Who Are You Anyway?

Another of my pet peeves is the trend to introduce people by their former titles.  Last time I checked, the Mayor of NY is Michael Bloomberg, not Rudolf Giuliani.  But you wouldn’t know that from Giuliani’s  campaign, or from the press, which incessantly introduces him as “Mayor Giuliani”.  Why can’t he be presented as “former Mayor of NY, Rudolf Giuliani?”  Too many words, or too big an ego? 

This honorarium used to be bestowed exlusively on former U.S. Presidents because the presumption was that people knew that that person was no longer the President, so the title was introduced as an honor. No confusion was intended and no confusion was caused. Now that trend has spread to former Governors, Senators, just about anyone.  The problem is that it is confusing.  There aren’t two Mayors of NY at the same time- why should two people be allowed to be introduced as if there were? Is Mike Huckabee a sitting Governor or a former Governor?  What about John Edwards?  I’d really like to know when I am being introduced to a person whether that person is running as a current member of the government or a former one; it actually makes a difference to me.  

I’ll make an effort on my show to cut it out, at the risk of being rude to people like Governor Christie Whitman, whose people still refer to her as the Governor. She is not the Governor, she is the former Governor. That makes her just as prestigious in my book, but I prefer to be accurate- not obsequious.         

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One thought on “Who Are You Anyway?

  1. I had never thought about this before, but now that you mention it – it is confusing! And it’s a pain to have to think about…. now or when before did this person hold this role? Finally, I agree that it is still as prestigious to have the word former in front of the title. Thanks, Lisa

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