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Madam, Teacher or Cikgu?


IT is acceptable to call a doctor whose name is Siti, Dr Siti and a police inspector whose surname is Lee, Inspector Lee? Is it all right to call a teacher whose name is Siti, Teacher Siti? Do we call a married teacher whose name is Lucy Lau Madam Lau? Is it correct to call this teacher Madam Lucy? Or is it more accurate to call her Madam Lucy Lau? – Bryan Yap Jet Rong

It is acceptable, in fact usual, to call (or more formally “address”) a police inspector whose surname is Lee, “Inspector Lee”. But a lady whose first name is “Siti” usually has another name after that, like “Siti Fatimah”. So, you should address her as “Dr Siti Fatimah” unless she has told you to address her as “Dr Siti” only.

Lifestyle

Strengthen your command of the English language. Our various contributors write on different aspects of the language, with the occasional poem or word puzzle thrown in for fun.

   

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