Details aren’t important unless I get it (keep your fingers as crossed as they will go!! You know I mean it because I used 2 exclamation points! Three! Four! Oh no, it’s recursive!)– for now the important bit is German forms of address, which are a little silly.

In the US, of course, you pretty much start out with Mr. or Ms. and keep that until it (sometimes) is replaced by Dr., at which point you stop. Not so in Germany. Here, you start out with just Mr. or Ms., but then you can accumulate more titles over the course of your life. In that way, they’re sort of like concert T-shirts. Or melanomas.

And that’s the story of how I wound up writing a letter to “Very Respected Herr Professor Doctor Doctor Pulvermüller.”

I imagine that at some point (which he is probably fast approaching), you have enough time while your name is being introduced at conferences and such to do a little of this:


“Allow me to introduce our next speaker, Frau Professor Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Emeritus…”