(Closed) Is a Dr. still a Jr.?

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
1700 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

This is a great question, and I have no idea what is proper.  I guess if Dr. John has a baby John, that would be still be John III, so I am guessing the Sr and Jr must stay?  However, in matters such as these, I often just ask the relevant parties how they would like to be addressed.

Post # 3
3056 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I think so. I think Dr. King was still addressed as Jr. But that’s my only reference point. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Post # 4
5054 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

View original reply
maybemaybeline :  I’d say the second one. 

I’d use your cousins professional title. I’m assuming that it doesn’t contain junior in it. I’d also also do away with the senior for your uncle. With the second option it is pretty clear as to who is who just by looking at the prefix title which negates why junior and junior and senior was used initially.

Post # 5
1919 posts
Buzzing bee

Dr. is still a Jr. Just because he has more education now doesn’t change his familial lineage. Dr. is a reference to his educational status, Jr. is a reference to his genealogical status. Your first example would be the correct way to address both parties.

Post # 6
733 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016 - Wedgewood Las Vegas

One is an educational/career title, and the Junior is often part of a legal name.

If the Jr. is part of his legal name, you would use “Dr. John Ryan, Jr.

I wouldn’t put the senior in your uncle’s title, if it’s not part of a legal name (not usually, anyways).

Post # 7
2163 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - Valleybrook Country Club

View original reply
maybemaybeline :  The prefix does not change the suffix. If the father was a Dr. the child would still be a jr, but not addressed as a Dr. The legal name on a birth certificate, driver’s licens, passprt, etc.. is all John Smith Jr. If he is legally a Jr, he would have to petition to legally change his name to remove the Jr.

“Mr. John Ryan Smith, Sr. and Dr. John Ryan Smith, Jr.” is correct

Post # 8
1474 posts
Bumble bee

I would assume that if jr is in the birth certificate it’s their name. no matter what the prefix is.

Post # 10
1094 posts
Bumble bee

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<div class=”text-holder”>

Ai, ai, ai. Let’s untangle this mess.

The only reason you tag “Jr.” or “Junior” onto someone’s name, is to differentiate him from his father. If the father does not also use the title “Doctor” or “Dr.” then that title is sufficient and you would not also use Jr. If the father is also a doctor, then you do need to use Jr.

A gentleman is never given the label “Sr.”; that is used only by a widow to differentiate herself from her daughter-in-law. As long as Mr John Smith is alive, his son is Mr John Smith Jr. and his grandson is Mr John Smith III. (His nephew is Mr John Smith II, rather than Jr., because he is not in a direct line of descent.) His wife is Mrs John Smith, and his daughter-in-law is Mrs John Smith Jr.

When the gentleman dies, his son drops the Jr and becomes just Mr John Smith. His grandson drops the III and takes Jr. instead. His nephew stays Mr John Smith II. Since the daughter-in-law takes her name from her husband, she is now Mrs John Smith. Where does this leave the gentleman’s widow? She was also Mrs John Smith. Now she becomes Mrs John Smith Sr.

I know, I know: television has accustomed us to using “the Third” as a claim to old-family-Boston snobbery, through the example of Doctor Charles Emmerson Winchester the Third, with “the Third” kept for its snob-appeal even after the father and grandfather die. It gives its holder the nice superior feeling of being named like an English king. But it is not proper usage and, like most pretention, is in bad taste. Hollywood is a poor arbiter of proper social form.

“Junior” only becomes part of a legal name when it is used as an actual second or third (or fourth) name on the birth certificate. That’s not an example of the “title” being part of a legal name, but of a person being given an odd — and potentially inappropriate — given name. But social names do not incorporate the entire legal name, and follow different rules. Of the two, the social rules are far and away the more complex.

Now, you didn’t ask about this, but if you are inviting these two adult men as individuals, rather than as a social unit, they really should each get his own invitation. If you are truly planning on sending one invitation to the two of them, then please put their names on two separate lines to avoid implying that they are in a marital, or equivalent-to-married, relationship:

Mr John Smith
Dr John Smith

is correct.


Post # 11
4023 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY

View original reply
maybemaybeline :  My husband is a second (II) and has his PhD and he does go by Dr. First Middle Initial Last II or First Middle Initial Last II, Phd. 

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