THE Reverend Wright

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Sep 3 19:00:48 UTC 2012

/begin-formula; I apologize if anyone was offended that I did not
read this and other prior messages before I wrote my recent own
message. /end-formula;  But I note that --

1)  My example was from the Monday (New England, print)
edition.  (Victor's is from the on-line site, and dated Sunday,
presumably at a time when its was Monday in Korea.)

2)  The headline Monday is "Rev. S M M ...", but it occupies the
whole width so there was no room for "The".

3)  The illustration in the print edition says "The Rev. S M M ...".

4)   The on-line version's illustration now says "The Rev. S M M
...".  Has the on-line version been corrected?


At 9/3/2012 01:16 PM, Victor Steinbok wrote:
>The Sunday Times used "The Rev. Sun Myung Moon" in the obit title, but
>the photo caption just above reads, "Evangelist Reverend Sun Myung Moon".
>TIME uses "the".  So do the Seattle Times, The
>Independent, ITV and the Guardian, Salon. But not The Star (Malaysia),
>Radio Australia, WUSA, the Irish Times,, Radio New Zealand.
>Take it or leave it. On the other hand, those are all obits, so I would
>have expected a more formal style.
>     VS-)
>On 9/3/2012 12:03 PM, Victor Steinbok wrote:
>>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" puzzling.
>>     VS-)
>>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."
>>>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.
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list