If you were to meet a governor, a minister or just an older person, how would you address him? If you wanted to write to your teacher, or to our president, how would you begin your letter?

            Form address are way of addressing people in the speech or in writing. In everyday life we use some form of address quite naturally. Aunt Betty, Uncle Umar and Cousin Aminah are form of address familiar to use , as are Grandpa and Grandma, or Grandfather and Grant mother. Sometimes a grandmother is addressed as Granny by her Grandchildren, a father as Daddy or Papa and a mother as Mommy, Mummy or Mama by their children. A physician is generally addressed as Doctor, as are many people in the academic world.

             When we do not know adults very well, we address them as Mr., Mrs., such as Mr. Hidayat, Mrs. Suharto (as her husband is Mr. Suharto) and Miss Green (the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Green).

            Most English titles use today come from other times and places.  Mister (Mr.) come from the old-time title Master, just as Mrs. And Miss come from Mistress. These words were once used to denote the social position of particular persons. They are now used as courtesy titles for all.  Mr. applies to all men over 21 years of age.  Mrs. to all married women and Miss to  unmarried women and girls. ( Twenty-one is the age at which a man becomes an adult, according to the law).

            The courtesy title Honorable, given to many very high-ranking government officials, is use in written addresses and in formal introductions. (Example: The Honorable Masuri, SH., Minister for  Education and Culture, Jakarta). It is never used in social conversation  with the man, however.

            Esquire, originally used when a knight was spoken , to by his servants, has continued in the use as a form of address for gentlemen. Placed after a name—for instance, Mr. Supaman, Esq. – it takes the place of Mr. In some English speaking countries the form still used in a formal written address to a judge or to a lawyer by his clients.  Its used today, however, is less common that is was fifty years ago, as most people prefer Mr.

            Madame was originally a title of distinction given to woman of high rank. It comes from “ma dame”, which is French for “my lady.”In English usage today, foreign married women are addressed as Madame. For example, this title is frequently used by foreign women singers and ballet dancers, such as Madame Galina Ulanove ( the famous Russian ballerina). It should not be used as a form of address when speaking to a woman.

            Your Excellency, once used only in reference to kings and princes, now serves as a little for ministers or foreign ambassadors. In some countries it can also be used to address governors.

            In writing to military officers,  we use the person`s rank with his name: Brigadier General Syamsul Hadi, Major Purnomo, and so on. Dear Sir is the proper greeting in a letter to an officer.

             Courtesy demands that we use the proper ;title and form of address when speaking or writing to people who hold certain positions. In our country the title “Bapak’” and “Ibu” are polite enough to be used on almost any occasion, formal as well as informal.       

Also, envelopes for letters should be properly addressed. A man`s title, whether it is plain Mr. or s special courtesy title, is, in a way, part of his name.

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