My name is doctor

epistolario

Senior Member
Tagalog
Someone was criticized for saying that his name is Dr. John Doe. He is not a medical doctor, but has a doctorate degree in a different field.

My name is Dr. John Doe, and I will teach you the techniques in doing something.

Do you see anything wrong with that? Or do you find it pretentious? Someone suggested that he should simply say that he is Dr. John Doe.

I'm Dr. John Doe, and I will teach you ...
 
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Are you asking about whether he should call himself a doctor or are you simply asking about the difference between "My name is..." and "I'm ..."? The two things are unrelated.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    For me the title is not part of the name. So this is how I would address it:

    My name is John Doe.

    I am Dr. John Doe.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I see little wrong with saying "My name is Dr. John Doe". I suppose, in very formal English, "Doctor", like Mister or any other title, is not part of someone's name, and from what I can tell from literature of previous centuries, it used to be that people introduced themselves by their surnames (or, for nobles and bishops, their territorial designation) and omit their title, but it would be rare these days for someone to introduce themselves as "My name is Doe". If you can use "Mr.", then you can use "Dr.".

    There is nothing wrong with using Dr as a title if you have a doctorate. Some people may think it pretentious; perhaps it is, but to me it seems quite normal (I don't have a doctorate myself, and I am just an ordinary "Mister").
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    For me the title is not part of the name. So this is how I would address it:

    My name is John Doe.
    By that standard, one might argue for calling this wrong if this is not the exact full name on his birth certificate.
    If this person expects people to address him as "Dr Doe", must he say "My name is John Doe and I am a doctor"?
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Do you see anything wrong with that? Or do you find it pretentious? Someone suggested that he should simply say that he is Dr. John Doe.
    To me, it depends upon the venue, i.e. whether the degree is related to the subject.
    If this guy has a Ph. D. in English literature and is teaching a group how to tie fishing flies, the use of of "Dr." seems absurdly pretentious.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    If this guy has a Ph. D. in English literature and is teaching a group how to tie fishing flies, the use of of "Dr." seems absurdly pretentious.
    People I know who use "Dr" use it for all aspects of their lives. This is no different from any other title; we don't expect Captain Hastings to stop using the title "captain" just because he has left the army. He is still Captain Hastings even when he is running a course on tying fishing flies.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    we don't expect Captain Hastings to stop using the title "captain" just because he has left the army.
    I do.

    Actually, for a retired British Army captain to use the title "captain" is a serious breach of etiquette. Only field and general ranks should be used by a retired officer - major and above.

    There's nothing pretentious about somebody with a doctorate calling themself "Doctor". Goodness me, physicians with a bachelor degree (in the UK and some former colonies) call themselves "Doctor". And even British dentists now call themselves "Doctor", even though they are surgeons - mostly bachelors of dental surgery.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    For me the title is not part of the name. So this is how I would address it:
    My name is John Doe. / I am Dr. John Doe.
    On a strict interpretation, that is how I would understand it. However, humans are not consistent and "My name is Dr. John Doe," might well be heard from certain people or in certain contexts.
     

    epistolario

    Senior Member
    Tagalog
    Thanks for all your comments. Just to clarify, he was mocked for the grammatical construction used, not for saying that he is a doctor of a certain field.

    My name is Dr. John Doe.

    Someone suggested that he should have used this construction instead.

    I'm Dr. John Doe.

    For me, it implies that there is something wrong with the first construction (not with his stating that he is a doctor).
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    It doesn't sound accurate to say "My name is Dr. John Doe." To me, the noun name in this context is too exclusive to properly refer to the title "doctor".
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Someone was criticized for saying that his name is Dr. John Doe. He is not a medical doctor, but has a doctorate degree in a different field.
    Thanks for all your comments. Just to clarify, he was mocked for the grammatical construction used, not for saying that he is a doctor of a certain field.
    I sure wouldn't criticize him for saying that he was a doctor of a certain field, epistolario. But I can't tell you why these unmentioned people mocked someone for saying that his name is Dr. John Doe. I don't know the reason for their critical remarks.

    You have probably already seen the reason I gave in post #13 for rejecting the sentence "My name is Dr. John Doe."
     
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    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I do.

    Actually, for a retired British Army captain to use the title "captain" is a serious breach of etiquette. Only field and general ranks should be used by a retired officer - major and above.
    Well, well. I never knew. The things you learn on this forum, eh?

    Did Agatha Christie make a mistake then? I'm pretty sure he was still in the army in the first story (The Mysterious Affair at Styles), or perhaps he had been invalided out, but surely he wasn't still in the army in the later tales. I thought he ended up living in Argentina, not renowned for its British military presence.
     

    epistolario

    Senior Member
    Tagalog
    I sure wouldn't criticize him for saying that he was a doctor of a certain field, epistolario. But I can't tell you why these unmentioned people mocked someone for saying that his name is Dr. John Doe. I don't know the reason for their critical remarks.

    You have probably already seen the reason I gave in post #13 for rejecting the sentence "My name is Dr. John Doe."
    Yeah, we cannot exactly tell why they criticized Dr. Doe, unless we ask them. But I prefer to ask you in this forum. ;) And I think some almost all of you explained it well. I just needed to clarify the issue because some readers of this forum may think that it has something to do with his saying that he is a doctor.
     
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    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I'm glad to hear that you trust me and the other members to give you a reasonable answer in here. :) As far as I can tell, most members do their best to provide reasonable answers. That gives you pretty good odds of getting some answers that actually address the subject you are interested in.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    It seems we have an AE/BE divided here.
    AE seems to take a different tack. My father-in-law had a Ph. D. and never used it outside the university environment.
    Likewise, a former Oregon governor, as well as an unsuccessful candidate for the office are medical doctors, but never claimed the title in their campaign literature and neither did the media include the title.
    And, American newspaper style is to never call a person "Dr." unless they hold a medical or dental degree (at least four years study past a bachelor's )
    Not even the president of Portland State University, who's in danger of being tossed out on his bum is referred to as "Dr." in the media, despite holding a Ph. D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
    .... which is the ultimate in rejecting "Dr. as part of a person's name.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    My name is Dr. John Doe.
    That is like me saying "My name is Mr. Joe Smith". The word "Mister" is not part of my name. The word "Doctor" is not part of John Doe's name. His name is "John Doe". "Mister" and "Doctor" are titles, used before a name in some situtions.

    It seems we have an AE/BE divided here.
    Post #18 talks about the issue of whether to use the title "Dr." when addressing the man or talking about the man. In the AE, we usually only use this title for MDs, not PhDs. It is a term of respect for medical professionals, not a term of respect for past academic ability.
     

    LVRBC

    Senior Member
    English-US, standard and medical
    Let us not be too pedantic in this situation. (Although usually I kind of favor pedantry.) I agree that one introduces oneself as "I'm Dr. X." But if someone asks me for my name, I also say "Dr X" if that is how I wish to be addressed. I certainly don't say, "X is my name and Dr. is my title."
    I would not find it remarkable or strange if someone introduced himself or herself by saying, "Hi, my name is Dr. Y and I will teach you to interpret EKGs (or to tie flies) today."
     
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    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Let us not be too pedantic in this situation.
    :thumbsup:Your comments sound reasonable to me although I don't plan to adopt your view of the suitability of "My name is Dr. Y", LVRBC.

    I agree with you about the importance of not trying to sound like a schoolmarm or a know-it-all. I would never criticize a stranger in public for using that formula. I would probably never mention anything about the speaker's preference regarding the best way to introduce himself. That's his business unless he specifically asks for my comments about his language use.
     
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