Monday, January 09, 2017
What you must never do is call me Dr. Katz. Yes, I hold a doctorate. Yes, there are many universities in the country at which Doctor is in fact the preferred appellation for faculty. And no, it's not a snob thing. (Not so long ago, it was considered vulgar to have a Ph.D., and students and teachers routinely addressed each other as Mister. Of course even now a very few very special people are so brilliant that they reach the academy's highest tower without having a regular doctorate: Peter Brown and Joyce Carol Oates come to mind.) The problem, in short, is that Dr. Katz makes me sound like your psychiatrist. Which I am not.When I attended the University of Virginia, long ago, "students and teachers routinely addressed each other as Mister" (or "Miss" or "Mrs."). There was also a professor there who had reached "the academy's highest tower without having a regular doctorate"—Roger Shattuck (1923-2005).
Hat tip: Ian Jackson.