"I'm Dr. XXX from YYY University"

takashi0930

Senior Member
Japanese
In a letter to the editor of an American scientific journal, would it be correct to start with a sentence like this?

Dear Editor:
I'm Dr. XXX from YYY University.

I'm worried about two points:
1. Is "I am" more appropriate than "I'm" here?
2. Is "from YYY University" correct, or should I say "of YYY University"?
 
  • Sarakatawen

    Member
    English - Australia
    "I am" is better for formal letters.

    Is this letter for publication? Generally a letter writer's name and affiliation would be published at the end of the letter so it should not be necessary to begin the letter by stating your name and where you are employed. However I am not aware of the conventions when writing to a scientific journal so it may be that this is expected. You could use "from" or "of" as either would be understood but my preference would be "of".
     

    takashi0930

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you.

    I've heared somewhere that either "of" or "from" (before "University") is used for someone famous. I forgot which it was.
    Does anyone know about this?
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    In scientific journals I've read, such phrasing would not be used in writing a letter to the editor. The writer simply states what he or she wishes to say and then signs the letter:
    ______ ________, Ph.D. (or whatever the degree)
    Associate Professor (or whatever the title) of Subject
    _________ University
     

    takashi0930

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you for the suggestions, but this is a translation from a Japanese letter, and the author wants to keep the writing style common in our country. What I asked was whether the sentence was correct "grammatically".

    I'm waiting for a reply from a native speaker about the difference between "of" and "from".
     

    Winstanley808

    Banned
    English - U.S.
    Is Dr. XXX a graduate of YYY University, or is Dr. XXX a member of the staff of YYY University in some capacity (on the faculty or in the administration, or in a strictly research position in a university laboratory or research institute)? Unless the journal you are writing to is Japanese (in which case, why not write in Japanese?, it doesn't make much sense to insist on Japanese forms and conventions for a letter in English. If there is some overriding reason to do so, I think "of" would be a better preposition than "from." If it is necessary to include this information at the beginning of the text of the letter, it would probably be better to include Dr. XXX's position at YYY University, in which case you would, at least in AE, use the prepostion at: "I am Dr. XXX, Professor of ZZZ at YYY University" or "Dr. XXX, Deputy Director of the ZZZ Research Institute at YYY University." If the point is to establish at the outset Dr. XXX's authority or qualifications for what follows, just "Dr. XXX of YYY University" does not do that very well, since there is such a variety of roles that Dr. XXX might fill at YYY University.
     

    takashi0930

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you.

    >Is Dr.XXX a graduate...?
    He is a researcher in the university laboratory.

    >Unless the journal you are writing to is Japanese...
    I agree, but it's not my decision. I can't help it. I'll tell the author your opinion though.

    So, there is no such rule that "of" (or maybe "from") is used for a famous person? Is "of" more natural regardless whether he/she is famous or not?
     

    Sarakatawen

    Member
    English - Australia
    I have never heard that you use 'of' or 'from' in the case of someone famous. It is correct to write "Prof. Stephen Chu of Stanford University" and it is correct to write "Dr. NotFamous of Small University" even though Stephen Chu is famous and Dr. NotFamous is not.
     

    takashi0930

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    I see. Thank you again.

    I'll use "of *** University" from now on regardless whether the person is famous or not, but let me confirm this.

    Is "(Name) from *** University" always incorrect when referring to a professor working at the university? If not, when is "of" appropriate and "when is "from" appropriate?
     

    Sarakatawen

    Member
    English - Australia
    'Of' is more widely used and what native speakers are more comfortable with. 'From' is not incorrect and I've heard it used in speech quite often, but 'of' would be more commonly used in formal correspondence.
     

    takashi0930

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    I see.

    Just for my future reference... Is "of" more widely used for peole with other jobs too? For example:

    1. Harry Styles of/from One Direction is a man of many talents. (He is a singer.)
    2. Mrs. Johnson of/from ABC Kindergarten is very kind. (She is a teacher.)
     

    Winstanley808

    Banned
    English - U.S.
    In any kind of formal introduction, I think "of" is the standard preposition for organizations and institutions, including universities and business corporations, when that information is given immediately after the name. I can think of specific examples where "from" might be used but I can't provide a general rule. In the specific case given in the OP, "of" is definitely the correct preposition. If it's not "Dr. XXX <preposition> YYY University," then from could be used and even be required: "Dr. Takahashi is going to talk to us today about the Higgs boson. He is visiting from Hokkaido University."
     

    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    In this situation, "of" is the general use term. As suggested above, "from" is used when Mr. X is visiting your location, but still employed to visit you by the Y organization ("We have two consultants here, Mr. A from ABC Consulting and Ms. U from XYZ Consulting").

    I'd add that "at" is used when Ms. Z is always found at the location of her institution: so "Mrs. Johnson at ABC Kindergarten is very kind," sounds better to me, because kindergarten teachers don't typically go out and lecture, but more typically always work at the school.

    So in the letter-writing situation, where there is no presumption of Dr. J being located at B University or somewhere else while writing the letter, "of" is the best choice.
     
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