It hit me this morning that so, so many people are using letters after their names when they write letters or articles, on the signs outside their office or business.
To quote that great theologian Buckwheat, "What do it mean?"
Letters were rarer when I was younger. I remember Dr. Henry and Dr. Crawford, both M.D.s. I knew what the letters meant but I preferred to think they meant "My Doctor."
The church I attend has a pastor whose name appears on the weekly bulletin followed by "M. Div." I know what these letters mean: Master of Divinity. While the uninformed may think these letters have to do with a Southern candy delicacy, I know better. They show the person having them spent a lot of money, time, and effort in grad school only to end up with a few letters to show for it.
And then there's "D.D.S". Dentists have these letters. I don't like to go to the dentist. Years ago, a dentist pulling one of my wisdom teeth broke my jaw. First he put a steel piece in my mouth that he ratcheted open until I thought my lips were going to meet at the back of my head. Then he gave me several anesthesia shots in my jaw so I wouldn't feel anything. After that he took an air hammer and proceeded to extract the tooth in question. During this process he paused, leaned back and said, "I think I broke your jaw." I replied, "Whhaaant do nyeuw neene nyeuw nroke ny nyaw?" He didn't answer. I realized then these letters stood for "Damn, Dentists Suck."
I like what Lewis Grizzard said about his dentist. He said the dental hygienist was so beautiful that he'd eat an entire box of Oreos before he went in to get his teeth cleaned.
My urologist is an "M.D., F.A.C.S.". I have no idea. He'll be operating on me soon, so I'm sure it has something to do with inflicting great pain on a couple of body areas I don't want to have pain in, after which the operating room staff will survey his work and proclaim "Fine Ass-Cutting, Sir". I can't wait.
I've decided to get some letters of my own. I'll now display my name on anything followed by "SAWB, AMWL". Smart-Ass White Boy, A Man Without Letters.
I'm proud of that. I earned it.