Sunday, 21 April 2019

Henley Standard goes global with advice on ‘Sir’ debate

Henley Standard goes global with advice on ‘Sir’ debate

Sir, — My aunt is English and she and I live in Sonoma, California.

She is 93 and I take care of her in the mornings. She was reading the Press Democrat, our local newspaper, when I heard a loud, “What’s all this?”

It was an article about Liz Hatch wanting to get rid of “Sir” when you write a letter to a male editor.

Sir and Ma’am or Miss or Mrs — you get the picture — are all words of respect to me.

I’m 69 years old and was brought up to respect people, especially people older than me. If I didn’t say “Dear Sir” I would be at a loss as to what to say.

I believe that Liz Hatch is a sexist herself. Perhaps, though, she was not taught respect for others or somehow lost respect for others. Who knows?

But I was glad that people wrote in and supported the “Sir” title to which you are entitled. My only advice to you is that if someone writes and says something like this ever again, do not respond to it but instead take it to your readers and just ask for their feedback.

Leave it up to how the people themselves address you and use what they write. That way you don’t make a stance one way or the other but your readers do.

Bob Peterson

Sonoma, California

Sir, — I have been abroad for the last few weeks so did not read the Henley Standard and missed all the letters about “Sir”.

Having only got home to Henley on Saturday, I was amused to receive an article from the New York Times sent to me by a friend in America all about the story of the letters in the Henley Standard. — Yours faithfully,

Philippa Harvey


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