computer meets Peerage (fwd)
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 8 Jul 96 23:35:55 -0700
Subject: computer meets Peerage (fwd)
Forwarded-by: firstname.lastname@example.org (m.b.komor)
Forwarded-by: email@example.com (Jane Beckman)
CONTEMPORARY forms of address for British peers, or what happens
when an ancient and honorable title meets the computer:
Address lists (maximum name field length usually 18 characters)
have found it next to impossible to render peerage titles in full. Marquess
of Tavistock is generally 'M O Tavistock,' 'Marquess Of Tavist,' or
'Marquess Tavistock.' Often the word 'of' is rendered just 'O' giving the
family an non-genetic Irish ancestry. Lord Hailsham of St. Marylebone's
all-time favorite was a piece of junk mail quaintly addressed to 'Mr. Of.'
DUKES and DUCHESSES: The Duke of Richmond at Heathrow: "I have a
booking, my name is Richmond." "I'm sorry, but we have no booking for you."
"I think you have -- here is my card." (Frantic whirring of computer) --
"Ah, yes, Mr. Duck, is it?" "Yesss . . . . (long sigh). Next day in
Brussels: "Hello, my name is Richmond, I have a booking." "I'm sorry,
but we have no booking for you." "I see; here is my card." "Oh -- are you
MARQUESS/MARQUIS/MARCHIONESS: Lady Tavistock paid for some
purchases at Bloomingdale's, where the sales clerk looked at her credit card
and asked, "If you're a `Martianess,' is your husband a `Martian'?
EARLS and COUNTESSES: The Right Honorable Richard Thomas Orlando
Bridgeman, Earl of Bradford, has received mail addressed, at various times,
Earl R. T. Orlando;
Earl Richard T O Bradford Of,
Right On Earl Of Bradford,
Earl of B - R Thomas,
Of Bradford Esq.,
The R Earl,
The Righton The Seventh Earl,
The Ear of Bradford / The Seventh Ear of Bradford, and
with salutations such as:
"Dear The Ea Bradford."
"Dear Mr. The"
His wife, not to be left out, has received mail addressed to The
Earless of Bradford,
Ms The Earl Of Bradford, and
The Countess Bra.
VISCOUNTS and VISCOUNTESSES: The Viscount Massereene and Ferrard
was once addressed as `The Viscount Maserati and Ferrari.' As he said, "If
only it were true!" Viscount Norwich reports being addressed as "The Vice
Count Norwich" and "The Discount Norwich."
COURTESY TITLES: Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, trying to telephone a
friend in Washington, DC, through a receptionist. Conversation reported as
"Hello, this is Lord Montagu. Could you put me through to Mr. ------.
please?" "Certainly, sir. Umm, could I ask ... is that `Lord' as in
LAST BUT NOT LEAST (and possibly apocryphal): An anonymous Lady
had invited many titled guests, including a Duke and Duchess, to a grand
dinner. She had also asked the Aga Khan, but secretly expected him to
decline. However, when he accepted, Her Ladyship was perplexed as to where
to seat him! She consulted DEBRETT'S PEERAGE, where she found this pearl
of wisdom: 'By his millions of followers the Aga Khan is regarded as a
direct descendent of God. An English Duke takes precedence.'
Use with CAUTION,
© 1996 Peter Langston