Sunday, 24 October 2010

Reclaiming Esquire

Many years ago I asked my bank to stop addressing correspondence to me as 'Raedwald Esq.' and use 'Mr' instead; the only effect of this was to spur the bank into the solecism of addressing me as Mr Raedwald Esq. During the '90s 'Esq' disappeared altogether as institutions realised that as there was no female equivalent, it could be considered sexist to continue to use it. Realising this now has caused me to change my mind; I think it's high time we reclaimed Esq.


So, if you've held a commission in a rank equivalent of army Captain or above, hold a Master of Arts degree, are a Barrister (but not a solicitor unless a Bachelor of Law), a JP or a holder of office under the Crown, or the son of a knight or petty noble or a Physician then reclaim Esq as your own. If you're a bloke. 

6 comments:

lilith said...

I still put Esq. on letters to my Dad.

Lillith's Dad, Esq. said...

As it should be. Thanks, lil'hun.

How are the dogs Radders?

Lillith's dad, Esq.

Blue Eyes said...

Master of Arts, but not Master of Sciences? How artist.

Edward Spalton said...

Years ago our family firm was suffering from flagging sales and my father thought up a ripping wheeze - a bonus for the salesmen of our distributors- essentially to motivate them from taking orders for "Brand X" to selling our stuff, the genuine article (accept no substitute).

They could win really super hampers from Fortnum & Mason, delivered in time for Christmas. These were to be delivered with a compliment slip from said parent.

To father's horror, he found that they had been printed
"with the compliments of Mr. C.R. Spalton Esq".

He was incandescent but the F & M chap (who was turned out in a frock coat) was brilliant. He was rather more grand than the Butler in Downton Abbey.

"My dear sir, I must apologise most sincerely. I am afraid it was a mistake by a young American person in the packing department who was under the impression that it was a distinction conferred by Her Majesty". With this and much else, my dad was suitably buttered up. It was an education to watch.

The bill was a pleasure to pay, especially as the scheme worked like a charm - for a while.

Elby the Beserk said...

Finally, a reason to spend £10 on buying an MA from Oxford...

English Pensioner said...

I'd just like to reclaim the traditional salutations at the start and end of letters.
I object to being addressed by by Christian name by people that I've never met and ending in "Yours sincerely".
I was taught
Dear Sir - Yours faithfully,
Dear Mr XXXX - Yours sincerely,

And as for people who sign their letters Mr Andrew XXXX, whilst addressing me by my Christian name, (as did the manager of my local D&A opticians), I treat them with the contempt that I feel they deserve.
But the best was an e-mail today - I have a post box "office" which I use for non-personal mail - addressed to Dear Office!