The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, November 22, 2004  

William F. Buckley, Parvenu

Reader L.M. writes:

I'm writing in response to your query of November 20, "I always thought a man who carried 'Jr.' after his name was obliged to drop that suffix upon the decease of the elder relative from whom that honorific was derived. . . . With that in mind, and if I'm correct, why are we expected to continue to refer to that which is known as William F. Buckley Jr. as William F. Buckley Jr. instead of William F. Buckley?"

Your surmise is correct. "Junior" distinguishes between a living person and his namesake. When the latter passes away, it is customary for the survivor to drop the suffix, or if there are other namesakes, to adopt the appropriate Roman cardinal, as in "II."

As to why Mr. Buckley still sports the suffix, it's because he is a hopeless arriviste with more pretension than provenance.

And I am adopting your suggestion of a boycott of Florida oranges.

| HOME |

The Rittenhouse Review | Copyright 2002-2006 | PERMALINK |