1. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    Titles and Dialogue

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Raki, Sep 25, 2011.

    A fairly simple topic that I've twisted around in my mind long enough to confuse myself. The question is, when using titles with well-known abbreviations in dialogue, do you spell them out when using them before a name? And are there any exceptions to the rule (i.e., titles you wouldn't spell out)?

    For example, "Does Mr. McMasters have the card?" she asked.

    Would it be "'Does Mister McMasters have the card?' she asked"?

    I'm not sure why the latter looks strange to me when the following doesn't:

    "Does Colonel Franklin have the card?" she asked.

    Military titles, as well as many others, are often abbreviated when placed before the name, yet it doesn't look so strange when not abbreviating them in dialogue. After all, one wouldn't say "Col. Franklin." They would say "Colonel Franklin." Does the same apply to Mr. (mister), Mrs. (missis or missus), Ms. (miss), Dr. (doctor), and so on? Logic tells me yes (one wouldn't say "Mr."), but my eyes deceive me. :)
     
  2. Timothy Giant
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    Timothy Giant Member

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    I would write everything out, except for, funny enough, 'Mr.' and 'Mrs.'.
    I really can't think of any other exceptions (for me, that is).
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Very common abbreviations, like Mr. or Mrs. or Dr. can be left as is. The spelled out form would look out of place for these, although Doctor wouldn't make anyone stumble.

    Less common abbreviations, like Msgr. (Monsignor) should be spelled out.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i agree...
     

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