Why no more hon­o­rofics?

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS -

I would like to in­quire as to why, when reporting in the Mir­ror, ti­tles for people are not now used af­ter the first in­tro­duc­tion.

By us­ing ti­tles, eg The Mayor, it is show­ing the re­spect that Of­fice is en­ti­tled to. This in­cludes Mr, Mrs, Ms etc and if these can­not be used, then it would be bet­ter to use their first name, be­cause just us­ing their last name could be mean­ing any­one.

At least if Bill Smith is the per­son’s name, it is iden­ti­fy­ing him as to which Smith you are talk­ing about.

It is not of­ten you get two people with the same first and sur­name, and if you do have two Smiths in the re­port, how can you dis­tin­guish which Smith you are talk­ing about? Usu­ally they will have dif­fer­ent first names.

Other pa­pers still uses ti­tles or first names, which I be­lieve is much more re­spect­ful and friendly to read.

Ruth McNa­mara, Alexan­dra Edi­tor’s re­sponse: As Fair­fax NZ be­comes more in­te­grated and we share news sto­ries across our var­i­ous print and on­line pub­li­ca­tions, it has been de­cided that we will no longer use hon­orifics in sto­ries to en­sure con­sis­tency.

As you point out, there is a like­li­hood of con­fu­sion if we are quot­ing from two people of the same sur­name, but you will see we dis­tin­guish be­tween the speak­ers by us­ing their first names also.

There are times when it may be ap­pro­pri­ate for us to use hon­orifics and we will con­sider these on a caseby-case ba­sis, but as a gen­eral rule our style has changed, which should suit the many people we in­ter­view who ob­ject to be­ing given a ti­tle.

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