Carry on Doctor

May 28, 2015

Your article about the German fondness for academic titles reminded me of a German businessman announced to the company I used to work for as “Dr Dr Schulz” (“The no-holds barred title race”, From Where I Sit, 7 May). The Swiss employee dealing with him, unfamiliar with the German practice of allowing someone with two doctorates to duplicate the title, was uncertain how to address this man. He opted for a full-blown “Herr Dr Dr Schulz”, and, since this seemed to go down well, continued to address him in this way for months.

One day, over several pints of Bavarian beer, his opposite number mellowed. “You know,” he said, “I really can’t have you calling me ‘Dr Dr’ all the time.”

My colleague heaved a sigh of relief.

“Just call me Dr.”

Peter Butler
University of Applied Sciences and Arts
Northwestern Switzerland

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