Friday, September 27, 2013

Prenominal vs Post-nominal #1

 I find questions fascinating. Sometimes my brain has some information to contribute and sometimes it pushes me to increase my knowledge base. Recently I was asked, "Since you have two doctorates should they both be listed after your name?" [I don't think so--not in my brain's opinion, anyway!] As you know, a post-nominal academic suffix indicates the degree earned at a college or university. Examples include associate degrees (AA, AS); bachelor's degrees ( BA, BS, BFA); master's degrees (MA, MS, MBA); professional doctorates (JD, MD, DO, Pharm D); and academic doctorates (PhD, EdD, EngD).  I omitted some of the periods (.) so the blog wouldn't look so cluttered! In a professional situation, use of these academic suffixes indicates the individual's educational or academic background, which may be important to know from the perspective of the audience.  The question reminded me of an article I read recently by Eric K. Curtis, DDS, MA, MAGD. The title was, "Never Call Me 'Dr. Eric Curtis, DDS'." The author opined rather humorously that not only is a double-doctor title redundant, "an enemy to the clarity of concision," but also is awkward and might even scream insecurity. According to some, in the case of doctorates, either the prefix (e.g. Dr. or Atty.) or the suffix (e.g. JD, MD, DO, PhD) is used, not both. In the United States, the suffix is the preferred format in written documentation, allowing differentiation between types of doctorates. I had just finished answering that question when I received another. More about that one tomorrow.

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