How to write full names containing: Second, Third (II, III)

Discussion in 'English Only' started by AngelEyes, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. AngelEyes

    AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    I'm trying to figure out the correct way to write out a person's full name in this circumstance:

    Example:
    John Smith the Second
    John Smith the Third

    Are these correct? Is Second and Third capitalized?


    I don't want to write them:
    John Smith II
    John Smith III

    I want to know the right way to write them out in full.

    I'd also appreciate any links to sites that discuss this.

    Thanks!

    AngelEyes
     
  2. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
    I personally would capitalize them like that, Eyes. I've no idea if there's an actual Rule about it, though. (We don't really go in for those kinds of names in the UK:))
     
  3. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Sounds to me like a style issue, i.e. something that's specified arbitrarily by your choice of style guide or one that is imposed upon you.

    Wikipedia has an interesting discussion of name suffixes here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suffix_%28name%29

    (signed) sdgraham I
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2009
  4. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
  5. Wayland Senior Member

    English.
    Hi.
    I really do not want to upset our American foreros but sometimes things get so that one can only be told (without taking offense) by a well meaning friend. Only Monarchs and Popes have Regnal numbers and it causes no end of amusement (sorry) when US citizens style themselves thus. But then do we Anglos not have a multitude of quaint customs ourselves?:)


    We have to laugh at and celebrate/understand our different cultures rather than retreat into tribalism.
     
  6. Gwan Senior Member

    Indre et Loire, France
    New Zealand, English
    Wouldn't the second of a particular name be generally expressed as "John Smith Jr." in any case? Or does it switch to 'the Second' when 'the Third' arrives on the scene? :) (Those sorts of names are unusual in this part of the world as well, particularly anything beyond the 'junior'.)
     
  7. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    I'm not an AE speaker, so I too never use those styles - but even in AE writing I've never seen II or III written out in full for commoners' names like John Smith II. With monarchs, use a capital: James the Second.
     
  8. AngelEyes

    AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    Thanks for these helpful answers.

    I agree it's not common to see these written out, but in my particular case, I want to write it out, rather than using the Roman numeral III.

    From what I can find using that link and others I've since found, it's proper when writing it out to do it this way:

    John Smith the 3rd.

    As for John Smith II: that would be a child whose named after a grandfather, for instance. This child would not be a Junior unless he shares his father's name. If he shares both his father's and grandfather's name, then he would become the 3rd.

    AngelEyes
     
  9. Gwan Senior Member

    Indre et Loire, France
    New Zealand, English
    Good to know. Here I don't think you'd bother differentiating a grandfather and grandchild's names at all, they would both just be 'John Smith' - I suppose the idea is that you're unlikely to confuse the two.
     
  10. languageGuy Senior Member

    Kansas City, MO
    USA and English
    How do Anglos differentiate then when a grandfather, father, and son all have the same name?
     
  11. Wayland Senior Member

    English.


    I am John, The Duke of Bumphshire, my son is John the Marquis of
    Otherplace, and my grandson is John the Right Honourable.( And a right waste of space he is too).
     
  12. Gwan Senior Member

    Indre et Loire, France
    New Zealand, English
    I simply don't know anyone in this situation, other than one guy who comes into the place where we work who is a III but who has a Spanish-sounding name. And yeah, we kinda call him 'the third' in a bit of a mocking way behind his back... I do know a father and son (my uncle and cousin, respectively) with the same name, but they don't even call themselves jr. and snr. as a matter of course. Within our family we call them 'Big John' and 'Little John' but that's hardly standard practice lol.
     
  13. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    Traditionally, in important families, we used Elder and Younger - thus our politicians Pitt the Elder and Pitt the Younger. These are the direct equivalents of AE Senior and Junior. But BE families don't re-use names to the same degree AE does, certainly not to the third generation. In ordinary modern usage - well, I knew a family once where father and son had the same name, and it was just confusion when I tried to ring them. It's rare enough that there's no established convention.
     
  14. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    The only American name I'm aware of that climbed as high as the foutrh limb of the ordinal family tree is country/western singer George Hamilton IV.

    Wikipedia doesn't say whether the name is legitimate or contrived for stage purposes.

    Personally, I wouldn't (and didn't) tag any of my sons to be a "junior."
     
  15. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
    Oh I don't know, Gwan. I'm fairly certain that when my mother and her brother, who were both named after their parents*, were growing up they were known as Little V____ and Little J____. (Mind you, I'm not sure what happened when my uncle reached the 6'2" mark while his dad stayed put at 5'6" or so:D)

    *It was an accident, apparently: they just couldn't agree on any other names.
     
  16. Gwan Senior Member

    Indre et Loire, France
    New Zealand, English
    Maybe it's a Lancashire thing Ewie :)
    And yes, my "Little John" is now a married police officer with 2 kids, doesn't quite work any more...
     

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