[LMB] Titles

Harimad harimad2001 at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 13 19:53:27 BST 2011

AW> For the female side we have Ekaterin saying she's "Not
AW> milady, merely Madame", if that's any help.

TZ>On Wed, 8/3/11, Tony Zbaraschuk <tonyz at eskimo.com> wrote:
TZ> Of course, she's a widow; perhaps the rules are different
TZ> for non-married Vor women. [...] The curious are urged to
TZ> consult an old-fashioned etiquette handbook and note the
TZ> different class titles and rankings. [...] Also, try reading
TZ> some Russian Imperial Court memoirs, or Saint-Simon's memoirs
TZ> of Versailles, to see how bad things could get.

I have some experience with US diplomatic and governmental circles, it can get complex here and now, even without the feudal aspects.  For example, addressing envelopes.  In every case I've encountered the man's title comes before the woman's: Mr. & Mrs., Mr. & Admiral, Judge & Justice.  

But there's a single exception.  If the justice in question is a US Supreme Court justice, her title comes first *and* the family name comes immediately after: Justice O'Connor and Mr. O'Connor for Justice Sandra O'Connor and her (late) husband Mr. John O'Connor.

Here's another: in the late 1800s in the US, if a woman were introduced as Mrs. HisFirst TheirLast, she was married or widowed.  If she were introduced as Mrs. HerFirst TheirLast, she was divorced.

I expect that adult male Vor to use, in order of preference: feudal rank, military title, government title, job title (if being formal), Mr.; and possibly "Pa" for old hill men[1].  We have much less evidence about women's titles, despite there being fewer roles for them on Barrayar.  I expect adult Vor women's titles to show a different preference order: feudal rank by marriage[2], job title, Madame/Mrs; with "Ma" for old hill women.[3]

- Harimad

[1] I wonder if a man has to be a father to be "Pa LastName," or if it's used as an honorific.
[2] There being no evidence that Vor women keep their natal titles after marriage.  There's also no textev of what happens to Vor women's titles if they marry non-Vor.  What if Alys marries Simon? 
[3] See footnote 1.

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