Monday, July 14, 2008


Obviously, this is not the follow-up to the previous post on mall parking. While discussions on that topic are continuing at home or in the car, I figured I can postpone the follow-up until I've had good material for at least a quarter of the malls I mentioned in that post.

What triggered today's post was a sticker I saw while riding a jeepney to work. The Clairvoyant dropped me off on the way to her office as I didn't have my car and I had to take two jeepneys to my office. In the second jeepney, I happened to sit behind the driver and couldn't help but see the back of an LTFRB sticker where, as usual, one person's name indicated what could have been his most prized accomplishment - Gen (ret). Thus, he probably couldn't really resist including his title to his name. The other two persons' names were printed quite simply - without even a Mr or a Ms to them. Yet I know them to be an Engr and an Atty.

It suddenly reminded me of what my calculus teacher told us back in college. We were sophomores then and we called our instructor's attention to the fact that he had a PhD and yet didn't bother putting Dr before his Romeo Manlapaz. He quickly joked that he wasn't insecure like those other people who revelled in appending those titles like they really mattered if the person is mediocre in reality.

What's in a title? I remember an uncle telling us that in the time of our grandparents the only titles that mattered were Fr. and Dr. The exception was the military and police who had various ranks and it was relevant to state the rank with the person. My uncle, a Korean War vet was quick to add that it was acceptable for professionals to add titles and rattled off a few the more commonly used titles - Atty, Arch and Engr.

Well, I guess this was okay as long as there is some consistency in the statement of names and if the names are indicated in signs, letters, or whatever material or instrument that made it a necessary thing. I would appreciate the specialty indicated after a medical doctor's name like the FACC, FPCC (indicating affiliation in cardiology) or FPOGS (indicating affiliation in OB-Gynecology). I also would understand that in the academe, people indicate PhD or MA or DrEng. In the corporate world, acceptable would be an MBA or CPA. In legal circles, Atty or Esq would be the norm. But appending all of BS, MS and PhD to your name would really be OA. After all, wouldn't this be mistaken for "Bull Shit," "More Shit," and "Piled higher and Deeper"?