Styles and Address
Novans can go by a variety of titles. Proper use of these honorifics is good manners, and reinforces the feudal structure of society.
Style vs. Address
A style is an honorific that a person is entitled to use as a title, and to have used by other people. For instance, a scout is entitled to use the style “The Honorable;” if Vandar Olire were a scout, he would be entitled to call himself “The Honorable Vandar Olire,” and he would be within his rights to expect others to speak of him the same way. The style associated with a given position in society is usually the same as that position, but not always – a table is given at the end of this article.
An address is a particular way of speaking directly to somebody, as opposed to speaking about somebody. Styles and addresses are usually related, but not always the same. For instance, The Honorable Vandar Olire is described using the style “The Honorable,” but if somebody were speaking directly to Vandar, he would be entitled to expect them to say, “Your Honor.” note that not all addresses have associated styles and vice versa. The most notable example of this is the Brotherhood, whose members are entitled to specific forms of address but not to any style at all – it is assumed that such individuals’ exalted birth is identifier enough that they need no extra style to describe them.
It is not uncommon for Novans to be entitled to more than one style or address. In these cases, any of a person’s styles or addresses may be used, but the speaker’s choice is considered significant. For instance, if a master stonemason of the serf estate were addressed as “Goodman,” he would likely take it as an insult – he worked hard to achieve his guild mastery, and the speaker has chosen to address him as a common man rather than the distinguished craftsman he is. On the other hand, it may be appropriate to use a lesser style or address (or none at all) in some circumstances. Lord Darry presumably does not refer to his wife as “Lady Darry” in the privacy of their bedchamber (except perhaps ironically), even though she is entitled to that style! Similarly, Vandar Olire’s employer might speak to him as “Vandar” as a mark of informality or intimacy, rather than the more proper “Olire.”
Default Styles and the Use of “Good”
The table at the end of this article lists common styles and addresses. However, nearly any position or relationship can be turned into both a style and an address when the speaker wishes to focus on that position or relationship. It is perfectly appropriate (and even tender) for spouses to call each other “Husband” and “Wife,” for instance. Similarly, a speaker addressing a guard may correctly say, “Guard So and So,” or “Guardsman, I have a question,” even if “Guard” is not strictly acknowledged as a position worthy of a style and address by the college of heralds. This method may also be used to address strangers. For instance, if a speaker wishes to address a stranger who is clearly a knight, he may say, “Good Sir,” since he does not know the knight’s first name. By doing so he is giving the knight the respect due his position even without using the technically correct address, and so would be considered polite.
An important feature in the Novan etiquette of style and address is the word “good.” When added before a style or address, “good” transforms the style or address from a formal recognition of rank into an informal mark of respect. For instance, spouses often call each other, “My good lord” or “My good lady” even if they are not literal lords and ladies, and this is considered perfectly proper. Similarly, a younger person might call an older woman “Good mother” as a sign of respect for her age, and so on.
Table of Styles and Addresses
|Lord||Lord [Last Name]||My Lord|
|Lady||Lady [Last Name]||My Lady|
|Knight (male)||Sir [First Name]||Sir, Sir [First Name]|
|Knight (female)||Dame [First Name]||Dame [First Name], Madam, or Ma’am|
|Justicar||Justicar [Last Name]||Judge, Judge [Last Name]|
|Chancellor||Chancellor [Last Name]||Justice, Justice [Last Name]|
|White Priest||Preacher [First Name] / Confessor [Last Name] / Pontifex [Last Name] / Cardinal||Preacher [First Name] / Confessor [Last Name] / Pontifex [Last Name] / Cardinal|
|Red Priest||Learned, Learned [Last Name] (lexmechanic) / Wisdom, Wisdom [Last Name](enginseer)||Learned, Learned [Last Name] (lexmechanic) / Wisdom, Wisdom [Last Name](enginseer)|
|Master Craftsman (male)||Master [Last Name]||Master, Master [First Name]|
|Master Craftswoman (female)||Mistress [Last Name]||Mistress, Mistress [First Name]|
|Journeyman Craftsman (male)||Journeyman [Last Name]||Journeyman, Journeyman [First Name]|
|Journeyman Craftsman (female)||Journeywoman[Last Name]||Journeywoman, Journeywoman [First Name]|
|Employer, by employee||Master [First Name] (male) / Mistress [First Name] (female)||Master [Last Name] (male) / Mistress [Last Name] (female)|
|Employee, by employer||Esquire||[Last Name]|
|Male of the Brotherhood, by a peer||N/A||Brother|
|Male of the Brotherhood, by a peer||N/A||Sister|
|Male or Female of the Brotherhood, by an inferior||N/A||Your Excellency|
|Scout||The Honorable [Last Name]||Your Honor|
|Serf (male)||Goodman [Last Name]||Goodman, Goodman [Last Name]|
|Serf (woman)||Goodwoman [Last Name]||Goodwoman, Goodwoman [Last Name]|
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