On 8/1/20 9:13 AM, Larry McVoy wrote:
My dad wasn't famous, but he had a PhD in
physics. He never asked people
to call him Dr McVoy. As we grew up and realized he could be called that
we asked him why not. He said it sounds fancy, the only time he used it
was when he wanted a table at a crowded restaurant (which was very rare,
Madison didn't pay him very well).
Somehow that stuck with me and I've always been sort of wary of people
who use their title. The people I admire never did.
Someone on the list said that they thought Dennis wouldn't appreciate
it if we got his PhD official. I couldn't put my finger on it at the
time, but I agreed. And I think it is because the people who are really
great don't need or want the fancy title. I may be over thinking it,
but Dennis does not need the title, it does nothing to make his legacy
better, his legacy is way way more than that title.
Which is a long ramble to say I agree with Markus.
I agree with your dad,
completely, it's fancy. I too am uncomfortable
with the title. I think it's because I was a street kid and as the
saying goes, you can take the kid out of the street, but you can't take
the street out of the kid. I work in the academy, so it's prevalent, but
I find it pretentious to insist on people calling you doctor. I ask
people to just call me Will. It's interesting to watch the reactions.
Some folks are glad to, some are fearful to (mostly students), and some
outright reject the proposition (mostly those pretentious types).
With regards to Dennis and his view on things, I haven't the slightest
clue, but if someone were to present him with an honorary degree, it
would be their attempt to recognize his exemplary contributions and
would not be meant as anything other than highest praise. As someone who
loves programming in C, I'm a direct beneficiary of his legacy and would
gladly support his being recognized in this manner. I know several
people who have been granted honorary doctorates, at least one of who
had no prior degree. They accepted and enjoyed telling their close
friends about their now having to call them doctor, but otherwise taking
it as a compliment and honor and not bothering about the title.
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