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On 14 Aug 2004, Bob Cunningham wrote snip

By the way, it seems it hasn't been a very ... "'phone". I wonder if there are still some who do.

And I wouldn't want to be that blitz' has lost its final apostrophe in all settings.

I think there's something missing somewhere in that sentence, but I'm not sure where.
On 14 Aug 2004, Bob Cunningham wrote snip And I wouldn't want to be that blitz' has lost its final apostrophe in all settings.

I think there's something missing somewhere in that sentence, but I'm not sure where.

You bet: I dropped a "t" when I let it be...

Cheers, Harvey
Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years;
Southern England for the past 22 years.
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I don't quite get the rationale for calling this mode ... to be more rational than any competing mode of punctuation.

A reason can be stated for writing "Mr" for "Mister" as opposed to "corp." for "corporation". The only explanation I know of for abbreviating "Mister" "Mr." is "there isn't any reason for it; that's just the way we do it".

Wouldn't "M'r" be more rational than "Mr"?
Wouldn't "M'r" be more rational than "Mr"?

Yes, I suppose so, but it doesn't bear on the question of whether to write "Mr." or "Mr".
Wouldn't "M'r" be more rational than "Mr"?

Perhaps; but it's not relevant to the issue of "Mr" vs "Mr.".

Both "Mr" and "M'r" would be a rational way of punctuating the abbreviated form as would "Mist." but "Mr." can't claim the same defence of rationality.

Cheers, Harvey
Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years;
Southern England for the past 22 years.
(for e-mail, change harvey.news to harvey.van)
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Both "Mr" and "M'r" would be a rational way of punctuating the abbreviated form as would "Mist." but "Mr." can't claim the same defence of rationality.

I think this is a misuse of 'rational', much as it is a misuse of 'logical' to speak of the 'logical' BrE punctuation. What we're really saying is that there's consistency in the British approach, or simplicity (what physicists and their fellow travelers like to call 'elegance' (bwahaha)). There's nothing irrational or illogical about inconsistency or complexity. To claim otherwise is like saying that Coop is "illogical" because he wears tacky neckties (say, how is Coop doing?).
Both "Mr" and "M'r" would be a rational way of ... but "Mr." can't claim the same defence of rationality.

I think this is a misuse of 'rational', much as it is a misuse of 'logical' to speak of the 'logical' BrE punctuation.

That is rational that has a reason. American punctuation is based on the principle "There's no damn reason for it; it's just the way we do it".
What we're really saying is that there's consistency in the British approach, or simplicity (what physicists and their fellow travelers like to call 'elegance' ).

American punctuation is consistent. Periods and commas that end quoted strings are consistently put inside the quotation marks whether it makes sense to do so or not. An
abbreviated word is followed by a period whether it makes sense to do so or not.
The same examples show that American punctuation is simpler than British, since British style makes you think a little to see that punctuation is in accord with sense. American punctuation lets you punctuate a consistent way even if it puts clarity at risk.
There's nothing irrational or illogical about inconsistency or complexity.

Did someone say there was?
I think this is a misuse of 'rational', much as it is a misuse of 'logical' to speak of the 'logical' BrE punctuation.

That is rational that has a reason. American punctuation is based on the principle "There's no damn reason for it; it's just the way we do it".

But that *is* a reason. Tradition! Preservation of traditional cultural practices! Avoiding the costs associated with switching to a new system (consider the failure of the general AmE public to adopt the metric system). It's just as rational as anything else. Perhaps more rational.
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}>
}> >My late and reverend headmaster, surnamed Snow, }> >was adamant that he should be referred to as "Mr }> >Snow" in speech.
}>
}> That conforms with New-England Episcopalian usage: in the 1960s, a priest } at
}> Christ Church, Cambridge (Massachusetts), was the Reverend John Snow: he } was
}> regularly called & addressed as "Mr. Snow."
}
} That's still formally correct for Church of England clergy, except for those } who prefer "Father".
}
} I remember reading that at one time Jesuit priests were "The Reverend Mr } John Smith, SJ" rather than the usual RC "Father". (sorry - can't oblige } with a proof-text,)That'd be correct even today, even where I am, for Jesuit deacons. There exist also Jesuit scholastics, who are typically Jesuits going to graduate school, but not even deacons yet. I think there are also Jesuit brothers, who are destined never to be either deacons or priests. But I don't know how either the scholastics or the brothers would be addressed formally, though I assume that both would use the "SJ". Brother Martin may have more information on this.

In theory there aren't any Jesuit bishops or cardinals, but there are actually plenty of them. One of our auxiliary bishops (a bishop or archbishop in Puerto Rico, last I heard) was a Jesuit, and I think that most of the bishops in Alaska are Jesuits. When in doubt, just their name followed by the "SJ" isn't likely to offend any of them. They're like the Green Berets of the Roman Catholic Church.

On the other hand, a Russian Orthodox priest I know was called "Father" by his congregants while he was only a deacon.

We had a deacon here (who baptized one of my daughters) who was called "Monsignor" by a lot of people in the parish, but that's exceptional.

R. J. Valentine
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