I’ve been taking the train frequently lately so decided to sign up for the Amtrak Guest Rewards Program — kind of like a frequently flyer program but without the flying.

When filling out their online join form, I was asked to select a title from what turned out to be a rather extensive list:

That will be Princess Benjamin Mako Hill to you, Mr. Conductor.

10 Replies to “Title”

  1. Emirates Airlines takes this to a hilarious new level with its frequent flier program, called Skyward.  From the New Yorker, linked above:

    “A few of the choices, in addition to the standard Mr, Mrs, Ms, Miss, and Dr, are: Admiral, Air Comm, Air Marshal, Al-Haj (denoting a Muslim who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca), Archbishop, Archdeacon, Baron, Baroness, Colonel, Commander, Corporal, Count, Countess, Dame, Deacon, Deaconess, Deshamanya (a title conferred on eminent Sri Lankans), Dowager (for a British widow whose social status derives from that of her late husband, properly used in combination with a second honorific, such as Duchess), Duchess, Duke, Earl, Father, Frau, General, Governor, HRH, Hon, Hon Lady, Hon Professor, JP (justice of the peace?), Judge, Khun (the Thai all-purpose honorific, used for both men and women), L Cpl, Lt, Lt Cmdr, Lt Col, Lt Gen, Midshipman, Mlle, Monsieur, Monsignor, Mother, Pastor, Petty Officer, Professor, Senor, Senora, Senorita, Sgt, Sgt Mjr, Shaikha (for a female shaikh, or sheikh), Sheikh, Shriman (an Indian honorific, for one blessed by Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, wisdom, luck, and other good things), Sister, Sqdn Ldr, Sqn Ldr, Sub Lt, Sultan, Swami, The Countess, The Dowager, The Duchess, The Marquis, The Matron, The Rev Canon, the Reverend, The Rt Hon, The Ven, The Very Revd, Ven, Ven Dr, Very Revd, Vice Admiral, Viscount, and Viscountess.”

  2. The most comprehensive list I’ve ever seen was for British Airways’ frequent flyer scheme. It even included “His Holiness” which I believe only one member could reasonably claim at a time. They seem to have rationalised the list now.

  3. I often find myself choosing Swami on airlines, or Rev. If the selection is limited to the more traditional then I choose either Ms. or Miss. However, the best honorarium that I had the pleasure of flying under was the most revered title of Guru. Sadly, I was not treated in any better way, curtsied respectfully, or treated as if I had great knowledge. I would be fine with a simple, yet tasteful incense offering at my seat, but there not even a simple Om to be heard in the entire cabin.

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