What’s more pompous: an accomplished professional woman who went back to school and earned a doctorate at age 55, or a newspaper setting itself up as the arbiter of who should be allowed to use that title?
The LA Times apparently thinks that the person who earned the degree is the pompous one, but that’s not really much of a surprise, since they’re the ones claiming the mantle of arbiter of faith and morals in this case. Apparently, they don’t think people should use the title “Doctor” unless they’re MDs. In support of their position, they trotted out a number of dubious quotes from authorities that can best be described as, well, questionable. (Note the lowercase “q”.)
I really loved this particular gem:
“My feeling is if you can’t heal the sick, we don’t call you doctor,” said Bill Walsh, copy desk chief for the Washington Post’s A section and the author of two language books.
A quick search of the Post’s website turns up quite a few mentions of “Dr. Kissinger” and “Dr. King.” In fact, the Post ran an editorial just a couple of weeks ago that used the phrase “Dr. King” no less than three separate times.
The editorial in question ran on page A18.