Monday, March 09, 2009

Dear Lord Customer

I bought a shirt from the Boden catalogue at the weekend, and was flattered to be offered the choice of not just Mr or Ms in front of my name, but any number of aristocratic or military titles, including Field Marshall Lord. A couple of minutes with Google suggests to me that there may only be one of these extant, and only a handful at most... and that there is one person with Field Marshal the Rt Hon Lord in front of his name. Unfortunately he is unable to look forward to a delivery of underpants with his full title on the label.

He is also unable to shop with full dignity at Fortnum & Mason (the green one below) or Harrods (the yellow one). Sure enough, they are expecting the posh set, but I fear they are only scratching the surface. I remember a car insurance website years ago that included 'Chief', 'Mother Superior' and 'His Holiness' (I may have made up that last one, but only just).

I've been trying to work out the organising principle of the Harrods list - is it alphabetical, or based on protocol? I think it may be 'cast in order of appearance' which explains why the Wing Commander has somehow got between the Lord and his Lady.



At 3:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So in the Boden list what's the difference between 'The Viscount' and 'Viscount' and 'The Viscountess' and 'Viscountess'.

Also even if you were a Rear Admiral, I don't think you'd be putting this on your underpants.

At 6:12 PM , Blogger LyricBod said...

"The Viscount X" is a viscount's formal title; "Viscount X" is his less formal (ha!) title or more likely the courtesy title of the heir apparent of an earl or marquess if said earl or marquess's second title is a viscountcy (peers don't lose their junior titles when they get promoted). Clear now?

Affecting rather more people - why do Harrods give commoners' wives the option of a point after "Mrs" when nobody else gets it?

At 6:28 PM , Blogger RW said...

Actually the Harrods one also misspells Madame as Madam. And you can have Doctor & Mrs, but not Doctor & Mr (let alone Dr and Mr)... Or for that matter, anyone else & anyone else.

At 11:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks LyricBod - that's so much clearer now.

Maybe Harrods aren't misspelling Madam afterall. Perhaps they just have a diverse customer base!

So what sort of underwear would they supply that you'd want to put in a label that says "Doctor & Mrs".


At 11:59 AM , Blogger RW said...

Ah, 'M' eh? Slightly less anonymous now!

At 1:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry not trying to hide partiuclarly it is just that the blogger comment form doesn't seem appropriate to me. I'm not a Google/Blogger, I don't have an OpenID or a url so I clicked Anonymous. Meant to sign off with M as normal but forgot the first time. This time, I'll sign off as:



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