Monday, September 30, 2019

Pondering how to address the reverend clergy

From Baltimore-

Despite commendable efforts at housecleaning in recent years,* the Associated Press Stylebook retains some regrettable relics. For today’s homily, we’ll have a look at Rev.

The stylebook entry states what has long been considered orthodox practice: “When this description is used before an individual’s name, precede it with the word the because, unlike Mr. or Mrs., the abbreviation Rev. does not stand for a noun.”

That is, the word reverend and its abbreviation are adjectives.

There are some problems with this supposed rule, which H.L. Mencken in The American Language traces to nineteenth-century diktats by Richard Grant White (who delighted in inventing rules of grammar and usage) and William Cullen Bryant (who delighted in prohibitions).

More here-

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