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What do I call people? All these scary titles!


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Hi Guys,

 

So I've noticed that a lot of people are having some severe problems with what they call others, even though it's right under someone's avatar what is proper to call them, simplifying matters for everyone. While a mistake here and there is nbd and nothing you'll be attacked for IC or OOC, it starts to break setting when it's habitually wrong all over when it's right under someone's avatar for this very reason. Then everyone starts playing monkey-see, monkey-do, and most of the board starts doing it all weird.

 

In case you need a refresher, here are the simplified rules of how titles and address works:

 

1.) Never, ever, ever use a surname for someone who has a title or a courtesy title. Most of the time not for a lord by courtesy either (all sons of dukes and marquesses, who are Lord Firstname Surname and called Lord Firstname). A peer is NEVER Lord Surname unless his surname is his title (in the case of some baronies and viscountcies). It is always Lord Langdon, not Lord Whitehurst, always Lord Chichester, not Lord Hardwick. Not even in introductions is Lord Surname ever used; there is absolutely no circumstance where surname is used as a mode of address with someone who can be addressed by title. Lady Sophia de La Cerda, Baroness of Toledo is incorrect, as is Lord George Hardwick, Earl of Chichester. It's Sophia de La Cerda, Baroness of Toledo, and George Hardwick, Earl of Chichester, never Lord or Lady in front of a surname.

 

2.) Never, ever, ever use a military rank for someone who has a title, courtesy title, or is a lord by courtesy. This is the epitome of rudeness and would be considered a conscious insult. It's like saying to a peer "you're no better than a common soldier and undeserving of your noble title." The highest dignity a man is entitled to is the one you always use, no matter the circumstances. Even in execution of military duties, a lord is a lord, and called "my lord" or addressed by his title, not his rank. It's always Lord Beverley, not Major Beverley or Major Saint-Leger. Lord Major Beverley or Major Lord Beverley is okay but never his surname, ever, or just his military rank. After all, one would not call Rupert "Admiral Rhine," would they LOL!

 

3.) When talking to a peer or peeress or one by courtesy you always use Lord or Lady Title. For example, it is rude to call the Earl of Brooke's wife "Countess Brooke" to her face, it's Lady Brooke. You only use the "countess" part when talking ABOUT her, not to her. Just always use Lord or Lady in all circumstances when the person is a lord or lady, it's easier

 

4.) Women who are married to a peer are Lady Title and called my lady, they are also never Lady Surname. Women who are unmarried and the daughter of an earl or above are Lady Firstname Surname. Women who are unmarried and the daughter of a viscount down through a knight are Mistress Firstname Surname and they are NOT called "my lady."

 

5.) Maids of honour and ladies in waiting, are only addressed as Lady Something if they ARE a lady by rank, meaning married to a lord or the daughter of an earl or above. Technically, they are NOT supposed to be called "my lady" either, that is an honorific reserved for those married to a peer or allowed it by birth to an earl or higher before she is married. After she is married, she takes ONLY her husband's dignity and nothing from previous husbands or father, including any old modes of address. Countess Atherstone is incorrect for Heather, as that is a very former husband, and lady would be used instead of countess if speaking to her anyway.

 

6.) All sons of dukes and marquesses are lords, while only the eldest son of an earl is a lord. Eldest sons of viscounts on down and earl's younger sons are "Master," unless their father is a viscount by courtesy who is heir to an earl or higher, in which case the eldest son of the eldest son in perpetuity is most often a lord by courtesy. Shaftesbury's heir's heir is a lord, as Shaftesbury is an earl and has subsidiary titles. Beverley's son (one day) will not be Master Saint-Leger but Lord Ulcombe, as his father is the Earl of Brooke and has subsidiary titles.

 

7.) Knights and Baronets are ALWAYS Sir Firstname and NEVER Sir Lastname. Sir Lastname is entirely incorrect and never done. If they are a "Sir" of any kind, it's always Sir Firstname. As in before Francis was given a peerage, he was Sir Francis, Sir Kirke is incorrect.

 

8.) Food for thought, but most wives even called their husbands by their title all the time or the vast majority of the time. Mothers even called their sons by their titles. In fact, almost all people with a title were never called by their first name their whole lives. Even their closest friends and family generally would call them by a pet name related to their title. It was exceedingly rare to use first names in our period; that was considered something for commoners. Buckingham was often called Bucks and referred to as the Duke of Bucks by his friends. In my mind, Beverley might not even register "Robert" as him if someone called him "Robert"; he's always been Beverley or Bev, even his parents rarely use his first name.

 

Although I've detailed most all circumstances you'll encounter on the board, basically, use the mode of address under the avatar in all occasions, and just remember that a surname is never, ever used for a lord or lady with a title or courtesy title. The rest of it is just mostly an FYI in case accuracy fascinates you

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It must be safe to over do it, I cant imagine anyone taking offence at being addressed in excess of their right - would you agree Your Excellency Master Cole?

 

Hmm, unless that sounds like yanking his chain?

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Now I think I understand introductions much better. I usually just wrote 'Sophia made the correct introductions' or something similar because I figured I would probably get it wrong. Sometimes she introduces herself wrongly because she is still getting used to her new name and title. I had the same problem when I got married the first time (except for the title bit, of course ... lol).

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Lots to reply to and so little time, so I'm going to be to the point You aren't going to get hunted down, but if you want to do it correctly, here's the answers:

 

 

 

Overshooting an honorific or a title isn't flattering, nor is using the wrong address completely.

 

You wouldn't call Francis Duke of Kingston or Earl of Kingston to flatter him, would you? I would hope not! So don't use a mismatched honorific that doesn't fit someone's rank/title because it's the same thing Technically the person you address wrongly should correct you to avoid potentially making it seem that they are pretending to be something they're not, and for a host of other reasons. Mainly among them is it's ill-bred and bucks the social hierarchy. You will have seen me do this a million times with John Ashburnham and Captain Herbert.

 

My lady or lord RANK is incorrect. It can ONLY be used in that form for a Duke or Duchess. My Lord Duke is OK (it's the only time you can use my lord for a duke), My Lord Earl or My Lady Countess is incorrect. My Lady Title can be correct, as in My Lady O'Roarke, in the same way that you use my lady wife, etc. Titles are always used for those who have titles. Using rank is considered rude.

 

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  • 5 months later...

We are only bumping the topic because it can be frustrating for the moderators, who have to manually set the ranks for new PCs as part of new character set up, when these handy ranks under the avatars go ignored. In the first place the "form of address under the avatar system" was placed there to make the players' lives a little easier, so bumping this topic is not meant to punish anyone--it's more a reminder that the work of checking titles for PCs is done for you as a player so it ought to be used as such.

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  • 1 month later...

I was meaning to inquire over how we address people with continental titles.

 

I think that the german Freiherr's, Freifrau's, and Freiin's were usually addressed as "Baron" or "Baroness" in english. But do we address Sophia as Senora de Toledo; Baroness; or do we anglicize the forms of address to be Lady Toledo? How about her husband the baron; and the ambassador's as well?

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Address PCs by what is under their avatar, no matter their nationality, and you'll be considered correct. As for NPCs, we just use the English form most of the time like Duncan said, but if you really want to know, when you meet a foreign PC, PM their driver and ask what they should be called.

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Address PCs by what is under their avatar, no matter their nationality, and you'll be considered correct. As for NPCs, we just use the English form most of the time like Duncan said, but if you really want to know, when you meet a foreign PC, PM their driver and ask what they should be called.

 

Okay, thanks!

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  • 4 months later...
  • 3 years later...

BUMPITY BUMP BUMP again ;)

 

Not a big deal, but I'm going to offer a little tidbit that might help a bit with this: Using a surname at any point in time (aside from formal/first introductions is almost always incorrect, because surnames were only used for utter commoners (or unmarried daughters) and pretty much never ever used for the male nobility or baronets or knights. Lords are always Lord Title, never Lord Surname. Knights and baronets are always Sir First Name OR Sir First Name Last Name NEVER Sir Last Name.

 

Here's an example with a lady using Mary Somerset, Marchioness of Worcester, only because Nicci did it so it's fresh in my mind 😂. Nobody would ever call her Lady Mary Somerset that's an entirely different person! That was actually Beverley's wife (the Marchioness' daughter) before she was married to him LOL. She could be Lady Worcester or Lady Mary Worcester, even informally Lady Mary or Mary with friends & with permission, but you'd never call her Lady Mary Somerset.

 

Also if someone is not a peer (or one by courtesy...eldest son of an earl, all sons of marquesses and dukes), you would never call them "my lord" or Lord Lastname and this includes knights & baronets & well as Scottish barons (because Scottish barons were not peers/noble and actually ranked below English baronets in precedence....their system is different, the lowest noble in Scotland is a Lord Parliament, LP). Technically speaking, if you misaddress someone as a lord, they are supposed to immediately correct you bc it is very, very bad form to impersonate a noble or let someone believe you are one when you aren't (pretty sure it could land you in jail LOL).

 

 

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