Category Archives: Post-Nominals

Acronyms and Pre- & Post-Nominals

Over the past couple of months, I regularly run across acronyms, that I am simply not familiar, or perhaps a better word, ignorant. Every time I visit 23 (Hamilton) Field Ambulance, I am bombarded with conversation with multipe acronuyms in every sentence, I suppose in the 1970s when I was a young kean Medical Officer I used many acronyms of the day with abandon, and then when I was a practsing Physican I certainly used multiple acronyms in my  notes. Well here is the real deal, every time one crosses my path now, I ask the speaker to clarify exactly what he or she is talking about? My explanation is that I am an old guy now, and life has moved ahead of me! And if its in a letter, an e-mail, a facebook posting, a twitter, a podcast and or now a tumblr.. I immediately go to Google for a clarification, and usually end up on a wikipedia entry, for a wiki-comprehensive answer! The next day I have forgotten most of them. I am (not yet) a “texter”  but the generation one or twice removed certainly all are! I’ve seen a couple of message and the language appears to be a strange combination of abbreviations, acronyms, no vowels, et al. — all based on the English Language.

Another form of abbreviation is the use of post-nominals for business stationary, business cards, signs. The letters after your name is the way observes you qualifications for a job, position, profession, Military recognition and University degrees. The list is signicantly different with a common element for the United States of America, Canada and England. Wikipedia is invaluable in sorting through the differences.

Literary societies also grant degress, sometimes to a ridiciulous extent bordering on the absurd. I don’t think that the two sets of post-nominals should be combined at the same time. I do think it leads to confusion. This is truly a case where there is no wrong answer. Whatever the individual chooses to do is right-and-correct  for him or her.

For example, the use of Esquire (Esq.) after one’s name. I thought that it was for a man, upstanding in the community — in the old days, a Squire, and should not be combined with other initals acquired in his lifetime. But now I read that it is a term adopted by the legal profession in the US of A, and that a lady lawyer can legitimately use it as well, and they do! I think there is a contents here for a small monograph here, perhaps titled — The Dynamics of Sherlockian Post-Nominals: A Treatise on Titles, Investiture, Medals, Medallions and Awards for Meritorious and/or Long Service in the Literary Vineyards of Detective Fiction; and the felicitous ordering of them after the last name on stationary and business cards — and the alike.