Monday, 30 July 2012

Manners Makyth Man

“believe me, it will be enough”. History will hold you to it, Signore. 

Twice I have taken lessons in international manners.   Once, at an international conference of sneering ultra liberals when a venomous American (so unusual, Americans are 'the essence of politeness' as my mother would have it) referred to,  'Mr Marx':

 "Dr Marx", said  the Chairperson.  Pause: "Philosophy -  Democritus and Epicurus", he added severely.

The second time was when that same person, this time being the speaker not the Chair, was referred to as,  'Herr Dr Professor Professor,' by a commenter: I glanced, and was met with an absolute stillness of expression, an acknowledgment of German courtesy I was on the verge of not offering myself. 

It is not enough to excuse rudeness, in form of address, that a user does not speak the language or have any familiarity with the culture of the addressee.  Titles - inherited, awarded or earned - matter.  The civilised form, in doubt, is to use the surname unadorned or, as do the Quakers, the full name.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard does himself no honour  in using a term of address that implies that the President of the European Central Bank is an under-qualified  office-holder with an Italian axe to grind.


Sackerson said...

But you know the English style is rude familiarity.

Here's some homework for you - precis that Nietzsche paper referred to in your sidebar - 400 words max.

dearieme said...

He should just refer to all self-important Italians as Dottore. Prob solved.

Raedwald said...

Not being armigerous, it was a minor and private delight on gaining my Masters to become Jack Raedwald Esquire rather than the plain Mr Jack Raedwald I had been beforehand.

Exactly at the same time my bank stopped writing to me as Jack Raedwald Esq and deemed me to be mere Mr Jack Raedwald instead. Such is the price of minor hubris ...

hatfield girl said...

Dearieme, Draghi isn't self-important though. His powers are very great. Much of the lack of institutional underpinning, so decried by the media and the globalistas, to the euro is embodied not in the Treaties but in the statutes of the ECB. The pointy-finger brigade have been looking for it in the wrong place and, not unnaturally, not finding it.

I imagine one of the reasons for the ECB containing such crucial federal structures is that, of course, the European Central Bank was set up drawing heavily on the form and structures of the Bundesbank, which itself preceded the setting up of Federal Germany in the late 1940s and embodies crucial powers in determining relations between the Lander.

Were I strong-willed enough to put down the Campari and drag myself from the deck chair I'd look at the set ups and think about where, in the mass of derived and recast and supplemented and extended-by-implication treaties, statutes and their interpretation, political and institutional power in the EU is organised and conferred, and onto whom.

dearieme said...

When Elizabeth I was getting on a bit many English diplomats visited Edinburgh. One reported, appalled, that when the King passed through the streets (in a coach, I assume), his subjects addressed him as "Jamie".

Nick Drew said...


a. yes indeed, see the Olympic ceremony passim, we mock everyone but particularly ourselves
(& no-one else understands either)

b. I hereby pick up the Nietzsche gauntlet (as a matter of principle)

Sackerson said...

Nick: good man! Do let me know when you've managed it - extra creds if you get it down to 200 words.