Archive for April, 2015

How does one address the envelope of an invitation to the mayor of a city and his wife?
 — Susan Hensley

I need to address our elected sheriff and his wife. On the envelope, would it be The Honorable and Mrs. James Smith?
 — Agnes Harrington

How do I address a governor and his wife?
 — J.K. in Virginia

How do I address a former senator and his wife?
 — Ann Buchanan

Dear S.H, A.H., J.K., and AB:
I cover how to every type of elected official and spouse in my book in Chapter Nine: Joint Forms of Address.

What all these U.S. officials have in common is that they are addressed as “The Honorable.” You didn’t tell me the names … so depending the form of her name … there are several options.

If she uses “Mrs.”  and uses the same last name … then traditionally her first name does not appear:
The Honorable William Stanton
and Mrs. Stanton

This is the form the White House would use for a married couple using the same last name. The rule is not to break up “The Honorable” from “(name)”
What you want to avoid is:
The Honorable and Mrs. William Stanton

If she uses a different last name, then her first name does appear, e.g.:
The Honorable Alan Greenspan
and Ms. Andrea Mitchell

If she has her own rank, courtesy title, or some special honorific, then her first name does appear:
The Honorable William Stanton
and Lieutenant Linda Stanton

The Honorable William Stanton
and Dr. Linda Stanton

The Honorable William Stanton
and the Reverend Linda Stanton
Probably more answer than you wanted … but I hope it is useful.
 — Robert Hickey

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Daughters of a deceased United States Air Force Colonel have asked for my help for the wording on a headstone/gravestone. I am thinking of:.

 Col. John Patrick Delaney
USAF, Retired

— Betty

I want to purchase a paver (a personalized brick) in a local veterans memorial for my grandfather.  He retired from the United States Army as a CW4.  His name is Harold E Copper,  I have 3 lines,  with 14 spaces per line.  Any ideas?
— JB

Dear Betty & JB:
    Deceased persons are referred to by just their NAME … honorifics, ranks, courtesy titles, and post-nominal abbreviations which are parts of a person’s name at various times during their lives —  are not included as part of the names of the deceased. Roles and ranks they had are listed afterwards.
     Military tombstones in military cemeteries are just NAME followed by rank and branch of service.
     “Retired” is not included. It was pertinent when the person was living and necessary to note that the person was not on active duty. Typically punctuation is not used on memorials, so I’ve shown the ones below without punctuation. So, in a correct style it would be:

John Patrick Delaney
Colonel USAF


Harold E Copper

     See the photos below.
          Robert Hickey

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