“Ordinarily when someone goes by doctor and they are a PhD, not an MD, I find it a little bit obnoxious,” Sullivan said. “But it makes me smile because it’s a reminder that she’s her own person. She wasn’t there as an appendage; she was there as a professional in her own right.”
Newspapers, including The Times, generally do not use the honorific “Dr.” unless the person in question has a medical degree.
I’ve had a low opinion of the LA Times since I was in Long Beach when Bill Phillips, Steve Chu, and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji won the 1997 Nobel in physics. The LA Times front-page story was headlined “Californian, Two Others, Win Physics Nobel.” You had to continue to the inside pages to find the names of the other two laureates.
I have to say, spending eleven paragraphs on the question of why Jill Biden prefers to be addressed as “Dr. Biden” isn’t doing much to improve my opinion of the paper.
I don’t disagree with the claim that it’s somewhat unusual for somebody with a Ph.D. to insist on being called “Doctor.” It’s frequently an indicator that the person in question is a pompous ass, and “Dr. Firstname Lastname Ph.D.” is nearly infallible as a marker of asinine pomposity.
(I will be doing my best to avoid having my academic credentials listed on the front cover of the book when it comes out.)
But, honestly, she has the right to ask to be addressed in whatever manner she chooses. Yeah, fine, “Doctor” is usually reserved for medical doctors, but it’s not like she’s trying to prescribe medication, here. She’s just asking to be recognized as an accomplished individual in her own right, and not merely an appendage of Senator Biden.
That hardly calls for eleven paragraphs of snickering about her title.