Professional Titles

Why are dentists calling themselves Doctor lately?

In fact, why do doctors call themselves Doctor?

What would be wrong with their real names?

When did dentists start calling themselves Doctor?  They’re not fucking doctors.  They’re dentists.  Just like vets aren’t doctors.

Just like, in fact, most doctors aren’t doctors, because most of them
don’t have doctorates, or don’t teach, or both.  And yet, oddly enough, we don’t call our teachers Doctor, even though they actually do teach.

I don’t remember dentists calling themselves doctors ten years ago, so what changed?  What’s their problem?  Is it an American import?  Can they charge more if they’re called Doctor?

It makes no sense.  What’s going to happen if you have a heart attack at the opera?

Let me through.  I’m a doctor.

No you’re not.  You’re a fucking dentist.

Open wide.


Speaking of which, can it be an accident that the three most pampered and self-regarding professions are the ones most likely to insist on titles?

My accountant doesn’t expect me to address him Counter McNutty, or Grand Compteur, or Beans or anything else.  He’s just Tommy the Book.

My barber doesn’t insist on being called Friseur or Tonsor.  People don’t grovel and mutter and tell you they’re under the care of Tonsor Smallbore-Fiddleknob.  Of course they don’t.

My barber is Pat.  Pat the barber.

My plumber is Martin.  Martin the plumber.

My mechanic is George.  George the mechanic.

if I hire someone to redesign the crumbling west tower of the Bockschloss, will he insist on being addressed as Arkitekto Plasmabastard?

Of course he fucking won’t, if he wants to get paid.

So let me ask you.  What’s so special about these other fuckers that they won’t let you use their fucking names?

Doctor Scrofula will see you now.

Will he indeed, the fucker?  Doctor Scrofula me bollocks!   I remember when he was plain Jimmy Scrofula and we used to kick fuck out of him on the football fieldWhen he was sober enough to play football, that is.

You know it drives me fucking mad, all these titles. Yes Judge.  No Judge. Three bags full of soiled horsehair, Judge.

And as for the fucking clergy, don’t get me started on those bastards.  Here comes a young priest and he wants me to call him Father.  He can fuck off.

You’re eight, for fucksake!

You’re not my father, you spotty little prick. In fact, by your appearance, you’re not capable of being anyone’s father.  Fuck the fuck off.  Get back to your kiddie-fiddling and let me alone.

Bah.  I’m not in a good mood tonight, though you’d never guess it to look at me.

38 thoughts on “Professional Titles

  1. Why do students have to call male teachers “Sir”? Have they been knighted? And if so, by whom.

    Why is Tony O’Riellys knighthood recognised here? (No offence Liz)

    Indeed why do we refer to Kings and Queen as Majesty? Who said they were majestic.

    Why do members of the British peerage still have legal title to lands originally stolen from its owners?

    Why do we appoint select “professionals” such as priests, or bank managers, ffs, as being allowed to sign passport applications? I can prove who I am, I don’t need Seanie Fitz or Fr.Paedophile vouching for me.

  2. Here’s one for you why do people insist on saying MY PLUMBER, MY CARPENTER, MY DOCTOR, MY LAWYER and while we’re at it when the fuck did we start calling them lawyers? That gives me a pain in the hole that shit does.

  3. That’s because I won’t use sanyone else’s plumber, carpenter, doctor or lawyer.

    They’re mine.

    And yes, they were always called lawyers. It’s a very old word, going back as far as the 14th century, which is much further back than Solicitor or Barrister can reach.

  4. Must admit, i started calling my dentist doc a couple of years ago. Wassup dentist did’nt have a good ring to it. Thats interesting about the time factor and lawyers. Know of any descriptive name before then?

  5. Now there is a gooood title to have, “And, may i introduce Bastard Thomas Moloney, respected prescription & sick cert provider”

  6. Me mate Dave started a waste removal business recently. His new title? Skippy. Simple as that.

  7. The most annoying bit is the going back to being “Mr.” when they become consultants. God forbid anyone would address them as Doctor then.

    there’s a good Seinfeld episode where an orchestra conductor insists on being referred to as “Maestro” at all times. You’d probably like it.

  8. Only if they become surgeons, and even then, not always.

    But at least they wouldn’t insist on you saying Howya Mister!

  9. I have always addressed consultants by their first name. Especially when they have a group of puppies with them. Showing them , their puppies, what an interesting example of various aliments which I have suffered over the years. They usually wince, and leave the puppies in the locker for the next visit. When you think of it, we all eat, sleep and shit even Kings ,Queens and consultants , Bankers too. Politicians may be an exception to the shit reference they appear to be so full of it, they could not afford to . They would disappear down the pot.

  10. It’s kindof useful in some cases though. Most female academics will go by ‘Doctor’ or ‘Professor’ instead of ‘Eileen’ or whatever, simply because a lot of academics are misogynistic. If your paper is being reviewed by someone who thinks a penis is a prerequisite for writing a publishable paper on the application of stochastic differential equations in prediction algorithims for financial analysis; and your job performance review is dependant on how much you publish; then you use ‘Doctor’ or ‘Professor’ as a defence mechanism to protect your morgage payments. And fair enough – if someone’s being a total bastard, then it’s not on to call the response arrogance.

    Mind you, if I come across one more computer programmer calling themselves a software engineer when all they’ve got is a FAS course under their belt, I may lose my composure and give them a two-hour lecture on exactly why professional titles like ‘Engineer’, ‘Doctor’, ‘Barrister’ and the like have specific requirements in law before you can claim them and why it actually matters.

  11. No. I don’t recommend writing with a penis.

    I don’t know about “Barrister”, but Engineer is not protected in law, and anyone can use the title Doctor provided they don’t represent themselves as a medical practitioner.

  12. “Engineer” is protected in law (just not here as that exact title). In Ireland, the protected title is either “Chartered Engineer” or “European Engineer”. One’s managed by the IEI (and you see it mostly for Civil and Mechanical engineers, but it’s available for all engineers including Computer engineers) and is awarded as part of a national-level qualification, the other is locally managed by the IEI but is an EU qualification (and you have to get the C.Eng before you can get the Eur.Ing). They’re protected by the Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland Act 1969 and a few associated SIs.

  13. Sir Doctor A. O‘R springs to mind in this regard.. However if one has enough Gold one may call oneself anything one wishes. May one not? It seems the Hall’s of Academia frown on the use of Honorary Doctorates and K.B.E. does not entitle one to Sir. It is just not Cricket old boy.

  14. However if one has enough Gold one may call oneself anything one wishes. May one not?

    One may, but one will need the gold to defend oneself from the subsequent legal action undertaken by the relevant offended professional society…

  15. Mark — The “Chartered” part is protected. “Engineer” is not. Just ask the guy who fixes your washing machine.

  16. Mark Train Drivers are “Engineers” anyone working with an engine is an “Engineer” . I am of the opinion that the term “Computer Engineer” is something of an oxymoron. Given that Computers are not Engines in my opinion.

  17. The word “engineer” has Latin roots and is related to “ingenuity” as is the word “engine” which didn’t always mean a motor. Originally it meant any device created by some kind of ingenuity.

    However, just as “Doctor” in its ordinary sense now means a medical practitioner, whereas it used to denote a teacher, “engineer” normally refers to somebody who applies scientific principles to solve practical problems.

  18. I have heard people who clean the streets called – hygiene engineers.
    I have a couple of titles myself.
    I never use one, and hate if someone else does.
    I use the other one rarely, but it’s useful in my line of work sometimes.
    Plus I earned it through years of hard work, so I will use it if I please.
    The one I hate – Mrs.
    Men don’t have a title which tells the world about their marital status, why should women?
    Yet, some women of my own age insist on using it, signing it……….
    Bleurgh to that title!

    P.S. Dentists are not doctors, the rascals!

  19. Bock, check the Act, the protected title is specifically “Chartered Engineer”. The two words on their own aren’t protected under Irish law (though the word “engineer” is protected elsewhere, and if you claimed to be one without being one, you could wind up being sued successfully).

  20. I don’t know. As far as I’m aware neither the word Engineer nor Doctor on their own are protected anywhere, but I’d be open to correction on that if you have a reference to the particular piece of legislation.

  21. Wikipedia has a fairly good summary of it:

    Basicly, it’s strongly legally protected in Canada (they’ve fined Microsoft for calling MSCE graduates ‘engineers’), by state law in a number of US states (like Wisconsin) but not federally – federally it’s “Professional Engineer” that’s protected, and in a number of other countries; in places where the term isn’t protected on its own, there’s usually some protected term like “Professional Engineer” or “Chartered Engineer”.

    BTW, in places like Canada, ‘train engineers’ are just called train drivers and ‘military engineers’ are just called sappers.

    And in some places, you can call yourself whatever you want on your business card when part of a company, but not when representing yourself individually (the company itself is the one that gets sued in the event of malpractice, as I understand it, which is how they get away with that).

  22. Mark

    Off the top of my head, I can think of several Engineers (in the true sense of the word) that have shaped the world we now inhabit. Just a few among this illustruous list are:

    James Watt
    Isombard Kingdom Brunel
    Thomas Alva Edison
    Henry Ford

    Not one of these Engineers had a university education, and none had a need of membership of your coveted “charters” or “protections”.

  23. Indeed BoldPilot – thought you’ll find that most of them precede modern university engineering degrees as well (Watt is so far back that there’s significant controversy over what he invented and what he’s wrongly credited for). University degrees in engineering only started in 1841 (in Trinity College Dublin), and didn’t take off for several decades.

    And I’m very certain that Nikola Tesla would be pretty annoyed at you for listing Edison and not Tesla (who invented small things like all of the AC technology we use today, from power transmission to the radio – and yes, I mean Tesla, not Marconi, the radio patent was finally taken off Marconi and awarded to Tesla posthumously a few years ago). He’d point out that patent law not being then what it is today, people often wound up unjustly credited with other people’s work – like Marconi being hailed as the inventor of the radio instead of Tesla, or Edison being credited with several inventions that Tesla created for him, as well as hundreds of other inventions that were developed by the people Edison employed in his ‘invention factory’.

    Tesla would probably also point out that in his day, someone hurt because a self-proclaimed and untrained ‘professional’ did a shoddy job, didn’t have much in the way of legal protections – which is the main reason the titles are legally protected in several jurisdictions today. He’d also point out that men like Watt and himself were pioneers – no-one could be trained to do what they did because no-one had done those things before. Today it’s quite different. Whereas men like Brunel were trained to do what they did, not by universities but by the more elitist method of apprenticeship (which we finally moved away from in the late 1800s/early 1900s because we needed more engineers with a more standardised level of expertise).

    (And Tesla did have an engineering degree, by the way, from one of the first degree programmes available)

  24. Dentists are Patronising Cunts, always have been, they get really upset when you don’t seem to care about the shit state you have allowed your teeth get into.
    “You really need to take more care when brushing” “These are in a very poor state” etc.
    Just fix them you cunt, I’m not paying you a small fortune to be spoken to like I’m a 10 year old who’s eaten too many sweets. I like coffee & tea and I’ll fucking drink gallons of it if I feel like it, do I ask you how much mouthwash you use, no I don’t because I don’t fucking care.
    You are not a doctor, you save teeth not lives. If I have a cavity you can do something for me, if I have a bullet hole in my stomach you can do fuck all to help me except maybe call an ambulance or a real doctor. If my teeth can’t be fixed, I can by artificial ones so get over yourself.

    Now Dentists are bad enough but the worse lot altogether, the most pretentious pricks of all are the fucking Dental Hygienists, You are cleaning teeth not performing surgery, you are in effect a cleaner & no more.

  25. Bold Pilot — IK Brunel indeed. What a genius. And let’s not forget his papa, Marc. Or Stephenson. Or Telford.

    IK Brunel studied under his father, a gifted engineer, and was proposed for the Ecole Polytecnique which was a formal school for such studies.

    Many Victorian engineers emerged from the artisan tradition but were unable to attend formal training for one reason or another. This is not a good reason to dismiss rigorous education. All of them followed and expanded on established scientific principles, at a time when technology was still in its infancy, just as medicine was.

    I imagine you wouldn’t be too happy to let a barber operate on your ulcer, yet from your comment, I take it that the next time you commission a tunnel or a ship, you’ll probably hire the bloke who fixes your washing machine to design it.

  26. Titles for solicitors, I have a new one for my solicitor, C**T (Hint, rhymes with bank manager)
    I wanted a simple piece of advice on a simple situation regarding a minor accident I was involved in, no big deal, just making sure I was not going to be in difficulties or being hung out to dry down the road.
    Before I could get a word in, the fucker had me set up to sue the shit out of everyone, not my scene or intention,
    We continued the discussion, where I told him to fuck off if he thought he was using me as a new found cash cow, I suggested he was doing this because he had run out of poor people to screw, house’s to “conveyance” and mortgage providers to hold hands with.
    And he incredibly took grave offence to this, that I, a mere customer, would question the integrity of his “profession”, What a piece of work this guy is.
    I just got his bill this morning for the advice recieved, and what value, € 120, for “professional services rendered” Good luck with that mate.
    Anyone else finding the legal profession so helpful lately?

  27. “Here comes a young priest and he wants me to call him Father. He can fuck off. You’re eight, for fucksake!
    You’re not my father, you spotty little prick. In fact, by your appearance, you’re not capable of being anyone’s father. Fuck the fuck off. Get back to your kiddie-fiddling and let me alone.”

    Just want to pay homage to a fine piece of writing- must have felt good to get that one out. Of course, you are completely right in your point. And the biggest fucking joke of all is the “right honourable gentleman”. This is inevitably used in reference to the kind of stinking scum you couldn’t dredge from the bed of the Liffey after a sewerage leak.

    Fuck the fuck off, quite right.

  28. I think that the handles come from the English. Our neighbours assume that a person should aspire to be a right honourbale gentleman. We just assume that everyone is a right honourable bollocks from the off. Blessed are the cynics said Nietsche, because they see the other side.

  29. Cynicism is the only tenable philosophical response to the world we live in. You can’t win arguments with reason any more. There are just too many stupid people out there, emboldened in their ignorance by a sneering, cheering tabloid media. Those who can think clearly are vastly outnumbered by complete idiots. And sadly, democracy offers no defence – your vote is cancelled out many times over by a tragic assembly of imbecilic tree stump-worshippers, pink Range Rover-driving jumped-up knackers, god-fearing gay-bashing bigots and suburban, polyester tracksuit-wearing Vicky Pollards.

    All you can do is crack open a cold one and laugh at the utter pointlessness of it all.

  30. another legal expert and wanabe lawyer who hates solicitors,because the advise he got he did not like -you shit on the poor guy ,surley he must be happy ripping the guy off from the hard earned money he deserves having to listen to another whiner who only wants to pay for what he likes to hear-its all right son its not your fault

  31. If you were being censored, your comment would have been removed.

    I advised you to learn how to read and write since your comment was clearly written by an illiterate or a drunk.

  32. quote from Jack Dee
    “I dont like Dentists, i think they’re really lazy. they are just people who went to medical school,found it to be hard work, ripped out the page on teeth and said, ‘fuck it, i’ll just do this'”

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