ISLPR Language Services Blog

Honorifics

Posted by on Apr 19, 2021 at 10:27 AM

Honorifics are titles like Mr, Miss, Ms, Mrs, Doctor, Professor, Dean.

Honorifics are never used with the first name alone but are used with the surname or, in a formal situation, the surname together with the first name, e.g. Mr Smith, Mrs Mary Brown, Dr Tom Jones, Professor Smith.

Mr, Miss, Miss, Ms and Mrs are not used alone but Doctor (Dr) or Professor can be used alone, e.g. “Good morning, Professor”

You can call Bill Jones, Bill or Mr Jones.  If the person has a doctorate, e.g. Dr Mary Smith, you can call her, Mary or Dr Smith.

Do not use the surname on its own but only with an honorific.

However, it is usual in the context of sporting commentaries for the surname only to be used but when a reporter interviews a sportsperson, he will usually use the first name or a nickname, e.g. the great rugby league footballer, Jonathan Thurston, is commonly known as “JT”.

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