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Old 03-18-2010, 09:43 AM
No Wikipedia Cites No Wikipedia Cites is offline
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Is "My Liege" still correct for addressing British Nobility & Royalty?

Since my experience of seeing English (UK, blah blah) royalty and nobility is limited to decades old BBC productions of Shakespeare, if I were to meet a noble or monarch of that Isle, would it be technically correct for me to address them as "My Liege?" That is what they do in Shakespeare; while I know it is not standard like "Your Majesty", if I did "My Liege", would I be meeting the minimum standard of addressing my betters? If not royalty, surely nobility?
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:54 AM
mbh mbh is online now
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Kings and queens are "Your Majesty", the first time you address them, "Sir" or "Ma'am" subsequently.

Other royals are "Your Royal Highness" the first time, "Sir" or "Ma'am" afterwards.

By the way, with the royals, you are not supposed to speak until spoken to.

Non-royal dukes are "Your Grace" or "My Lord Duke" the first time.

I think most other Lords are "Milord" or "Milady". Though I'm not 100% certain.

Look for a couple of books: Titles and Forms of Address, and Debrett's Correct Form. They will tell you everything you need to know about addressing the toffs.
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:18 AM
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would it be technically correct for me to address them as "My Liege?"
Do you owe them fealty or services?
http://machaut.uchicago.edu/?action=...Mozilla-search
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:22 AM
MarcusF MarcusF is offline
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No, not correct and "My Liege" is short for "My Liege Lord" and implies you are talking to your fuedal superior.
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:22 AM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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He or she is NOT "[Your] Liege" unless you have a feudal relationship. Calling someone "my Liege" is acknowledging that you hold a title by debt of feudal service, and have taken an oath of fealty to that person as your liege lord.
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:38 AM
Simplicio Simplicio is offline
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So do (modern) knights still take oaths of fealty when they're knighted? When Sir Ian McKellan and the Queen are hangng out, does McKellan address the Queen as "my leige"?
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:44 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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There are periodic threads like this in which an American assumes that Brits have to constantly worry about what they would say when they meet some member of the royal family or at least the aristocracy. You're about as likely to meet a member of the royal family in the U.K. as you are to meet the President, the First Lady, or one of their children in the U.S. They are normally kept from the public except in formal circumstances, and there it will be made clear how you should address them. If you should end up meeting them in some less formal circumstance (for instance, if you should meet a child of the monarch at a public school, a university, or in the military as a friend), you would address them by some informal name. The same thing would be true of the aristocracy. If you should meet one of them at a party, they probably would be introduced to you by some name that wouldn't even make it clear that they were part of the aristocracy. Only in formal circumstances is it necessary to use titles.

For that matter, most Brits never meet a member of the royal family or aristocracy. I'm not even sure if most Brits ever even meet someone with lesser honors. In three years living in England among smart and educated people, I only knew one such person. Years later he was made a CB.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:01 AM
chrisk chrisk is offline
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Corny I know, but this sort of thing always reminds me of... "Rise as my vassal, and take your sword!"
  #9  
Old 03-18-2010, 12:17 PM
Saltire Saltire is offline
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Back when I hung out with the SCA, the protocol mavens were real sticklers about this. Only nobility and certain officers were allowed to swear fealty to the Crown, and only those who had would be allowed to use 'My Liege.' Though almost everyone, in fealty or not, just used 'Your Majesty.'

I once heard a member of the royal retinue refer to the Queen of An Tir as 'Her Madge.'
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:29 PM
Gyrate Gyrate is offline
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Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner View Post
There are periodic threads like this in which an American assumes that Brits have to constantly worry about what they would say when they meet some member of the royal family or at least the aristocracy. You're about as likely to meet a member of the royal family in the U.K. as you are to meet the President, the First Lady, or one of their children in the U.S.
You may laugh, but it only took us Americans three years of living in London for my wife to meet (and have a nice chat with) the Queen; the wife has subsequently met Prince Charles and I've been in the presence of (i.e. was in the same room as but did not speak to) Her Maj twice in the past ten years. And we're no one special. It happens. The royals get around a lot.

"Ma'am" (pronounced almost like "marm") is the least contentious form of address in informal occasions.
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:44 PM
Max Torque Max Torque is online now
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I remember a short list of styles of proper address for various members of the nobility from an old D&D book; above a king and queen, of course, would be an emperor or empress, for whom the proper address given was, "Your Imperial Majesty." Can't remember most of the others, but the list went from "baron" through other levels such as "duke" and "viceroy" all the way up to "emperor".
  #12  
Old 03-18-2010, 01:32 PM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Back when I hung out with the SCA, the protocol mavens were real sticklers about this. Only nobility and certain officers were allowed to swear fealty to the Crown, and only those who had would be allowed to use 'My Liege.' Though almost everyone, in fealty or not, just used 'Your Majesty.'

I once heard a member of the royal retinue refer to the Queen of An Tir as 'Her Madge.'
heh ... I used to call him Ice Ice Baby ... but then again I was camp mommy for him for Pennsic 25 =) and my champion at the time [and for several years] was in Bloodguard.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:35 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Given his propensity for pushing quack medical remedies (such as homeopathy and coffee enemas), it is considered correct to address Prince Charles as "Dumbass".
  #14  
Old 03-18-2010, 01:41 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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I saw a 60 minutes segment about some Duke that was giving tours of his estate to raise money. After a few century's of high living and estate taxes, the nobility's wealth is running low.

It must be a little satisfying to address someone as My Lord working in a pastry shop.

I guess the family title remains even if they are shoveling manure for a living?
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:49 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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He or she is NOT "[Your] Liege" unless you have a feudal relationship.
Yeah, that only applies to your boss.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:52 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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I thought it was Dumbo because of the ears.

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Given his propensity for pushing quack medical remedies (such as homeopathy and coffee enemas), it is considered correct to address Prince Charles as "Dumbass".
  #17  
Old 03-18-2010, 01:53 PM
Alessan Alessan is online now
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Originally Posted by Max Torque View Post
I remember a short list of styles of proper address for various members of the nobility from an old D&D book; above a king and queen, of course, would be an emperor or empress, for whom the proper address given was, "Your Imperial Majesty." Can't remember most of the others, but the list went from "baron" through other levels such as "duke" and "viceroy" all the way up to "emperor".
Hey, I remember that list! I think it was in the Companion Set.

All I remember from it is that while a duke was "your grace", an archduke was "your highness", for some reason.

Last edited by Alessan; 03-18-2010 at 01:54 PM.
  #18  
Old 03-18-2010, 01:59 PM
Mk VII Mk VII is offline
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I guess the family title remains even if they are shoveling manure for a living?
The last-before-the-current Lord Nelson was a police sergeant.

Another peer who inherited a title in later life was an Australian cattle farmer.

The writer and humourist Patrick Campbell was Lord Glenarvy, though he never used the title.

Conservative MP Michael Ancram is the Marquis of Lothian, although you would never guess it from his website.
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:12 PM
Gary Robson Gary Robson is offline
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I remember a short list of styles of proper address for various members of the nobility from an old D&D book
I wouldn't give that source too much credence. Gary Gygax was American, after all, and D&D was set in a fantasy world, not in the U.K.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:01 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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You want proper forms of address for members of the British nobility? Here's your proper forms of address for members of the British nobility.

Ya gotcher Dukes, yer Dukes' wives (Duchesses), yer Dukes' mothers (Dowager Duchesses), yer Dukes' eldest sons, yer Dukes' younger sons, yer Dukes' unmarried daughters, yer Dukes' daughters-in-law and sons-in-law, and a whole separate table for yer Dukes' married daughters depending on the title of the guy they're married to! Ha ha ha ha, wot larks, eh?

Then ya gotcher Marquesses, yer Marquesses' wives (Marchionesses) and so on, and the whole bloody thing over again for Earls and Viscounts and Barons and Baronets! Yippeee!

My fellow Americans, I earnestly counsel you, do not try to learn this stuff. We fought two wars so we wouldn't have to learn this stuff, although we pretended it was about taxation and George III and expansion of territory and all those more respectable-sounding reasons. On the rare occasions that you would actually have to know how to address a member of the nobility nowadays, you can look it up in advance.
  #21  
Old 03-18-2010, 04:08 PM
Smapti Smapti is online now
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Given his propensity for pushing quack medical remedies (such as homeopathy and coffee enemas), it is considered correct to address Prince Charles as "Dumbass".
Not "His Royal Dumbass"?
  #22  
Old 03-18-2010, 09:28 PM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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aceplace57 writes:

> I saw a 60 minutes segment about some Duke that was giving tours of his
> estate to raise money. After a few century's of high living and estate taxes, the
> nobility's wealth is running low.

That's quite common in fact. Taxes are high enough that many, perhaps most, members of the aristocracy with impressive homes have to have tourists coming through frequently on tours to raise money. They don't have to run the tours themselves, since various heritage groups run such tours, allowing the home's owner to keep a large part of the ticket money.

Gyrate writes:

> You may laugh, but it only took us Americans three years of living in London for
> my wife to meet (and have a nice chat with) the Queen; the wife has
> subsequently met Prince Charles and I've been in the presence of (i.e. was in
> the same room as but did not speak to) Her Maj twice in the past ten years.
> And we're no one special. It happens. The royals get around a lot.

Could you tell me how this happened? This matches nothing that I've ever heard of.
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:35 PM
SteveG1 SteveG1 is offline
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My fellow Americans, I earnestly counsel you, do not try to learn this stuff. We fought two wars so we wouldn't have to learn this stuff, although we pretended it was about taxation and George III and expansion of territory and all those more respectable-sounding reasons.
[Paul Harvey] And now you know the rest of the story. [/Paul Harvey]
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:09 PM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Could you tell me how this happened? This matches nothing that I've ever heard of.
Depends what you do and where you live. In my neck of the woods, Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, has been a patron for a long time of a local charity. She's a bit of a stern mentalist, but is kind, like her mother, I think.
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:07 AM
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I saw a 60 minutes segment about some Duke that was giving tours of his estate to raise money. After a few century's of high living and estate taxes, the nobility's wealth is running low.
It's mostly estate taxes. Called Inheritance Tax here. Levied at 40%.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:25 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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I'm asking for a reply from Gyrate, not from anyone else.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:32 AM
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Our managing director is "Lord (i.e Baron) Carter of Coles" for official functions, but "Patrick" when he's in the office.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:41 AM
Paul in Qatar Paul in Qatar is offline
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What is a "peer?" Is such a person a peer to the Monarch? Is a peer 'of royal blood?' I ask as I know most peers (Lords) are life-lords nowadays.
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:23 AM
MarcusF MarcusF is offline
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My understanding was that peer was the short for of "peer of the realm", those that were considered equals of the monarch (and each other) in honour although not in rank. Definitely not limited to those of Royal Blood although frequently, but not always, members of the Royal Family have titles of nobility and are peers as well. Life Peers have been enobled by Her Maj in the same way as a hereditary peer - the only difference is that the title is not passed on.

It used to be that a "Peer" was one who sat in the House of Lords but that isn't the case these days when most of the hereditaries have been banished! So, for instance, the Duke of Westminster is definitely a peer but does not have a voice in parliament.
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:28 AM
Celyn Celyn is offline
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Since my experience of seeing English (UK, blah blah) royalty and nobility is limited to decades old BBC productions of Shakespeare, if I were to meet a noble or monarch of that Isle...
How interesting that you seem to see the difference between England and the U.K, as being merely "blah, blah". So, the fighting against ignorance still has some way to go, it seems.

Quote:
... monarch of that Isle
Which isle did you have in mind there?
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:10 AM
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Conservative MP Michael Ancram is the Marquis of Lothian, although you would never guess it from his website.
Surely he would have to have renounced his title in order to be an MP.

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Depends what you do and where you live. In my neck of the woods, Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, has been a patron for a long time of a local charity. She's a bit of a stern mentalist, but is kind, like her mother, I think.
Well, you are a Baron.

Bur seriously, Princess Anne can read minds?!
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:32 AM
Mk VII Mk VII is offline
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No, he inherited it after the hereditary Peers were expelled from the House so he's still eligible.
  #33  
Old 03-19-2010, 08:17 AM
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No, he inherited it after the hereditary Peers were expelled from the House so he's still eligible.
The other example being Viscount Thurso, who did sit in the Lords until 1999 and who, without renouncing his title, is now the MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross.

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The last-before-the-current Lord Nelson was a police sergeant.

Another peer who inherited a title in later life was an Australian cattle farmer.

The writer and humourist Patrick Campbell was Lord Glenarvy, though he never used the title.

Conservative MP Michael Ancram is the Marquis of Lothian, although you would never guess it from his website..
Not forgetting the 5th Baron Haden-Guest and his baroness.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:18 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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I once heard a member of the royal retinue refer to the Queen of An Tir as 'Her Madge.'
I tend to go with the classic "Queenie".
  #35  
Old 03-19-2010, 10:02 AM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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I'm asking for a reply from Gyrate, not from anyone else.
Sorry for intruding on your thread Wendell.
  #36  
Old 03-19-2010, 10:46 AM
Gyrate Gyrate is offline
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I'm asking for a reply from Gyrate, not from anyone else.
Nevertheless, <irony> the Baron </irony> is correct - it is basically where you live and who you know.

In our cases, it's because we're musicians who live in London and travel in the right circles - not posh ones, but charitable ones. The wife's meeting with the Queen was during a visit by Her Majesty to a charity we were affiliated with. A composer acquaintance had written a special short piece for the occasion which was peppy and upbeat, which I gather was such a novelty to a woman used to entering every room to the strains of the dreariest national anthem ever that she stayed to talk to the musicians for a while. The Prince Charles thing was a FOAF getting her a gig playing background chamber music for a function; Charles does like his music. And my encounters were as part of the BBC Symphony Chorus: we did the Proms at the Palace in 2002 and a later Royal Prom concert at the Royal Albert Hall which she attended. She did some meeting-and-greeting at both events.

All the royals do a lot of charity work, especially the Queen and Princess Anne, so they do spend a lot of facetime with the great unwashed.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:34 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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O.K., thanks, Gyrate. I knew that all of the royal family did a lot of appearances at charity functions. I should have made it clearer what I meant when I said that most people would never see the royal family except at formal functions. I didn't mean just being invited to Buckingham Palace for a ball. A charitable function is formal in that the member of the royal family is scheduled, has a set speech to deliver, and doeesn't come there just to hang out. My point still stands that nearly all people nearly all the time in the U.K. don't have to worry what title to call somebody by.

I apologize, Baron Greenback (or should I address you by some other title?), but you've got to understand how confusing the SDMB can be at times. Some poster will tell part of a personal anecdote. I will ask for clarification about the anecdote. Some other poster will jump in and decide that it's his job to explain it, even though it's not something that anyone except the first poster could possibly know about. I'm not trying to stop you from posting. I'm just trying to get the actual question that I asked answered. Discussions on a message board are still very frustrating for me. It's often messy when someone doesn't understand who a post has been addressed to.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:49 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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I apologize, Baron Greenback (or should I address you by some other title?)
Ooh ooh, I know this! The correct form for direct address in speech would be "Lord Greenback" at the initial address, and "my lord" subsequently.

If you're on familiar terms, you would just call him "Greenback".
  #39  
Old 03-20-2010, 12:23 AM
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I still want to know about Princess Anne's telepathic powers, though.
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:59 AM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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I still want to know about Princess Anne's telepathic powers, though.
Subject to correction by Lord Greenback, I would venture to guess that the phrase "she's a bit of a stern mentalist" might be a delicate way of conveying the same notion implied by the more familiar American euphemism "cranio-rectal inversion". See, "stern" in the sense of... oh never mind, you get the idea.


If this interpretation is horribly off base and grossly maligns Her Royal Highness, I abjectly apologize, but given some of the assessments already offered in this thread of the intelligence of her brother Charles, it seemed like a reasonable inference.
  #41  
Old 03-20-2010, 02:02 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is online now
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So when do I use "Sire"?
  #42  
Old 03-20-2010, 02:16 AM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Originally Posted by Celyn
Quote:
Originally Posted by sassyfras
Since my experience of seeing English (UK, blah blah) royalty and nobility is limited to decades old BBC productions of Shakespeare, if I were to meet a noble or monarch of that Isle...
How interesting that you seem to see the difference between England and the U.K, as being merely "blah, blah". So, the fighting against ignorance still has some way to go, it seems.
Oh-oh sassyfrass, looks like you pissed off the Scots!

Actually, Celyn, my impression was that the OP's use of "English" instead of "British" in that sentence was inspired by the specific context of Shakespearean England. And thus the "blah, blah" was meant more or less as shorthand for "Yes, I'm aware that the modern-day state in which the monarchy and aristocracy I'm talking about here are preserved is called the United Kingdom rather than England."

Note, in support of this interpretation, that the OP correctly used "British" rather than "English" in the thread title.


Well, that's enough of my interpretations for one evening I think; good night, gentles all.
  #43  
Old 03-20-2010, 04:27 AM
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So when do I use "Sire"?
When you aren't talking about the bitch.

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Years later he was made a CB.
His rubber ducky is, however, bent, owing to an unfortunate incident at a truckstop in Tupelo.
  #44  
Old 03-20-2010, 10:38 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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This is what a CB is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_the_Bath
  #45  
Old 03-20-2010, 02:10 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Ooh ooh, I know this! The correct form for direct address in speech would be "Lord Greenback" at the initial address, and "my lord" subsequently.
"My lord"? Just as we've discussed, he's not my lord. I don't work in his house or on his estate, and I'm not feudally bound to him in return for a small province inclusive of people, buildings and animals.

If I meet him as a social equal, which these days is just about everyone except his grounds and house servants, if any, wouldn't I simply go on calling him Lord Greenback, as I might address his younger brother Mr. Whatever? Then, as noted eventually Greenback, on the same circumstance as when I might drop the Mr. in talking to his brother?
  #46  
Old 03-20-2010, 02:20 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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No, he inherited it after the hereditary Peers were expelled from the House so he's still eligible.
Also, eldest sons of higher peers, almost invariably have and may be known by their own titles, like the Earl of Brideshead in Brideshead Revisited, but those are only courtesy titles. Those individuals are legally still commoners, so even before the changes they were allowed to be MPs. It's mentioned near the end of the novel as something which the Earl might have done as a career, but had come to nothing.

Last edited by Spectre of Pithecanthropus; 03-20-2010 at 02:22 PM.
  #47  
Old 03-20-2010, 02:28 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Our managing director is "Lord (i.e Baron) Carter of Coles" for official functions, but "Patrick" when he's in the office.
Is he a Life Peer?

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but these days don't most Life Peers use their birth last name as their titles, like Baron Olivier and Lord Black?
  #48  
Old 03-20-2010, 04:45 PM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Subject to correction by Lord Greenback, I would venture to guess that the phrase "she's a bit of a stern mentalist" might be a delicate way of conveying the same notion implied by the more familiar American euphemism "cranio-rectal inversion". See, "stern" in the sense of... oh never mind, you get the idea.
No, no not at all. She's stern in the sense of having a somewhat forbidding visage, and a mentalist in that she is not wired up in quite the same way as most other people. I suspect all of the Royals will be like this, product of bizarre upbringing I suppose, and it's hard to describe her otherness, it's just there. She is very nice though, and surprisingly chatty.
  #49  
Old 03-20-2010, 04:49 PM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Location: Scotland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus View Post
Those individuals are legally still commoners, so even before the changes they were allowed to be MPs.
The commoner thing is a bit odd, really, and often misunderstood*: technically Princes William and Harry are commoners.

*not by you I hasten to add.

Last edited by Baron Greenback; 03-20-2010 at 04:51 PM.
  #50  
Old 03-20-2010, 05:07 PM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner View Post

I apologize, Baron Greenback (or should I address you by some other title?), but you've got to understand how confusing the SDMB can be at times.
You can call me anything you like sweet-cheeks.

Point taken, though. I'm going to guess that you are more comfortable with newsgroup-style threading?
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