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Subject: Re: Don't Be Anal About "The Don"
From: robert levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:robert levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 24 Oct 2016 11:56:25 -0400
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For God's sake, and Lucia's middle initial isn't "D."
Bob🤔

On Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 11:46 AM, Max D. Winter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Yes, yes, we all know that Don Giovanni's name is not "Don."  We also know
> that "Don" is a
> title and that, in correct usage, one does not use the title without
> following it with the
> Christian name.  And we also know that we don't refer to Donna Anna or
> Donna Elvira as
> "The Donna" or to Don Ottavio or Don Somebodies in opera as "The Don" and
> we also know
> that this is not consistent with referring to DG as "The Don."  In fact,
> most if not all of us
> know quite well that referring to DG as "The Don" is not a correct form of
> address, and we
> certainly would not use it referring to someone in real life.
>
> So sue us.
>
> The fact is, referring to the title character of Mozart's "Don Giovanni"
> as "The Don" is not a
> reflection of ignorance about, or lack of respect for, correct usage.
> Rather, it is a kind of
> colloquial, even affectionate, shorthand for the unique title character of
> a unique opera, of
> the kind that one frequently finds in common cultural usages.  (Like
> referring to a Lord
> Somebody as "His Nibs.")   And I think it is silly to be anal about it.  I
> have heard John
> Ardoin, not exactly an ignoramus, refer to DG as "The Don."  I don't use
> the term myself,
> but I have no problem with other people using it, and I would not want to
> be so annoyingly
> pedantic as to correct them on the point.  (I'm annoyingly pedantic in
> other respects,
> perhaps, such as about using split infinitives or about using "which"
> versus "that," but not
> about "The Don.")
>
> Now I'm waiting for someone to tell me that I shouldn't refer to Giovanni
> as a "Christian"
> name because it is not necessarily Christian, and that Don Giovanni
> himself almost surely
> was not one.
>
> MDW
>
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