official and Chief Justice their formal forms:
The Honorable (Full Name of State Representative)
(Office)
Chief Justice (Full name)
The Supreme Court of Wyoming
      Give the attorney the post-nominal used to identify practicing attorneys:
(Full Name), Esq.
(Office)
And since the others are getting a courtesy title, honorific, or post nominal … give the reporters an honorific too:
  Mr. James Wilson
(Name of newspaper)

– Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

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How do I address, in an email and in a phone conversation, an honorary Consul General of Denmark?
— Suzanne H.

Dear Suzanne H.:
All consuls and consul generals …. full time or honorary … are addressed asMr./Mrs./Ms./Dr. (name) …. whatever honorific to which they are normally entitled. Then after their name they are identified as the honorary Consul General of … 
An ambassador is the only diplomat that gets a special honorific or courtesy title.
– Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

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I hold a few degrees and am about to receive an honorary doctorate. How do I indicate the doctorate with my name. I currently have BBA, B.Th, and an MRE. The doctorate will be in Theology.
— Marc Coffee

Dear Mr. Coffee:
Honorary doctorates are not noted in direct address, so will not be addressed asDr. (Name).  And the honorary degree’s post-nominal abbreviation is not listed (with your name) with the degrees you earned.
Honorary doctorates are listed as an honor or award on your resume, rather than part of education with academic degrees. In a complete introduction it would be stated that “Marc Coffey received an honorary Doctorate in Theology from …”
       It’s a great honor, but it is an honor, not a degree.
– Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

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I am writing a message to former United States Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, who now works for Hill & Knowlton. How do I address him in my letter?
— Kathy J. Young

Dear Ms. Young:
There is only one Secretary of Transportation … so formers don’t continue to be addressed as such.
But they do continue to be The Honorable.
Most formally in conversational direct address, former secretaries of U.S. Federal departments go back to whatever they were before becoming a Secretary … so he’s no longer addressed as Mr. Secretary or Secretary Mineta.
So address him on the envelope and in the letter’s address block as:
The Honorable Norman Mineta
            (Address)
… and in the salutation use:
Dear Mr. Mineta:
– Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

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How do I include a MBA certificate behind my name?  I cannot find out how to write the post-nominal abbreviation for an MBA Certificate.  CMBA?  MBAC?
— Ray Harris

Should one include any post nominal abbreviations for a BTEC National Diploma in Computer Software? I was wondering whether or not a level 3 qualification merits an abbreviation as well so I can show I am qualified in two different areas.  What should I include?  BTEC?  NDip ?
— Matthew Charisis

Dear Mr. Harris and Mr. Charisis:
Call the dean’s office of the granting institution and ask what is the typical post-nominal abbreviation for your certificate.  Ultimately no one will be very critical of exactly the post-nominal abbreviation you use … except others with the same or similar certification.
– Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

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Our private school has applied for a grant and have invited four individuals from a foundation to visit the school.  The individuals include: the President, the Assistant Pres., and 2 other members.  They will be touring our school and will be introduced to key school persons along the way.  What I want to know is how these individuals should be introduced especially since there are four of them.
— Lynn M.

Dear Lynn M.:
They should be introduced with the highest person’s name said first if you want to actually use names. With four it would be ….
 (President of Foundation), (Assistant Pres. #2), (Foundation Person #3), (Foundation Person #4), may I present (School Person), chairman of the department of XXXX.
(Directed to the School Person)  …. Our guests are from the XXX Foundation. 

Which would sound like: Mr. Smith, Ms. James, Mr. Wilson, Ms. Thomas, may I present Dr. Anderson, chairman of the Department of History.
(To Dr. Anderson), Our guests are from the Evergreen Foundation. Mr. Smith is the President of the Foundation and is interested in seeing our facilities.
This provides an opportunity for Dr. Anderson to speak with Mr. Smith and the delegation.
With large groups some times names are left out if there are too many OR if you don’t think there will actually be any conversation. Such as:
  (To the delegation from the Foundation):  This is our football team coached by Tim Clark
(To the football team and Tim Clark): Our guests are from the Evergreen Foundation.
You allow for a general acknowledgment from both sides to the other … and then you move on.
– Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

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On a formal engraved wedding invitation, how do you list the groom’s name on the invitation when he is a judge on the state court of appeals?
The Honorable Micheal James Wilson or Mr. Michael James Wilson 
Many thanks….. I am going to purchase your book today!
— Jill in Fort Worth

Dear Jill:
Interesting question. It’s not a question I’ve seen answered in the wedding etiquette books. I updated the Cranes’ Blue Book and even I didn’t include this situation … maybe I should have.
He would be:
The Honorable Michael James Wilson
On invitations grooms DO get their honorific, rank or courtesy title:
 Lieutenant Michael James Wilson
Dr. Michael James Wilson
The Reverend Michael James Wilson

– Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

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I am in a dilemma: I need to send an invitation to an gentleman and his fiancee, can you help me please?
— Jocelyn J

Dear Jocelyn J:
To directly answer your question here are some options, but be sure to read theNOTE that follows, too!
The normal form to use on the envelope is:
Mr. Henry Smith
            Ms. Nancy Wilson
            (Address)
Or, if you know she uses “MISS”
Mr. Henry Smith
            Miss Nancy Wilson
            (Address)
      NOTE:
1) Etiquette books put an “and” between names if they are married …. no “and” if they are not.
2) I’ve encountered people using ‘fiancee’ to describe someone with whom they are already living. If they do not live together … it would be more correct to send each their own invitation to their individual home addresses.
3) If the gentleman is actually the guest … and the fiancee a date being included as a courtesy …. It would also be correct to address the invitation just to the gentleman …. and communicate you are looking forward to seeing them both at the event.  You can do this by listing them both on an inside envelope if the invitation has one … or including a note extending the invitation to his guest.

– Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

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