Hello and welcome!
This is my very first post on this blog, which is pretty exciting for me, if not for you.
It’s headed ‘Greetings!’, but I wonder if it should really say ‘Salutations!’, because that’s what’s on my mind.
A few weeks ago, I got into a discussion with my business partners about how we should address a bundle of letters – most of which were going to be sent to men.
I wanted to use the suffix ‘Esq’. Someone else wanted to use ‘Mr’ and the other person didn’t seem to mind.
All she could tell us was that the last time she saw ‘Esquire’ in common use was in the 1990s, when her father – who held a number of posts in the local community – used to receive business letters with the suffix ‘Esq’ in the address.
Apparently, this was a source of pride to his daughter, who used to boast about his status to her school friends. “My father’s an esquire. What’s yours?”. As you may guess, this made her feel special when he wasn’t bested.
Me, I have no history with ‘Esq’. I just like it.
I know it’s old-fashioned and, perhaps, a bit stuffy.
But, as you can tell from my partner’s story, it does have a bit of style about it. And it can give a man status.
Perhaps that’s not so surprising, when you learn that the term has its origins in the middle ages, when knights were addressed as ‘squire’ and ‘maidens’ swooned at the very sight of a lance.
And there was a time when people who owned property were accorded the title ‘Esquire’.
All in all, a title to be envied.
Nowadays, I gather, the style is either to dismiss suffixes altogether or address men as plain ‘Mr’, which seems unlikely to have quite the same Camelotian effect on today’s modern ‘Ms’, who sees herself as equal to any man in the joust of daily life.
As I say, I like ‘Esq’.
I will probably go on using it in much the same way as I would a silk top hat, which – assuming I were wearing one at the time – I would doff whenever I met a fellow gentleman in the street, whether he be a knight or a property owner.
To me, it’s all a matter of respect.
And I respectfully crave your indulgence – sir, squire, madam or ms – for this blog post; the first of what I hope will be many.