Monday, February 21, 2011

Dr. Dr. h.c.

Speaking of the German fascination with doctorates, I just remembered this piece that I wrote back in 2005:

The one American businessman or the other had regular contact with German colleagues, who apparently generally had about three PhDs apiece. I tried to put things into perspective and pointed out that Germans were generally of the opinion that they could not compete with Americans. And this "Dr. Dr. Dr. h.c." business is a bit of intellectual arrogance that Americans cannot afford in the anti-intellectual USA. A German with a Ph.D. will often insist on being called Dr. So-and-so instead of Mr. or Ms. So-and-so, while an American who could go by "Dr. William Clinton" would be considered pompous if he introduced himself as anything but "Bill".

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