Letter: After the Lords

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Sir: On the radio the other day I heard an announcer rebuked for addressing a knight as "Mister" - "Sir Terrence, if you please!" came the huffy correction; and I am sorry to say that the broadcaster sounded genuinely apologetic.

My reflections are further prompted by Andreas Whittam Smith's column (25 June) about the title "Lord": he should widen his target to include all honorary titles. The media could help there. What a healthy innovation it would be if a newspaper announced that it would not in future use such titles. It would report that Mr Bloggs had been ennobled but continue to refer to him as Mr: the same with knights. Others would follow the example, and social practice in due course be reshaped, so that such honours would not have their current divisive effect.

NEVILLE MAXWELL

Oxford

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