Guest:
In my opinion, the use of Esq at the end of an address line (eg John Brown Esq) is very old-fashioned and I keep trying to stop my bosses from using it.

At the moment, they think I'm being awkward in arguing that we should just use a title (eg Mr John Brown).

Is there anything 'official' that I can quote at my bosses to bring them into the 21st Century? Or copies of something in a "Use of Grammar" book that I can show them?
I agree that it appears old-fashioned in some quarters; but in others, it seems to be alive and kicking. From [url="http://www.debretts.co.uk/etiquette/correct_forms_of_address.html "]DEBRETT'S ETIQUETTE[/url]:

'Esquire
CORRESPONDENCE: On the envelope, "[Edward]_____, Esq". Commencement, "Sir".
PERSONAL ADDRESS: "Sir".

Esquire's Widow
Same as Esquire's Wife. She continues to use her late husband's Christian name unless she re-marries. If writing to a widow, she should be addressed on the envelope by her husband's Christian name or initials, e.g. Mrs John Brown or Mrs J W Brown. It is incorrect for a widow to be styled by her own Christian name or initials, as this implies that her marriage was dissolved. If the Christian name of the widow's late husband is unknown, it is better to style her as Mrs Brown rather than Mrs Mary Brown.

Esquire's Wife
CORRESPONDENCE: On the envelope,. "Mrs [Egerton]", or "Mrs [John Egerton]". The former style is applicable if she is the wife of the head of the family, provided that there is no senior widow living, who retains the style for life or until re-marriage. Commencement, "Madam".
PERSONAL ADDRESS: "Madam".'
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Hello Guest

1. Given that titles such as 'Dr' and 'Prof.' can't be used in conjunction with 'Esq.',
you could argue that those entitled to such salutations might be offended by
the omission.

2. Given that your female correspondents are presumably addressed simply
as Mrs or Ms or Miss, you could argue that using a courtesy title exclusively
for male correspondents is somewhat discriminatory. (Strictly speaking, very
few males are entitled to an 'Esq.', as innumerable websites will tell you. You
could even argue that its commercial use is slightly insulting, and in fact
signifies "we're calling you 'Esq.' for want of a better title".)

Of course, some addressees may rather like being called 'Esquire'.

P., Esq.
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PS:

I remember hearing that 'Esq.' may only be used if the letter-writer is
also male.

Does anyone know whether this is indeed the case? I can't find a
supporting reference.

MrP
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Anonymous:
Well, apparently all British men are entitled to 'Esq.', according to Buckingham Palace (who represent The Queen, who is the font of all honour in the UK). (Hardman, 2007, see Wikipedia ) — Royal Collection Enterprises (i.e. the Palace) addressed post to me extremely inconsistently e.g Jonathan Smith Esq; Mr. JH Smith with salutations like Dear Mr. Smith; Dear Jonathan, so, it seems that the Palace is more relaxed than some would think, although Hardman's book gives an account of the extreme care taken in official invites (e.g. to garden parties etc.).

DBD
AnonymousWell, apparently all British men are entitled to 'Esq.', according to Buckingham Palace (who represent The Queen, who is the font of all honour in the UK). (Hardman, 2007, see Wikipedia) — Royal Collection Enterprises (i.e. the Palace) addressed post to me extremely inconsistently e.g Jonathan Smith Esq; Mr. JH Smith with salutations like Dear Mr. Smith; Dear Jonathan, so, it seems that the Palace is more relaxed than some would think, although Hardman's book gives an account of the extreme care taken in official invites (e.g. to garden parties etc.).

DBD
In the first paragraph of the above link, it mentions its use in the U.S. for attorneys. My father's mail normally had that postnominal on the envelopes. My attorney today says that it is still common today, especially among lawyers.
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Anonymous:
Esq. is a title you can put at the end of someone's name in the legal profession, instead of J.D. (Juris Doctor).
Anonymous:
Just because we are in the 21st Century, doesn't mean we have to do away with what some people consider old fashioned. What's wrong with upholding traditional uses of certain terms. It seems that the newer and newer generations want to do away with anything that shows respect. Just because something holds no value to you, doesn't mean it holds no value to everyone else. If it's important to someone, use it, don't dismiss it, just like you wouldn't want something that is important to you to be dismissed as having no value. You can choose how you want YOUR name to appear, but don't tell others how their name should appear. Be respectful of their wishes as you would want them to be respectful of yours......especially for something so easy to do as type three simple letters after their name.
Anonymous:
The term Esquire is indeed old fashioned and to many even quite insulting but when you understand its true use when compared to the the title MR for example you may then be of the opinion that your bosses are actually using a term of extremely proper and high regard.

Esquire refers to a level of human who had achieved a standing endeavour and regard higher than a decent gentleman without yet being knighted.

So back in the day to be referred to as Esquire or Squire was flattering indeed.

Anybody using the term Esquire is referring to a living breathing human being, whilst the use of the term MR MISS MS Etc refers to nothing more than a created legal identity, which is of course a created fiction.

As a human being you are not a fiction, you are a non fiction because you are real and not just a document with a name upon it.

All of the abbreviated terms MR MISS MS etc. refer to your LEGAL PERSON (PERSONALITY).

This LEGAL PERSON was created at the time of you coming into the world and is recorded as your NAME on a BIRTH CERTIFICATE.

As a baby you had no control over what was written on your BERTH CERTIFICATE and no control over your given NAME.

The term BIRTH is derived from naval law with a small change of spelling ( they do things like that). I.E. A ship is created at its berth and recorded when coming into port on its BERTHING CERTIFICATE.

The above was the starting point for the LEGAL SYSTEM. The LEGAL SYSTEM is not the lawful system although many refer to the legal system as being the law.

Notice how capital letters are used when referrring to anything LEGAL... Have a look at your CREDIT card.

You as a living entity are not a LEGAL thing... You are a lawful thing.

Your credit card is a contract between your made up LEGAL PERSON and your BANK. By the way the word BANK is derived from river bank where boats DEPOSIT their goods.

Are you seeing a picture here..!

There is no law above the real law which is common law.

Common law protects you as a living entity and revolves around protecting you from such horrible things as murder theft rape burglary etc.

Legal law protects the fictional LEGAL CONTRACT SYSTEM. Legal law does not protect you as a living thing it simply protects the created system and that which has been created by the system, I.E. MONEY TAXES AND CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENTS.

So in answer to your question Esquire / Esq. may have been around awhile but at the end of the day it is only a word which immediately tells the recipient of a letter that they are held in high regard, which is nice. Much like saying hello to a friend and giving them a warm hug. Do not write it as ESQUIRE or ESQ thats a insult.

Simply using the title Mr ( small r) is fine reflecting the acknowledgement at least that the recipient is a living thing. Much like greeting someone with a firm handshake and a smile.

MR though, thats a LEGAL CREATED FICTION referring to words on paper only and quite a insult to those who understand the above. However if you are setting up a contract and want sneaky ways to use the legal system to your benefit then MR is the only way to go.

In short:

Warm hug = Esquire

Handshake & smile = Mr

Anything in purely CAPITALS = A statement of the recipient being nothing of note.

You sound like you care about your job and your company but please do not try to get "official" as all stuff is not nice, just let them know the differences and when you are in the position to make changes yourself you can make them with integrity.

Hope this helps as it is all honest although completely confusing I know...!
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