THE Reverend Wright

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Sep 3 16:03:02 UTC 2012

This describes my response to Wilson's question fairly well. It's not
that I /object/ to the use of the article, but it seems overly formal
and outmoded. Perhaps Klein used it in a mocking style, but the rest of
the piece doesn't support this interpretation. One could argue that
Klein was merely being formal, but that's belied by dropping the titles
altogether in the rest of the piece, simply referring to "Wright". This
is one of several reasons why I found the use of "the Reverend Wright"


On 9/3/2012 10:33 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> The customary formula -- it used to be "the Rev. Mr." or "the Rev.
> Dr.", depending on the absence/presence of a D.D.
> The OED has reverend, adj., 1.c.:  "c. Chiefly with the. Used before
> a name as a title of a member of the clergy.In British English and
> varieties closely associated with it, the use of Reverend directly
> before a surname (without a forename, initial, or other title, as
> Doctor, Professor, etc.) and without the has typically been
> considered unacceptable, although examples of this kind are
> increasingly common throughout the 20th cent. In American English,
> this style is widely and uncontroversially attested from at least the
> 19th cent."
> Joel
> At 9/3/2012 02:34 AM, Victor Steinbok wrote:
>> I did a double take when I saw the first mention of "the Reverend
>> Wright" in an Ed Klein hit piece at I thought, oh, it's
>> just bad editing, a type sneaked through... But then I saw the second
>> one... I guess, he really means it:
>>> an attack on Romney's religious beliefs might encourage the
>>> Republicans to reciprocate by reopening the whole tangled issue of
>>> Obama and the Reverend Wright.
>>> During an interview I conducted with the Reverend Wright for my book
>>> "The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House," I asked the pastor if
>>> he had converted Obama from Islam to Christianity. "That's hard to
>>> say," Wright replied.
>> I suspect, Klein was thinking of the Reverend Wrong when he wrote the piece.
>> VS-)

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