Archive for 六月 22nd, 2008

22 2008

Soup of letters

Published by under Word by Word

上周《卫报》(Guardian)介绍英国一位因为给两位同性恋教士主持婚礼(civil partnership)而受到教会指责的牧师 Martin Dudley 时,开头第一句是这样的:

Until last Sunday few people had heard of the Reverend Dr Martin Dudley BD MSc MTh PhD FSA FRHistS AKC.

中国人喜欢在名片上加一堆头衔,英国人正式起来,就会在名字后面加一串学历职称资格头衔的缩写,弄出一堆让人莫名其妙的缩写来。

而且加缩写还是有规矩的。《泰晤士报》(Times)上的Philip Howard做了一个很有用的介绍,简单地说就是学历在先,从医资格(如果有的话)在后。但是如果还有御准非御准的头衔的话,就更复杂了。

The short answer is that university degrees precede medical qualifications in the position of letters after the name. The long answer is that Bt or Bart (for a baronet) and Esq, if applicable, precede all other letters. Then orders and decorations conferred by the Crown. Then appointments such as Privy Counsellor, Aide de Camp to Her Maj, Honorary Physician to the Queen. Then university degrees. Then religious orders. Then medical qualifications. Then fellowships of learned societies. Then secondary (ie non-royal) appointments, such as QC, JP, DL, MP. Finally membership of one of the armed forces, such as RN or RAF. Phew. I should take Occam’s Razor to all such alphabet soup of letters after names. Abbrevs and honorifics, like entia, non sunt multiplicanda.

回头看 Martin Dudley 的头衔,我知道 MSc = Master of Science,MTh = Master of Philosophy,PhD = Doctor of Philosophy,能猜出 FRHistS = Fellow of Royal Historic Society,其它就猜不出了。

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