1. Masli
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    Masli Member

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    Mr. or Mister?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Masli, Oct 27, 2010.

    sorry if this has been asked before (couldn't find it in the search though)

    I was wondering if you're writing a dialogue or even in 'normal' text, would you simply write: Mr. Davis

    or would you write the Mr. out completely solike this: Mister Davis
     
  2. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Would generally go with "Mr." since it's so common. Typing out the whole thing makes it look formal in a different sort of way, almost like you expect him to be in a profession or something.
     
  3. Masli
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    Masli Member

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    That's exactly why it bothered me, but someone told me that it was bad to use abbreviations in a story, so it confused me.

    Is there like a rule for this? Or is it just gut feeling?
     
  4. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    To be honest, I don't even know what "Mrs" is short for. I know I see "Mr" and "Mrs" used all the time in fiction. If you're not specifically highlighting it for some reason, go with it.

    It's bad to use abbreviations where they'd stand out in the narrative as a collection of letters that can and should be elaborated on. "Mr" tucks in nice and neatly before a name and everyone knows what it means. If you're going to use other abbreviations then just explain them first. (I use "LGBT" a lot in my story, because there's no way I'm typing out "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans" every third line when all my characters would naturally call it LGBT in regular speech and I did emphasise what it meant early on before I started using it a lot, for example) As you can imagine, explaining "Mr" seems a bit ridiculous when compared to other shortened forms of things.
     
  5. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If wikipedia can be relied on, Mrs. is the abreviated word for Mistress.
     
  6. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I now remember someone telling me that before. He he he, oops.

    Well, in that case I definitely almost never ever ever read anyone being called "Mistress" something in a book. Unless they're, you know, making a huuuge deal out of it. If it's spelled out, it's "Missus", and then obviously colloquial and spoken by a character.

    Just go with the shortened forms. :)
     
  7. Masli
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    Masli Member

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    Thnx makes it more natural for me ;)

    but then would it be Mr. or Mr ?
     
  8. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    In the random book I just picked up and flicked through, just Mr, with no full stop.
     
  9. Masli
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    Masli Member

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    Thnx so much! I feel stupid, but this seemingly simply thing has been bothering me so much that I couldn't even continue writing!
     
  10. Idearella
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    Idearella New Member

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    Consider your audience. Write for them. What is going to make them comfortable? It would bug the crap out of me to read a book where you wrote Mr Jones or Mister Jones. I see it as Mr. Jones all the time (right now I'm using DragonDictate, the speech recognition software, and it transcribed it as “Mr. Jones”), so I expect Mr. Jones in the story.

    The rule for not abbreviating things is because people don't normally read abbreviations. Write what people normally read and you'll be fine.
     
  11. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    It is so well known now that I prefere Mr or Mrs without the full stop, altough whenever I write it this way the Grammar and spell check keep trying to correct me. It drives me round the twist.
     
  12. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    For British English, there is never a full stop after Mr / Mrs / Ms / Dr etc, but if your spellcheck is set to American English, it will expect the full stop. Set your language selection, spell check, and grammar to UK English and the prob will miraculously disappear...
     
  13. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks Madhoca.
    My problem is I'm rubbish with computers, I get by with the basics. One day I'll take lessons, start a blog and may even start my own web page. For now I'll dream on.
     

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