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Archive for February, 2012

For an elected county engineer, would you use The Honorable on the envelope? For example, would this proper if you were an elected county engineer?
The Honorable Robert Hickey
Lake County Engineer
Address

                 — G.L.G. in Lake County

Dear Mr. G.L.G.:
      The form you have looks O.K. if the county engineer is elected in a general election (like a mayor or member of the US House of Representatives).
Since I have not run into many The Honorable county engineers – it brings to mind one caveat I should mention about city officials.  Many municipalities do not address elected officials below the rank of mayor as The Honorable.
For example, I now live in New York City and all the members of the New York City Council are addressed as The Honorable (Full Name).  But I was brought up in Arlington, Virginia, and there none of the members of the Arlington County Board are so addressed.
So before you proceed, check for the local tradition. It’s less a matter of what’s technically correct than what the particular county, city, or town traditionally does.
                – Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

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My company has a single flagpole in front of its building.  Can we fly our company flag alone, or do we have to fly the American flag too?
                 — David Musgrave

Dear Mr. Musgrave:
      You can fly your company flag alone. When flown with the American flag, the American flag is on top.
               – Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

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I will soon be a Registered Paralegal and able to use the post nominals R.P. with my name. Which post nominals come first?  I earned my M.S. in 1989, and the R.P. is a national test a la the C.P.A. exam.
       — RK Gill

Dear RK Gill:
      The order is: first academic post nominals; then license post nominals.
So if you are going to use both, that would be: (Full Name). M.S., R.P.
This is the same order a Register Nurse would use: (Full Name). M.S., R.N.
                – Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

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How to I address an invitation to the Prime Minister of Canada and his wife Laureen Harper??
— Sarah

Dear Sarah:
    In this case since his wife uses the same last name it would be:
 The Right Honorable Stephen Harper
and Mrs. Harper
Address

The inside envelope would be
        Prime Minister and Mrs. Harper
I have a full chapter in my book on Canadian forms of address should this sort of question come up often. I have all the forms of address for the Prime Minister of Canada on page 301.
                – Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

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I am sending A wedding invitation to the mayor of my town (I live in Canada). His name is Mark Garrett. How to I write his name on the envelope?
— Sarah

Dear Sarah:
        I have a chapter in my book just on Canadian officials which starts on page 295. Canadian mayors are addressed in the style of their British counterparts. There are two forms and now knowing which is one used in your community I will give you both:
        The Right Worshipful the Mayor of (city/town)
Mark Garrett
Address

or
        The Worshipful Mayor of (city/town)
Mark Garrett
Address

Do include his name as noted. Invitations are directed to a person, not to just an office, since presumably invitations are social (or at least have a social appearance).
Inside envelope would be:
Mayor Garrett
                 – Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

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       The address for a town manager?
— Alicia R.
Dear J.J.D.:
        You are questioner of few words!  Normally people write paragraphs and paragraphs and I have to figure out exactly what it is they actually want.
A town manager doesn’t have a special form of address. Just use Mr./Ms. (name) and identify them by their office. For example:
  Ms. Sandra Wilson
               Town Manager
                County Office Building
                 203 Rowe Street, Suite 123
                 Hendersonville, TN 34567.
       – Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info


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In my practice in Utah and California, court commissioners are hired by the judges and are thus court employees serving by contract or at the pleasure of the judges, and they do not go through the political process of nomination by the governor or approval by a branch of the state legislature, so they don’t have all of the powers of judges – the judges delegate some powers and decision-making authority to them.
In court, the custom is to refer to commissioners as ‘Your Honor’ just as a judge, but my question is whether a commissioner is properly referred to as ‘the Honorable’ in correspondence and court orders.  Something tells me that since they’re a bit lower on the pecking order, they’re not.  I’d appreciate any insight you might have as an expert in the area.
— J.J.D. in Salt Lake City

Dear J.J.D.:
        If this type of commissioner is hired … neither appointed by the governor nor elected … I would not address them as The Honorable (full name).
Regarding the practice of addressing an appointed commissioners while presiding in court as Your Honor …. there are many circumstances where a person is addressed in a way that is appropriate for the role they are fulfilling.
          E.g., an instructor when teaching class at a university can be addressed as Professor (Name) by students in the classroom though he or she holds none of the graded ranks of professor (professor, associate professor or assistant professor).
In the armed services, a lower-ranking naval officer may be addressed as Captain (name) if officially serving in a billet which requires an officer holding the rank of captain but for some reason no officer of the correct rank is available.
       – Robert Hickey www.formsofaddress.info

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