If It's All the Same to You

I'm not a fan of the Post-Gazette's current style manual, which requires that "Mr." and "Mrs." be used for second references to most individuals. It's so . . . 1960s. But I assume that the point is to be respectful, and I can live with it, even if I wish that "Ms." would show up more often.

Today, however, the manual gets the paper in trouble. The last line of the P-G story anticipating Governor Rendell's inauguration festivities reads:
Mrs. Rendell said she loved the "elegant, contemporary work" of designer Hian, adding, "As a fellow Pennsylvanian, it's a great source of pride to showcase one of her creations."

The quotation refers to her ball gown. The problem, though, is that Marjorie Rendell, wife of the Governor, isn't a "Mrs." She sits on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. Being respectful means that she is "Judge Rendell" not just in her judicial context, but always.


1 Response to "If It's All the Same to You"

Anonymous said... 1/18/2007 1:44 PM

I absolutely can't stand the Mr. and Mrs. references in the PG articles. It's awful throughout the paper, but I hate it most when I'm reading articles about criminals and some murderer is referred to as "Mr.". That guy doesn't deserve the respect of being called "Mr.", and because they don't realize that, the PG doesn't deserve me as a reader.

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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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