World: Titelverkurzungswelle

Few Germans, except among family and close friends, ever unbend enough to call each other by their first name. Instead, they delight in using strings of titles that proclaim the bearer's academic, professional or aristocratic status. Just about everyone has at least one title, and many people have several. German businessmen and bureaucrats never tire of constructing new and more elaborate handles to stretch across their calling cards and frontdoor name plates. The habit has reached such extremes that some Germans are now revolting against it. Typically, the reformers were unable to resist...