Wednesday, 30 July 2008

For services to the crown, I dub thee Sir Robert

I don't know much about honorifics, but they have been doing the rounds here, here and here, gathering some attention in the microcosm of our classroom.

In my brief time of 20-something years, I don't remember anyone ever calling Sir Bob Jones, "Sir Robert". In fact, I always recall him affectionately referred to as "Bob" or "Bob Jones" (I do have one friend who would baulk at me saying "affectionately", but that's because he bothered to read the New Zealand Party manifesto).

Take a look at the TVNZ website - they've got him down in their Good Morning roll call as Sir Bob (they don't even have the Sir in the bio's text), but their latest hard news story (take what you want out of that statement) has him as Sir Robert.

TVNZ isn't the only one - every news service is calling him Sir Robert, yet everyone quoted in these stories calls him Bob. The briefest respite came in Audrey Young's blog, but it was oh so brief.

And it's not that long ago (last month) that Stuff opened one of their articles like this:
Sir Bob Jones is trying to bankrupt a co-founder of failed property investment company Blue Chip by pursuing court action for office rent.

My point (and it is a fairly meek and mild one) is that everyone's calling him Sir Robert as though he's a law lord on the Privy Council breathing fire down the necks of our corrupt politicians and not the cheeky raconteur Sir Bob that the public (thinks it) knows and loves.

While I could rant and rave about how the media is using "Sir Robert" to add gravitas to their claims about the Rt Hon Mr Peters, I really can't be bothered.

And heck, if you go back up a wee ways, you'll see that Sir Bob ain't Sir Robert on wikipedia - and that's saying something.

REDUX: Gots to give some props to the Sunday Star-Times' Donna Chisholm - just noticed she didn't fall into the Sir Robert trap.

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