December 14, 2020

Joseph Epstein scores with an essay telling Jill Biden to put aside the "Dr. Jill" honorific.

Let's take a close look at this Wall Street Journal article that's causing a mini-uproar, "Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D./Jill Biden should think about dropping the honorific, which feels fraudulent, even comic." It's by Joseph Epstein. Epstein is an essayist. He's been writing essays and publishing collections of essays for many years. He's 83. And good for him, suddenly scoring so big with this one essay. It really gave people with a need to write essays and mini-essays — tweets 'n' blogposts — something to write oh so easily about. 

That fiend Epstein! He's a misogynist! Why's he a misogynist for calling bullshit on the use of "Dr." for people who are not medical doctors? I haven't read the essay yet and I've only glanced at the criticism — enough to see the charge of misogyny — and what I'm going to presume is that it's perceived as misogynist because it's women — and not men — who style themselves as "Dr." when they are not medical doctors. Why do women do it? Are they guessing they'll be thought less of because they are female? The "Dr." business might be a defense again real or imagined misogyny, but that doesn't make it misogynistic to argue that it's time to lay off the self-puffery of the non-medical "Dr." 

Now, let me read the essay:
Madame First Lady -- Mrs. Biden -- Jill -- kiddo: a bit of advice on what may seem like a small but I think is a not unimportant matter. Any chance you might drop the "Dr." before your name?

He's just asking. The "kiddo" might seem over-familiar, but it's in a series — from most formal to most familiar. Laying out a series of approaches to addressing the woman — Madame First Lady -- Mrs. Biden -- Jill -- kiddo — is a way to say What should I call you? He's asking.

"Dr. Jill Biden" sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic.

That's phrased with some politeness — jocose politeness — but he's plainly saying it is fraudulent and comical. All right! He's got us, and those with an inclination to protect the Bidens are activated and ready to denounce old man Epstein. As a person of cruel neutrality, I am anticipating liking this essay. I'm thinking this "Dr." bullshit among women has gone on too long and is a marker of inferiority, so he's calling on Jill Biden to set a good example and drop the honorific. You don't need it, and you shouldn't want it. 

Your degree is, I believe, an Ed.D., a doctor of education, earned at the University of Delaware through a dissertation with the unpromising title "Student Retention at the Community College Level: Meeting Students' Needs."

Unpromising! That's mean. He's denouncing her dissertation without reading it. And yet, it's a bit convincing. He's saying, come on, you didn't do any serious scholarship, now, did you? 

A wise man once said that no one should call himself "Dr." unless he has delivered a child. Think about it, Dr. Jill, and forthwith drop the doc. I taught at Northwestern University for 30 years without a doctorate or any advanced degree....

Epstein is justly proud of how well he's done without a doctorate. He's in a good position to look down on people whose big point of pride is their degree: Show me what you've done — with or without a degree. That's why you get a degree — isn't it? — to do something with what you've learned, not to flaunt the degree per se.

In contemporary universities, in the social sciences and humanities, calling oneself Dr. is thought bush league. The Ph.D. may once have held prestige, but that has been diminished by the erosion of seriousness and the relaxation of standards in university education generally, at any rate outside the sciences... Dr. Jill, I note you acquired your Ed.D. as recently as 15 years ago at age 55, or long after the terror [or examinations] had departed....
Forget the small thrill of being Dr. Jill, and settle for the larger thrill of living for the next four years in the best public housing in the world as First Lady Jill Biden.

I've elided some of the text, but there's nothing in it that goes after women in particular. It's not misogynistic at all. Epstein is right to advise non-physicians to eschew the "Dr." honorific. He could be criticized for not showing any concern for how women in particular have used this mode of demanding respect and dignity. But in a way, he's showing respect by talking to Jill Biden the way he'd talk to a man: It's ridiculous! Cut the crap!  

ADDED: Here's my idea: Limit "Dr." — as the form of address — to the people who are inviting those who talk with them to use "Doctor" kind of like a first name. That's how "Professor" worked for me. I didn't want students to call me Ann, but they didn't have to say "Professor Althouse" or "Ms. Althouse." ("Ms. Althouse" was what it said on the nameplate they put on my office door.) They could always say "Professor." Similarly, when people are talking to their medical doctor, they often say "Doctor," not "Dr. Smith" or whatever, just "Doctor." Doctor!

 

IN THE EMAIL: A reader writes: "When I first started teaching at Stanford, someone remarked to me that he had never met a physicist who used 'Dr.,' and never met a Ph.D. from the Education school who did not. This has held true in my experience for decades now." 

312 comments:

1 – 200 of 312   Newer›   Newest»
Fernandinande said...

"Oh help me, please doctor Jill, I'm damaged
There's a pain where there once was a heart
It's sleepin', it's a beatin'
Can't ya please tear it out, and preserve it
Right there in that jar?"

Greg Hlatky said...


He could be criticized for not showing any concern for how women in particular have used the this mode of demanding respect and dignity.

I have ceased to have any concern for the respect women feel they deserve.

Fernandinande said...

G. Cochran commented:

"Credentials ... can give you signals of greater or lesser utility. Ph.Ds in math or the hard sciences prove you have some brains – not necessarily that you will make good use of them, or that you’ll be useful, but sure, you probably have some brains. Or at least you once did. Doesn’t necessarily mean that you know much outside your specialization, or have much sense. Although you might.

What about a Ph.D. in psychology? it doesn’t mean that you can’t have some brains, but its predictive value isn’t very high.

An M.D.? Again, doesn’t mean that you can’t be smart, but, usually, not born puzzle solvers. Significantly overrated by both the general public and holders as an indicator of general omnicompetence.

Ph.D. in education? On average, it predicts that you’re dumber than someone with a B.A in education, already below the general college average."

h said...

A friend pointed out that Shaquille O'Neal who also has an Ed.D., does not use "Dr." Does Althouse, or anyone of her acquaintance with a Juris Doctor degree, insist upon being called "Doctor"?

Lincolntf said...

Paul Gigot, the editorial page editor at the WSJ, has a piece in the paper today describing the backlash/push back over the original Epstein piece.

Marcus Bressler said...

As some are wont to say: "Is she a doctor a doctor or a doctor a dentist?" If neither, she (and others) should drop the honorific.

THEOLDMAN, Esq.

Paco Wové said...

"An M.D.? Again, doesn’t mean that you can’t be smart, but, usually, not born puzzle solvers. Significantly overrated..."

Maybe, but of all the doctors (M.D., Ph.D., Ed.D., J.D., Th.D., etc.) the most likely to be useful.

wild chicken said...

Women are too much into credentials as confidence-builders, I'm afraid.

But really, couldn't someone have privately told her, in private, that she was being a douche canoe before now?

Sebastian said...

"Why's he a misogynist for calling bullshit on the use of "Dr." for people who are not medical doctors?"

Well, because in actually existing feminism, women are special, and their special feelz must be protected. And of course, the special feelz of even more specialer Dem women must be protected especially. Especially when an attack on the attacker can be used to signal special concern, rally the troops, and elevate new FLOTUS.

"It's ridiculous!"

Except that, in war, you do what works. So: not ridiculous. Predictable, yes. Prog tactics are grim, sure. But nothing to laugh about.

Greg Hlatky said...

The less rigorous the discipline, the more insistent the degreed are to be called "Doctor".

tcrosse said...

Epstein is right to advise non-physicians to eschew the "Dr." honorific.

Scare quotes! That's the ticket. If Jill insists on the honorific, let us insist on scare quotes, or air quotes around it.

Mr Wibble said...

I stick with the belief that unless you're being addressed in a setting that is directly related to your doctorate, you shouldn't be addressed as "Doctor." If we want her thoughts on improving the ability of community college students to retain information, then we'll ask Doctor Jill Biden. If we want to know what the theme will be for the White House Christmas decorations, we'll as Mrs. Jill Biden.

wild chicken said...

Schools of Education, though.

Talk about your citadels of non-replicable "research" findings.

campy said...

Epstein will not have killed himself.

mockturtle said...

The title 'doctor' is more widely applied in Europe and the UK when referring to PhDs, especially in professional settings, symposia and conferences. In the US it is considered de trop, so to speak. ;-)

Jim Gust said...

Not my First Lady.

Does not matter what she calls herself.

Mr Wibble said...

But really, couldn't someone have privately told her, in private, that she was being a douche canoe before now?

Who? Joe Biden is the same type of personality. And I doubt any of the lackeys they surround themselves with have the guts to point out the problem.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

A person living a comfortable life who goes back to school in an unchallenging field in middle age is someone who is bored and has the time and resources to show up consistently. I mean whatever, you do you, but it doesn’t require any especial respect. Would we assign a title of honor to someone who used their middle age to take up stained glass making?

My family doctor and his wife earned their MDs and went through residency with twin infants and still passed their boards. They provide expertise which is of value to the community. Their degrees and jobs are not hobbies like “Dr. Jill.”

Meade said...

That’s “Doctor First Lady” to you, deplorable.

wild chicken said...

Oh, the story on social mefia is Epstein is "afraid" of accomplished women!

Oh, and is he related to that dead Epstein?


LOL

Wince said...

The Bidens expect that everyone else should have to play by the rules that got them "elected".

mockturtle said...

My family doctor and his wife earned their MDs and went through residency with twin infants and still passed their boards. They provide expertise which is of value to the community. Their degrees and jobs are not hobbies like “Dr. Jill.”

A woman who graduated medical school with my stepson and his wife had five children at the time! She got a standing ovation at the ceremony.

ga6 said...

"Demand respect"?

Demand all you want and I shall continue to ignore you until such time as you earn it.

Rory said...

"In contemporary universities, in the social sciences and humanities, calling oneself Dr. is thought bush league."

Is this correct now? I was in college forty years ago, and don't recall any professor being called anything but doctor. Teaching assistants and such would be on a first-name basis.

BidenFamilyTaxPayerFundedCrackPipe said...

almost everything about the Bidens is fraudulent.

didn't that moron whoopee Goldberg suggest that Jill would make a great surgeon general?

Meade said...

Do me a favor — call me Mr. President instead of Dr. Fraudulent. I worked so hard to steal that title.

Flat Tire said...

How many languages does she speak?

gilbar said...

i've personally known TWO PhD's

One; now a college Professor* would LAUGH at you, if you called her Doctor
The Other, a Biology researcher, we All called "dr ted" because he was full of shit and we All wanted him to know that we felt that way

Neither one, Ever called themselves "Doctor" . . . EVER

Professor* She LIKED being called Professor. It pissed her off that they said O'Bama was a Professor**

O'Bama was a Professor** remember that crap?
He was a Lecturer, which according to my Professor friend is NOT a Professor. I used to tease her, and tell her that Associate Professor is not a Professor either... At which point, she'd hit me with a pillow, and remind me that SHE had tenure. If you're not on the tenure track, you're not a professor

Mark said...

People in education are infamous for their arrogant, authoritarian, hubris in wanting to be called "Doctor."

Oso Negro said...

"As a person of cruel neutrality..... Yes! Mainstream left-wing journalism is the finest fuel for the furnace of cruel neutrality. All the best people say so.

gilbar said...

demanding respect

you know what? demanding respect, is a Sure Way, of showing that you don't deserve respect

wendybar said...

THIS is news?? China has compromised the Bidens, and THIS is making headlines??? We are fucked. This is really screwed up. Twilight zone, upside down world...whatever you want to call it, but we really are fucked.

KLH said...

I agree with Ms. Althouse that there was nothing misogynistic about that essay. The huge response is just a fake outrage woke signaling political operation.

For years, I’ve been making fun of how the Bidens and nearly all of the media uses the pompous honorific DOCTOR Jill Biden. I loved the essay.

Terry di Tufo said...

For you, Professor Althouse to your face. Informally among my friends, “Der Alte”

Meade said...

Calling Doctor Jill, Doctor Joe, Doctor Hunter...

Bob Boyd said...

"Well fuck." - Jill Biden

BADuBois said...

Eh, Whoopi Goldberg thought she should be named Surgeon General. Who are we to judge?

Mark O said...

There is nothing authentic about the Biden family, except their corruption.

Jon Burack said...

Ann, this should also have the tag "Age of That's Not Funny." (Do you have that tag?)

After reading that Northwestern has weighed in to ward off contamination by the evil misogynist Epstein, I am so glad to be part (a very small part on the margins, thankfully) of an academic world with such a strong sense of the moral challenges of our day. And also so thankful the media can now get back to covering the "really, really, really big" (as One Who Will Be Missed might put it) stories of the day. What a relief!

Beth B said...

When I hear people refer to her as Dr. Jill, all I can think of is the kowtowing Bill Cosby used to receive. It was always Dr. Cosby this and Dr. Cosby that. He has a Doctorate of Education, too, from the University of Massachusetts. His dissertation discussed using Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids as teaching tools. He was also awarded an Honorary Doctor-Of-Laws degree from his alma mater, Temple University, which has since been stripped because of the sex charges/conviction against him. Not sure what became of the other 69 Honorary Doctorate degrees he earned from various celebrity-fluffing universities around the country. No doubt many of those have been rescinded, as well.

The use of the title "Doctor" in these non-medical, non-science circumstances does seem to be a lot more about puffery & ass-kissing than anything else. To me, she's always going to be nothing more than Joe Asterisk's wife. Whoopee!

gilbar said...

Paco Wové said...
"An M.D.?
of all the doctors (M.D., Ph.D., Ed.D., J.D., Th.D., etc.) the most likely to be useful


i WAS going to say, i know some RN's that would disagree; but then i realized
MD's ARE the most Useful
WHAT'S the difference between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist ?
A Psychiatrist is an MD... And Therefor; can Proscribe DRUGS

IF you're a REAL doctor, you can Proscribe DRUGS. Even RN's think THAT'S USEFUL!
Speaking of Real Doctors, Is Dr K up yet? I want to hear HIS take on this

Breezy said...

They’re all frauds. Joe is a puppet, Kamala is not AA, Jill is not a doctor....

Tom said...

Epstein was quickly canceled by Northwestern.

This is what life will be like under one party rule.

At some point, Joe Biden will appoint Jill as Surgeon General and we’ll all have to call her doctor or be #cancelled.

RK said...

I agree with Dr. Althouse

Leland said...

I identify as HRH.

mbd said...

What's going to happen when she attends some BS education conference? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoe24aSvLtw

Francisco D said...

The use of "Doctor" should be referenced to the appropriate setting. Only if Jill is working in a educational setting (she was a Special Ed teacher) is it appropriate to call her Dr. Of course, the Ed.D. is a bogus degree, but it is relevant to that setting.

Some of my business clients and patients called me "Doctor." I preferred business clients to call me by my first name, but let patients calm whatever they wanted. The distinction is that I wanted to be business partners with clients. It is a different relationship with patients.

In any other setting, I insist that people not call me Dr. It is pretentious as to status and power. Only insecure twits want to be called by that honorific in settings that have nothing to do with their professional credentials.

jrem said...

Nothing interesting in the NYT today. Thanks for this piece.
Brings me a doctoral smile.

Michael said...

A male with a PhD introducing himself as Dr is a sad and pathetic figure. If not laughed at to his face he would be laughed at behind his back. Women are treated more kindly and thus may be unaware that they appear as fools when they announce they are non doctor doctors. Not sure how this deserved mockery came to pass but it is a good thing.

TheDopeFromHope said...

From Steve Hayward at Powerline:

"For many years in my early adulthood I’d explain to my extended and very practical family that I only wanted to get an impractical Ph.D so I could get good tables at restaurants by calling in and making a reservation for “Doctor Hayward.” The family immediately got the joke."

Also:

"For the record, I’m still somewhat embarrassed merely to be called professor, and on the rare occasions when someones has presumed to call me “Doctor Hayward,” I usually disavow the term.... For what it’s worth, my practice in the classroom is to emulate the old St. Johns/University of Chicago protocol, in which I am “Mr. Hayward,” and all the students are “Mr. Smith” or “Ms. Jones.” Admittedly this is a little tricky now in the age of exponentially expanding pronouns, but the point is, this modicum of formality not only treats students with an unaccustomed respect, but keeps a baseline of seriousness amidst a sometimes chaotic and free-flowing dialogue (at least in small seminars), and also conveys a certain kind of equality which is the notional atmosphere of classical education. Students like it, by the way. It’s kinda chill, they might say."

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/12/call-me-doktor-chill-not-doctor-jill.php

narciso said...

She'll as much the puppetmaster behind the cigar store indian.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

It’s akin to calling a lawyer with a JD “doctor” Althouse. And actually an Ed.D isn’t even equivalent fo a full-professor Ph.D!

Doug said...

Womyn (and beta males) are going to do to the term "misogyny" what blacks have done to the term, "racist". Make it meaningless by so labeling everyone who disagrees with them. Or in womyn's case, failing to celebrate them.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

she's as much a doctor

...as he is president-elect

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Everybody knows that if you run around calling yourself "Doctor" and you didn't graduate from medical school then you most likely have a doctorate in education or, in some cases, a divinity degree.

gspencer said...

btw, for too many, community college is basically remedial high school. So Jillie wrote her "dissertation" drivel on high school. The test of your work is to see if it breaks new ground and/or is reference by other researchers. I’d bet the cost of Joe’s hair plugs and his dental work that no one but no one has ever relied upon her drivel.

googlebooks has this on Jillie's "magnum opus,"

This Executive Position Paper (EPP) studies student retention in the community college and Delaware Technical & Community College in particular. The paper focuses on four areas of students' needs: academic, psychological, social, and physical. An overview of the paper is given, and an introduction to Delaware Technical & Community College is presented. First, the nature of the pre-tech (developmental) population is discussed. Then, a literature review offers current research by experts in the field. In addition, the results from pre-tech students, faculty, and advisor surveys and interviews are analyzed. Statistical information underscores the problem of retaining students, and personal accounts from students provide insight as to why students drop out. Overall, problem areas are identified, and recommendations and solutions are offered and encouraged.

Deep stuff, huh?

Leon said...

Well the fact she got her degree in what she was employed doing and continued to be employed in that field afterwards makes me kind of ok with her being called Dr. I was prepared to not be but I had to go read up before commenting.

Martha said...

According to an a 2009 LATimes article the whole point of getting the Ed.D was to be called Dr. Jill:

Joe Biden, on the campaign trail, explained that his wife’s desire for the highest degree was in response to what she perceived as her second-class status on their mail.
“She said, ‘I was so sick of the mail coming to Sen. and Mrs. Biden. I wanted to get mail addressed to Dr. and Sen. Biden.’ That’s the real reason she got her doctorate,” he said.

Fernandinande said...

Student Retention at the Community College: Meeting Students' Needs

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

"Spies Like Us" 'Doctor' scene

WK said...

Have a neighbor who is an orthodontist. She was walking past our house when her 4 year old daughter took a spill on her 2 wheeler. Daughter complained about pain in her leg. Mom looked at it and said “I am sure it is fine. I am a doctor”. Daughter replied “ you are not a doctor. You’re a dentist!”

Doug said...

If she were a conservative, she would have had that term slapped out of her mouth by now by the media. If she were a conservative, though, she probably wouldn't have been such a douche in the first place.

DimWhit said...

It can be confusing. In the county of Los Angeles, we have a public health director who
calls herself--and is called by others--'Dr' Barbara Ferrer. She holds a doctorate in
social welfare. Pity the poor Angelenos who might imagine the person in charge of such
momentous decisions as closing all restaurants on the day before Thanksgiving to be a
virologist or epidemiologist or a PhD in public health....

gilbar said...

she's always going to be nothing more than Joe Asterisk's wife

she's cum a long way, baby!
{from her wikipedia page}
She began working at age 15, as a cocktail waitress in Ocean City, New Jersey[2][4][15]
She attended Upper Moreland High School, whereby her own later description, she was "somewhat rebellious" and "enjoyed her social life".[16][2]

not trying to slut shame, but; what, EXACTLY does it mean when a 15 year old cocktail waitress describes themselves as: "somewhat rebellious" and "enjoyed her social life"
Then, when she turned 18, she married the owner of the bar where she worked
THEN, the bar owner became Jo Biden's senate campaign's BIGGEST funder
THEN Jill sat in the Bidens’ kitchen, and worked on his campaign.
THEN Jill was Jo's BABYSITTER for his kids
THEN Jill let Jo drive her corvette
THEN dumped her husband, and married Jo Biden
THEN! TWENTY NINE YEARS LATER, at the age of 55; FINALLY got her EdD
And NOW...
DEMANDS, that instead of calling her
High School Party Girl, or
High School Cocktail Waitress, or
High School Hooker, or
BABYSITTER, or
Goldminer... You give her the RESPECT SHE DEMANDS, and call her "doctor"

Michael K said...

Blogger mockturtle said...
The title 'doctor' is more widely applied in Europe and the UK when referring to PhDs,


It is an insult to refer to a surgeon in UK as "Doctor." The basic medical degree in Britain is MB ChB. Both are bachelor's degrees. The qualification for a surgeon is FRCS, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. If someone qualifies as an internal medicine specialist, "Doctor" may be used.

Nonapod said...

Honestly Jill Biden could call herself "Grand Empress of the Laniakea Supercluster" for all I care. I already have a pretty good idea about who she is. It's sort of like the tin pot dictator who awards himself all sorts of silly military medals and titles to satisfy their own vanity. It's not as if you're fooling anyone.

Gusty Winds said...

The higher education community calling each other “doctor” is just a fake intellectual bukake session. Lawyers receive a Doctor of Jurisprudence. Are we supposed to start addressing Althouse as Dr. Althouse now?

mezzrow said...

This sausage was first produced in 1936, after the All-Russian Research Institute of the Meat Industry developed a recipe for sausage and the technology for its production.[1] Its first production run was carried out at the Moscow Meat Processing Plant named after Anastas Mikoyan. The sausage was intended to be a dietary supplement for people exhibiting signs of prolonged starvation (specifically "patients with compromised health as a result of the Civil War"), hence its name. Because it was a mild-tasting, inexpensive and relatively healthy source of meat, Doctor's Sausage became very popular in the USSR.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor%27s_sausage

gspencer said...

"Doctor" Jill?

Maybe she could team up with Drs. Howard, Fine, Howard.

Michael K said...

Gigot also called attention to the fact that The Times usually ignores Ben Carson's MD and neurosurgeon experience and calls him "Mr Carson."

Gusty Winds said...

“I’m not a Doctor, but I play one at the University of Wisconsin”

mezzrow said...

"Starting in 1974, due to food shortages and other economic downturns in the Soviet Union, the industry standard for Doctor's Sausage was altered to include fillers and other low-cost ingredients to stretch the meat. The alteration of the Doctor's Sausage recipe is sometimes cited as one of the events presaging the eventual downfall of the Soviet Union."

Something to keep in mind.

Fernandinande said...

"Hi, everybody!"

"Hi, Dr. Jill!"

stevew said...

This use of Doctor is called an "honorific" because it is meant to convey esteem, courtesy, and respect, not acknowledge accomplishment or identify expertise. Clearly she is lacking in self-confidence that she insists on being referred to this way; confirms she is unworthy.

Mr Wibble said...

The higher education community calling each other “doctor” is just a fake intellectual bukake session. Lawyers receive a Doctor of Jurisprudence. Are we supposed to start addressing Althouse as Dr. Althouse now?

Oh no, lawyers are even more insufferable and get their own special title.

Browndog said...

The new fake first lady will not only adorn the cover of all the fashion magazines after a 4 year hiatus, but also the cover of medical journals.

Senator Ma'am must be gleaming with pride.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

And just because this thread involves community college.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MJx3dskcAE

Churchy LaFemme: said...

Similarly, when people are talking to their medical doctor, they often say "Doctor," not "Dr. Smith"

Oh, the pain!

Gusty Winds said...

I have a Masters in Communication that I partied all the way through in the early 90’s. I would sell it for $50. Somehow, I landed in manufacturing. I’ve had young graduates from Milwaukee School of Engineering work for me, and other schools.

One time a group of three that were working for me, asked how it was that I was their boss since I didn’t have and engineering degree. The degree defined them. All three were $100K in debt.

They basically said to me, “I’m a mechanical engineer”. My response was, “oh really, what have you mechanically engineered?” There was a perplexed uncomfortable silence. They then understood why I was their boss.

College is a joke.

James K said...

My wife and I have a running gag. She'll mention some symptom, and I'll suggest a medication such as Tylenol, and add "because, after all, I am a doctor" (I have a PhD.) And she'll say, "I am too" (she has a JD). Of course neither of us would ever presume to refer to ourselves in public as "Dr."

Cut It said...

I don't disagree with the term being ridiculous and pretentious. But until somebody prevails upon Dr Phil....

NCMoss said...

I called Dr. Jill about some intestinal problems and she told me to put the lime in the coconut.

tcrosse said...

The qualification for a surgeon is FRCS, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons.

In the UK the correct form of address for a surgeon is "Mr.", absent any more exalted titles.

narciso said...

Its like sally quinn admitted wiccan (she put a spell on two people) who became washington doyenne.

Iman said...

Doctor doctor
Give you the news
You got a
Bad case of lovin’ you
No pill gonna
Cure your ill
You got a
Bad case of lovin’
You

AndyN said...

"The Ph.D. may once have held prestige, but that has been diminished by the erosion of seriousness and the relaxation of standards in university education generally, at any rate outside the sciences..."

There's your misogyny. You can't do science because you're a girl so you don't deserve to be called doctor.

Sally327 said...

I thought it was an interesting first run at criticizing / teasing / mocking our new First Family, to see how far anyone would be allowed to go, which it seems it won't be very far at all.

I remember during the 2004 presidential race, Teresa Heinz Kerry made what could be considered disparaging comments about Laura Bush, something to the effect that she had never had a real job. This, of course, wasn't true as Mrs. Bush had been a teacher and librarian for 10 years before being married and having kids (itself a full time occupation). Mrs. Kerry apologized and Laura Bush brushed it off. Because not every criticism has to be met with the equivalent of an AC-130 gunship by way of response. There is dignity in just letting sh*t go. Especially if one has just succeeded to the post of First Lady and should be feeling very empowered and positive about life. I wonder how Dr. Biden feels about that honorific BTW, it's antediluvian IMO.

Scott Patton said...

I wonder if anyone ever took medical advice from Dr Jill with undue heed, similar to Donna Chang.

Gilbert Pinfold said...

I commented on this yesterday, but my further thought on this is: Can you imagine her being denied an Ed.D. at the University of Delaware while her husband was the state's senior US Senator? Also, remember that Joe Manchin's daughter was given an MBA from the University of West Virginia without having fulfilled the degree requirements. You might remember that she went on to run Mylan Pharmaceuticals, boosting the price of Epi-Pens 500% to increase her own compensation based upon sales revenues. Grift degrees for grifters...

Iman said...

Hey Joe
Where you goin’
With dat pud
In yo hand?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

and because its Christmas time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJcp0hnzbw4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFdy09uSX_Q

Gusty Winds said...

Dr. Dre
Dr. Detroit
Dr. Pepper
Dr. Seuss
Dr. J
Doc Holiday
Doc Severinsen
Dr. Evil

Dr. Jill Biden

What's the difference?

Wince said...

Similarly, when people are talking to their medical doctor, they often say "Doctor," not "Dr. Smith" or whatever, just "Doctor." Doctor!

"Handsome, pretty handsome, Dr. Smith."

mikee said...

Dr. Jill can demand we all call her Doctor. But we shall each and every one of us laugh at her each and every time we do so.

Dr. Jill won't be remembered by historians as a First Lady with a PhD. She will be noted, or more likely just footnoted, as the First Lady whose husband didn't finish his first term, resigning due to dementia.

robother said...

Lines I never got to utter in court (because I became a corporate lawyer): "That's Juris Doctor, to you, punk!"

Of course, I could've said it in a smoke-filled closing conference room, but somehow, it wouldn't been the same.

Will Cate said...

Not to put too fine a point on it, but if one is lucky enough to have lived 83 years, one has earned the right to call anyone "kiddo."

rhhardin said...

Doctor for MD isn't an honorific, it's a handy sign saying where to go if somebody needs medical help.

Nobody goes to an EdD for anything.

Todd said...

gspencer said...

Deep stuff, huh?

12/14/20, 8:57 AM


Reads like she pulled a "Biden" and plagiarized and/or summarized a lot of other people's work, and did(?) some surveys. Standard high-school report/research stuff.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

Ph.D - Piled Higher and Deeper. "Dr. Jill Biden" meets that definition.

Browndog said...

The point is the Biden's are already demanding news publications not publish articles even slightly critical of them. They're not even in the White House yet.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

And this one is self-explanatory.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omL0EFVyYJ8

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Show me what you've done — with or without a degree. That's why you get a degree — isn't it? — to do something with what you've learned, not to flaunt the degree per se.
...
He could be criticized for not showing any concern for how women in particular have used the this mode of demanding respect and dignity.


The major failure of Western Civilization and the Western "leadership class" is it's full of people who expect and demand respect and power because of their credentials, rather than because of anything they've actually done / accomplished.

Is "Dr Jill" going to give up the title? No. Because she's obviously never accomplished anything of value in her life, so all she has is the credential.

Note to people everywhere: If your greatest accomplishment in life is you obtained a credential, at a time when they're being handed out like cheap halloween candy, expect no respect, and you clearly have no dignity.

Because someone with dignity earns respect with accomplishments, not credentials

Meade said...

Well, I asked Doctor Jill Biden if I could see you
"It’s bad for his health," she said
Yes, I disobeyed her orders
I came to see you
But I found Hunter, Facebook and Twitter there instead
You know, I don’t mind you elites cheatin’ me
But I sure wish you’d take those off your heads
Those brand new leopard-skin pill-box hats

gilbar said...

Serious Question
Y'all know a LOT more people than i do; Have ANY of you, ever
a) had a PhD demand that you call them Dr?
b) thought higher of them because of it?

Krumhorn said...

She and “Dr” Blasey Ford can confer and give us the final word on how leftie ding bats should be addressed outside of the environment in which the title is relevant. It was certainly intentionally misleading.

- Krumhorn

Fernandinande said...

Doc Hol[l]iday was a dentist.
Doc Severinsen's father was a dentist.

wendybar said...

mikee said...
Dr. Jill can demand we all call her Doctor. But we shall each and every one of us laugh at her each and every time we do so.

Dr. Jill won't be remembered by historians as a First Lady with a PhD. She will be noted, or more likely just footnoted, as the First Lady whose husband didn't finish his first term, resigning due to dementia.

12/14/20, 9:21 AM

And a fraudulent first lady at that.....

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Blame this on Gusty Winds:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmgbbT_Eruc

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Now ask yourselves why the racist white-supremacist NYT calls Dr. Ben Carson “Mr. Carson” instead the honorific he earned as a brain surgeon. Petty slights are what the Left lives for. Lording their worthless titles over the rest of us feeds their egos. Mrs. Biden is a whore. Like all the Bidens.

gilbar said...

Greg said
The major failure of Western Civilization and the Western "leadership class" is it's full of people who expect and demand respect and power because of their credentials, rather than because of anything they've actually done / accomplished.


Yesterday, someone was berating me, because i had the GALL to ask what Vel Phillips had Ever accomplished (besides being black and female); and explained to me, that THAT was ENOUGH she was a BLACK FEMALE, and thus...DESERVED a statue commemorating her.
And i followed up, asking WHAT Vel had EVER actually DONE... I'm STILL waiting

Eleanor said...

I read her paper. She could have done the research and written it a week or two. Her "conclusion" falls into the realm of "No shit, Sherlock!" The degree she received is the one people get when they would like to move from classroom teacher to school principal or just rack up a few more bucks in their paycheck for doing the job they are already doing. An advanced degree in special education would have been more challenging, and if that is Jill Biden's interest, the only reason for not doing it is it would have required some real research. The path she chose says more about Jill Biden than her pretentious use of title.

J. Farmer said...

I once had an evaluator who was in the process of getting an Ed.D. After finishing all her requirements, she used to check her university profile daily since it would first go "official" on there before receiving material in the mail a few days later. The minute she saw that it updated in the system, she changed her voicemail to refer to herself as "Dr. so and so. I also once interviewed a guy who had a PhD from a diploma mill and a vanity license plate that said "Dr. Jim." I didn't hire him.

My mother is a physician and I have never heard her refer to herself as "Dr." outside of a professional setting. I can't imagine her ever correcting somebody for referring to her as "Mrs."

RNB said...

Hey, remember when 'Babs' Boxer got snotty with a general for calling her 'm'am' instead of 'Senator'?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNf9gCzJrbw

LYNNDH said...

Just remember that the current First Lady speaks several languages, is intelligent, and me being sexist she is very Elegant. The new incoming (oh that is a loaded word) Fraudulent Dr. First Lady will be lauded as the most intelligent, educated first lady ever. Poor Mrs. BO.

Scientific Socialist said...

I'm a 3rd generation MD yet it took me a long time to get comfortable being addressed "Doctor"(I felt like looking over my shoulder to see whether my father or grandfather was standing behind me). Even now, I prefer being "titled" only in professional circumstances. What's more, I know many scientists with PhD's who would never be so pedantic or pretentious as to insist on being called "Doctor". But an EdD is a degree in search of a purpose which entitles its holder to nothing but the skepticism of others.

Churchy LaFemme: said...

https://dilbert.com/strip/2001-07-14

gilbar said...

Krumhorn reminded me, about...
“Dr” Blasey Ford


I had already, TOTALLY FORGOTTEN about “Dr” Blasey Ford! I guess, in our Brave New World;
"Dr" will be a pronoun... Kind of like zhe, or zhem

In today's Brave New World, any cocksucker can call herself "Dr"

Krumhorn said...

My daughter has a PhD in astrophysics from Oxford, and not incidentally, she’s gorgeous. She got the physics from me and the gorgeous from her mom. Except within the confines of her science and in academia, she would never use the title of Dr.

But she always looks good.

- Krumhorn

J. Farmer said...

The major failure of Western Civilization and the Western "leadership class" is it's full of people who expect and demand respect and power because of their credentials, rather than because of anything they've actually done / accomplished.


Rise of the Meritocracy. Measurements like IQ, GPA, and SAT scores are the keys to elite institutions. This was typified in the UK with the introduction of the tripartite schooling system. It's been a major driver of social division between whites.

Amexpat said...

There's something un-American about honorific titles. My view is that Dr. should only be used for MDs in a medical setting. Patients should use Dr with their MD, but it becomes pretentious if an MD insists that the general public addresses him/her as Dr in all settings. Same rule for other titles like professor and maestro (Seinfeld made fun of the general use of that).

I'm Not Sure said...

"I called Dr. Jill about some intestinal problems and she told me to put the lime in the coconut."

Sounds like something Dr. Demento might have prescribed.

Narr said...

Good morning!

Jumping ahead, haven't read comments.

I used to read Epstein regularly in American Scholar and the like.

Brilliant essayist and memoirist.

Narr
Thought he was older

Lee Moore said...

mikee said...
Dr. Jill can demand we all call her Doctor. But we shall each and every one of us laugh at her each and every time we do so.


Isn't this the point ? The fuss tells us something about "Dr Jill" - that she's very vain about her meager educational credentials, and has skin so thin it makes rice paper look like armor plating.

In short - she's Obama, repeating itself as farce.

This vain dame will not be going quietly from the White House, when the 25A merchants feel it's time for Joe to go. She's fully on board with the Mrs Wilson role. I predict fun and fireworks, and much catfighting.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Gilbert Pinfold said...

I commented on this yesterday, but my further thought on this is: Can you imagine her being denied an Ed.D. at the University of Delaware while her husband was the state's senior US Senator?

I can't imagine her being denied an Ed.D. at all. Not unless she didn't finish High School or some such. Bill Cosby had one and he didn't have an undergrad degree.

elkh1 said...

Call her Dr. J.
The first Dr. J is not a doctor. The second Dr. J isn't a doctor either.

The first Dr. J is honored for his unusual accomplishments in his field.
The second Dr. J is honored for her steering her doddering husband to the WH, a far more unusual and consequential accomplishment than that of the first Dr. J's.

Spiros said...

I don't think this is the right take. Instead, the hysteria is a reaction to populism's war on expertise and its resentment toward intellectualism. The Biden Administration is opposite -- it's all about bureaucratic expertise.

It's going to be tough to convince the Trumpsters that the overly educated elite aren't stupid. My opinion -- the educated elite SOUND stupid and are biased and prone to group think. The elite are wrong just as often as they right, but they're not stupid...

TML said...

I read about 20 pages before I had to stop. It's terrible. A book report. It's risible nonsense for her to style herself a Dr. Ed degrees have been the domain of underachievers for decades. What a sorry area of study anyway, full of utterly bullshit theory and nonsense.

Howard said...

Nice feel good post to salve the wounds. Thanks, Ann!

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Just posting this because the parties involved are so puffed up it needs to be shouted from the rooftops!

Whoopi accidentally pitches Jill Biden as surgeon general

MadisonMan said...

I've used my earned Dr once this year I think. I roll my eyes at D.Ed types who insist on the honorific. How insecure must one be to do that?
I have lots of FB friends who are just outraged that Biden (Jill) has been dissed by this old white man.

rcocean said...

Nobody calls PHD clowns "Doctors". In the old days, when 5% of the population went to college, being a PHD meant something. Now, its just a joke, like all higher education.

Doctors = MD's. Y'know the people who cure us, and save our lives. Save the title for them.

M Jordan said...

Anyone remember “Dr. Ford.” You know, the lady who tried to bring down the cowardly Bret Kavanaugh? It was mandatory to call her “Doctor” because this is what today prophets of Baal revere: white lab coats and PhD’s.

I yearn for an Elijah to come along and slay them all. Maybe this old guy is trying to do that. At any rate, with three “doctor” children of my own and a Master’s myself, I reject all of it. And as for calling deceased superstar Christians “St.,” that’s Catholic B.S. to the same degree. We’re all saints, if we believe. Read the damn Bible.

lgv said...

I've been debating which is less deserving of respect, Ed.D or DC (doctor of chiropractic). I have worked with many phDs. I really didn't have a problem addressing them as Doctor, but I also knew the real distinction.

The real hidden truth is that an degree in education is the easiest degree to get. Not only do those who are on the road to failure in other majors switch to education, they end up with the most inflated grades. The post grad degrees are just as easy.

We can't really say this out loud, because these are the wonderful people sacrificing their lives to teach our children (poorly I might add) and they are over-represented by women.

One of the least productive employees I ever met had an MBA from an Ivy League school. As with most Fortune 500 companies, I didn't have to fire him. He was stolen by another needy department. After a pure act of righteous indignation at the lateral move he made, I just drove home smiling. His next boss had to fire him.

Marcus Bressler said...

I address my doctor in person with "good morning, Doctor Tobis". After that, I drop it. Using the title "doctor" in conversation with him would be just like me using "mister" with a non-medical person. "Hey, mister!" seems like something out of the 40s and 50s. I do call men "sir" during conversation if I don't know their name.

I have trouble knowing what how to address my Nurse Practitioners if they don't clue me in. My manners don't allow me to address someone by their first name unless invited to do so. The nurses, doctors and staff seem to have no problem calling me by my first name without asking permission. I don't get worked up about it. Life is too short to worry on about someone's manners if they are not related to you.

I did enjoy being addressed as "Chef" in some hospitality work situations, as I was proud of it. But I didn't insist on it. It was often just the protocol depending on the owner.

THEOLDMAN

You can call me "Pops". For some reason, it bothered my father immensely. Yet he referred to his father that way.

rcocean said...

I'm not interested in our fraudulent, crooked, "President elect" and his wife. Hope you liberals love these clowns, because they won't be round long in any case. You're going to get President Harris in by the close of 2021.

Temujin said...

I'm reminded of the Thomas Sowell book from 1992, "Inside American Education" which goes into detail of the state of Education in our country and thoroughly scours the education departments at universities and colleges across the country. And back in those years, we were still better off than we are now.

In a nutshell, Joseph Epstein nails the poseur that is Jill Biden and so many on the left (and the right) pasting their degrees on their foreheads as if to make you see them in a better light than they could on their own, without the pasted-on degree.

He is, of course, correct. And the louder they scream, the more you know he hit home. As for Northwestern- shame on them for removing him. I've read some of his books and he is a very good writer, both in fiction and non. That's a loss for Northwestern and their students, so that Jill Biden can paste her Ed.D. on her forehead.

Dave Begley said...

I've enjoyed the essays of Joseph Epstein for years. As a short story writer and essayists, he's in the same league as Ann Althouse.

Krumhorn said...

NPR has a policy only referring to someone as Dr if that person is a practitioner in health sciences including veterinarians. I guess that’s why they never call Newt, Dr Gingrich or the long time Fed chair, Dr Greenspan. The misogyny claim is leftie horseshit.


- Krumhorn

JPS said...

Gilbar, 9:29:

"Serious Question
Y'all know a LOT more people than i do; Have ANY of you, ever
a) had a PhD demand that you call them Dr?
b) thought higher of them because of it?"

a) Yes; b) no. But you reminded me of a fond memory. After my PhD defense, a professor on the examining committee who had always been very supportive of me, and had gently chided me for excessive formality when I first met him, put an arm on my shoulder and said,

"Now listen. You're a PhD now. And you don't have to call any other PhD "Doctor." And if he wants you to, he's a pompous ass so you shouldn't do it anyway."

All this is of course tied up with insecurities. In my line of work those most likely to insist on Dr. are either non-tenure-track faculty who've been made to feel like second-class citizens, or women irritated that students they barely know feel free to call them by first name. I've been skeptical, but this is a running peeve of my wife. She has no patience with a lot of aggrieved feminism, but she shows me recurring examples of this one in her e-mails.

Robert Cook said...

"The word doctor comes from the Latin word for 'teacher,' itself from docēre, meaning "to teach."

"The History of 'Doctor' www.merriam-webster.com ›"


That we have come to see "doctor" as legitimately applicable only to medical doctors does not mean the term is not still applicable to non-medical holders of doctorates.

WhoKnew said...

More importantly than all the deserved dumping on Dr. Jill for her pretentiousness, thanks for the link to the COOLEST American band. EVER! ...and they put a puppy in the video.

alanc709 said...

I thought Ed. D stood for erectile dysfunction.

Ficta said...

Good Lord. When I saw this mentioned, I thought, I bet she's not even a Ph.D. And sure enough: Ed.D. When I was in college, there were two sorts of people on campus who had Ed.Ds:
administrators, and the wives of professors who used their husband's position to get a teaching position (and were dumb as rocks).

Doug said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...

I call MY doctor whatever they want. I don't care if they wish to be addressed as Doctor or by their first name. Some people really seem to care about this crap on a personal basis. It reminds me of when I first started in business. you had people who REALLY cared if everyone wore a suit and tie, and other (so-styled "rebels") who got all worked up about NOT wearing a suit and tie. I didn't care one way or the other.

Doug said...

Whoopi accidentally pitches Jill Biden as surgeon general

Take it easy on Whoop.

She probably thinks, "yeah, you know, she got a doctorate and all from college and all, and probably that's where they, ya know, teach you like to be a doctor in education, so like if a kid gets all sick in class or sump'm".

Narr said...

I got called "Doctor" a lot on campus, but like Hayward I was quick to eschew the status.

One of the things I like about Prof. Epstein is that he didn't bother with a PhD. He may have been the source of my memory of a famous scholar and teacher at one of the Ivys, who never got the doctorate in his field because after all, "Who was qualified to serve on his dissertation committee?"

I do deploy my emeritus club when I think it'll do me some good, but it's just a tool, and since I didn't solicit it and was surprised to get it, why not?

Narr
Y'all can call me Narr

Matthew Heintz said...

Epstein assumes Jill Biden will be in the White House. Oopsies,never assume anything!

rcocean said...

College professors are left-wing clowns. Every history book I read now days from a Academic Historian is badly written, stupid, and full of errors. And they all follow the party line. There's no reason to retain Tenure, since there is ZERO independent thought. Just a bunch of sheep with PHD's.

Basically, the non-science portion of the academy has been living off the prestige of the PHD's in medical science, physics, etc. They even call themselves "Social science". LOL! We need to get rid of the tax breaks for colleges and public funding. Stop the scam!

Doug said...

"Serious Question
Y'all know a LOT more people than i do; Have ANY of you, ever
a) had a PhD demand that you call them Dr?


No, but I have a friend, Bob, who requires that I call him, "Maestro".

Todd said...

gilbar said...

In today's Brave New World, any cocksucker can call herself "Dr"

12/14/20, 9:40 AM


So, Dr. Harris then?

Freeman Hunt said...

The outrage has been something to behold! Strangely, the outraged posts by some PhDs have been so poorly reasoned that they support Epstein's claims.

Robert Cook said...

"My daughter has a PhD in astrophysics from Oxford, and not incidentally, she’s gorgeous. She got the physics from me and the gorgeous from her mom. Except within the confines of her science and in academia, she would never use the title of Dr.

"But she always looks good."


Is there a "Dr. Hottboddi" in the house?

gilbar said...

TML said, about "Dr" Jill's dissertation ...
I read about 20 pages before I had to stop


I made it to page 17. I thought it was pretty good... For a 15 year old Cocktail waitress

Howard said...

Los Angeles school board President when I was a kid was known as Dr. Docter.

bagoh20 said...

If a man with a penis can insist on being respected as a woman, "Doctor" seems like a minor issue. It's lying turtles all the way down.

eightfold said...

I prefer to be called “Maestro”.

gilbar said...

Todd agreed with me, saying....
So, Dr. Harris then?


She's a JD, isn't she? ;)

M Jordan said...

Anyone who demands the “Dr.” honorific deserves contempt.

Robert Cook said...

My professional name is "Dr. Love." I got my Dicktorate from the Pornhub School of the Sultry Arts.

MayBee said...

It's embarrassing that she wants to be called Dr, and it's more embarrassing that the media calls her that.

It really is sexist to not be able to tell a woman that she's being pathetic wanting to be addressed as Dr for having doctorate of Education. The people calling it misogynistic to call her out are indeed showing how infrequently they've noticed that men can get the very same treatment.

But the important thing here is watching the media kowtow to the wishes of the Bidens while PRETENDING they are doing it for all women. This is what we are in for.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. could not be reached for comment.

Howard said...

I'm more concerned about the stolen valor the msm perpetually approves for the CBS correspondent "Major" Garrett

MayBee said...

My medical doctor introduced herself to me as "Amy".

M Jordan said...

Martin Luther’s great contribution to the world was the dethroning of the top-down, priestly caste ruling empire. In that regard I am a Lutheran to the bone.

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MayBee said...

Howard said...
I'm more concerned about the stolen valor the msm perpetually approves for the CBS correspondent "Major" Garrett


Blame the Bidens with their stolen valor German Shephard "Major".

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Robert Cook said...

My professional name is "Dr. Love." I got my Dicktorate from the Pornhub School of the Sultry Arts.

Better watch out Cookie! Gene Simmons may want to have a word or two with you!

mockturtle said...

My husband was a PhD scientist as were all of his colleagues, many of whom were foreigners. I don't recall anyone being called doctor except at international conferences. Only exception was my husband's ex-wife who apparently demanded he be called 'Doctor' and railed against anyone who answered his phone without applying that title. She was, like him, British. But one of the German scientists in my department told me that, in Germany, I would be called 'Frau Doctor'. I assured him that we were far less formal here. Not all the Europeans were as comfortable with the egalitarian casualness of the American culture but most of the Asians were.

M Jordan said...

Trump has lost but the unraveling of the swamp sweater has only just begun.

Narayanan said...

I'm surprised and confused and disappointed that Professora did not venture into etymology briarpatch!

Doctor <<< from Doctrine ?

So what is the Doctrine we should be concerned about?

Michael K said...

This whole flap reminds me of Barbara Boxer when some general who had about 40 IQ points on her addressed her as "Ma'am." She quickly corrected him to call her "Senator," as she told him she had "worked hard for this title." The hard work included her role as Marin County supervisor and other prestigious positions.

Of course, she was a woman, her chief accomplishment.

Wince said...

Lucky for Joe Biden, Dr. Demento is already taken.

Todd said...

gilbar said...

Todd agreed with me, saying....
So, Dr. Harris then?

She's a JD, isn't she? ;)

12/14/20, 10:12 AM


Honorary degree in fluffing, based on demonstrated life experiences...

Achilles said...

I wonder who was more detestable:

Dr. Jill or Marie Antoinette?

Ann should do a poll.

M Jordan said...

Don’t know why this discussion triggered this memory but here’s my favorite scene in “Catch-22.”

“Just what the hell did you mean, you bastard, when you said we couldn't punish you?" said the corporal who could take shorthand reading from his steno pad.

"All right," said the colonel. "Just what the hell did you mean?"

"I didn't say you couldn't punish me, sir."

"When," asked the colonel.

"When what, sir?"

"Now you're asking me questions again."

"I'm sorry, sir. I'm afraid I don't understand your question."

"When didn't you say we couldn't punish you? Don't you understand my question?"

"No, sir, I don't understand."

"You've just told us that. Now suppose you answer my question."

"But how can I answer it?"

"That's another question you're asking me."

"I'm sorry, sir. But I don't know how to answer it. I never said you couldn't punish me."

"Now you're telling us what you did say. I'm asking you to tell us when you didn't say it."

Clevinger took a deep breath. "I always didn't say you couldn't punish me, sir.”


― Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Michael K said...

But one of the German scientists in my department told me that, in Germany, I would be called 'Frau Doctor'.

I understand that in the German Army, the wife also added the husband's rank. "Frau Oberst" or "Frau Feldwebel."

iowan2 said...

Dr, other than medicos, is all about insiders backslapping. And then, just in public. In public, lots of Phd's are mocked, as they should be.

Daughter and DIL both have masters, each freely admit the learned more at their job, while getting their masters, than from the course work. The masters was needed for advancement. A credential is needed because performance is not measured. Their respective husbands are engineers, and neither see a need for an advanced degrees, their output advances their career more than recognition of academia. But that's the story of hard sciences right? Not the made up "science" of education, that has real attention span problems, as well as a huge problem of identifying a goal.

Greg Hlatky said...

After January 21st it won't be anything except "Mr. Trump",

Stephen said...

Three thoughts.

First, there are lots of PhD's who like to be called Dr. It's not just a woman thing: clinical psychologists, for one, both male and femaie. Not to mention Dr. Henry Kissinger.

Second, I take it that it would be OK on this view for Dr. Biden to call herself Professor Biden, even though she only teaches at a lowly community college?

Third, as a person senstitive to nuance, Professor Althouse, don't you find it telling that this is the op ed the WSJ chooses to publish about the first First Lady who plans to continue her life work during her husband's presidency? What kind of message does that send?

CStanley said...

I endorse Mr Wibble’s comment above, that the title should only be used in context of a professional setting to which it applies.

I’ve got a DVM and have practiced on and off because of family needs sometimes taking precedence. During one such hiatus I became involved in a startup nonprofit dealing with children’s mental health, and for a time was the executive director. A board member kept urging me to use the Dr title and I told her it would be very deceptive as it would imply an MD or PhD in the psych field.

Robert Cook said...

"Better watch out Cookie! Gene Simmons may want to have a word or two with you!"

Gene Simmons? Feh! He only has an Ed.D. in the Sultry Arts. And he got it at YouPorn College, a third-tier institution if there ever was one!

Robert Cook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Readering said...

My beef is with the practice of addrssing former judges as judge. A mostly male thing, there being relatively few female firmer judges.

Readering said...

Former

Chris N said...

This will probably affect others like Dr Phil, Dr Nick and Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman.

Readering said...

Perhaps if he had addressed her and Kissinger together.

jaydub said...

Jill may have not be a real doctor, but she has extensive, personal experience in dealing with and guiding dementia patients, so she has that going for her, which is nice. Plus, she was honest about her degree and academic "achievements." Slow Joe, on the other hand, stated that he "went to law school on a full academic scholarship, the only one in my class to have a full academic scholarship," Biden also says he finished in the top half of his graduating class, won an international moot court award, and was the outstanding student in the political science department as an undergrad and earned three undergrad degrees.

Oops. He didn't have a full academic scholarship but may have had a partial need based grant in aid. He didn't finish in the top half of his law school class, he finished 76th out of a law school class of 85. He didn't win a moot court competition, he didn't even participate. He was not the outstanding student in the political science department and he didn't graduate with three degrees but with a double major in history and political science. But, he most certainly did not plagiarize a speech from Irish politician Neil Kinnock -- Oh wait, yes he did, word for word. But, he really was a coal miner just as he told union miners in WVA, when he said “I hope you won’t hold it against me, but I am a hard-coal miner, anthracite coal, Scranton, Pennsylvania,” He wouldn't lie about that. Oops, yes he would and did. Anyway, if we can elect a serial liar and braggart like Slow Joe president, we shouldn't take issue with a small thing like addressing his wife as doctor.

hombre said...

“Dr. Jill.” It’s just Biden stuff to impress the dupes like Whoopi Goldberg. Education is important to the Bidens. After all, remember that Joe graduated at the top of his law school class after having obtained three undergrad degrees. Bwahahahaha!

Sincerely,
Dr. Hombre, BS, JD

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

So many comments. Former judges being "judge": Americans, despite their informality, are famous for honorifics that never end, from president to senator to ambassador. At least one fairly well known professor who came from Germany to the States, grew up with "Herr Doktor Professor" kind of thing, and was thrilled to go with "Mr." "Maestro" figures in a great old joke about parrots.

CStanley said...

Ugh and another commenter brought up magazine covers and for the first time I realize that we’re about to start seeing fashion icon Dr Jill Biden everywhere, Ironically Melania Trump actually did have modeling credentials but was black balled from fashion mags, but now we’ll go back to the pretense that ordinary looking women who happen to be married to Democratic presidents look stunning all the time.

Rory said...

"First, there are lots of PhD's who like to be called Dr....Not to mention Dr. Henry Kissinger."

You have to keep in mind that he was the first.

rhhardin said...

I graduated in the top 95% of my class.

RNB said...

Back in high school, I had to explain to a young nun (smart woman but terribly naive) why Sargent Shriver had never achieved commissioned officer rank.

Splanky said...

You doesn't has ta call me Johnson, you can call me Ray.

BidenFamilyTaxPayerFundedCrackPipe said...

The leftwing press will circle the wagons around the corrupt and fraudulent Biden family - no matter the subject matter.

That's what our chi-com overlord thought crime press is for!

Sam L. said...

1: I like that song!
2: I have a Master's degree. I'm glad there is no "Slave's degree."
3: I'm with CStanley. After all, it's OBVIOUS that the media and the Dems are in cahoots.

Deborah M. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
khematite said...

Physicians actually came relatively late (the 17th century) to the preference for being referred to as "doctors." Lawyers came even later, when LL.B. degrees ("Bachelor of Laws") began to be traded in for J.D. degrees ("Juris Doctor"), starting around 1964. But the original "doctors" were theologians and teachers (primarily in the arts and sciences) at the university level.

https://www.cmaj.ca/content/re-who-entitled-be-called-doctor

"The word doctor is derived from the Latin verb “docere,” meaning to teach, or a scholar. Only by special arrangement do any of the preceding professionals [physicians, surgeons, dentists, etc.] teach. Only university professors with a doctoral degree normally teach at a university. Historically speaking, the title “Doctor” was invented in the middle ages to describe eminent scholars. These doctorates date back to the 1300s. Such people were accorded a lot of respect and prestige."

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