Friday, May 20, 2011

Titular Suffixes and Prefixes: Suffixes for Senior Citizens

Titular Suffixes and Prefixes: Suffixes for Senior Citizens

(For circulation within senior citizens Community)

In front or after a person's name some prefixes are added saying something more about the person. Mr, Ms, and Miss are the most common prefixes denoting the gender. While Mr does not show his marital status, Miss & Mrs indicate if a woman is married r not. Those who do not wish to be explicit about their marital status use Ms commonly for Miss or Mrs. In the case of celebrity women who are great artists, singers or dancers, Miss is used irrespective of whether they are married or not.

They are many prefixes denoting the profession or affiliation. Dr Fr Er are common for doctors, Father (priest), Engineers etc. Er for Engineers, Ln for Librarian did not pick up sufficient momentum. Rtn, Probian, Lion are some prefixes for members of reputed clubs / associations like Lions Club, Rotary Club, Probus Club and others. Prefixes like Capt, Col, Major, Wing Cmdr etc are common among persons of defense forces. They show the rank they hold.

Similarly suffixes too gave extra info about the person. Retd shows professional status. PhD, DSc, MBBS etc tell about degrees earned. I II III Jr Sr are added to distinguish persons of same family tree. In olden days titles of honor were added.

How about a suffix for ordinary persons and Senior Citizens?

In the case of senior citizens, can we think of some suffix that will say that the person is a senior citizen say 60+? Generally in news items age is given in parenthesis like: Rajasekar (78) died in a road accident near ….! Using Mr Ms etc appears to me superfluous. Can we not use Radhika (F26), Mohan Rao (M45) to combine gender and age? It is not always possible to include age as that is not precisely known.

Following and similar suffixes like these may be tried:


Married Woman


Senior Citizen


Unmarried Woman


Old Man


Widow, Widower


Older Person


Married Man




Unmarried Man



The reason why I am particularly talking about senior citizens is that the recipient will know that you are an elderly person and 'may' show some respect or extra sympathy that all of us are craving. I was trying to book a domestic gas cylinder for five days in succession without any success. All five numbers given by the agency were giving trouble. No one will pick up. If a number is picked up, after listening to your customer name but before listening to customer number the line is cut; Numbers are always busy.

In an SMS message for booking Gas cylinder if you add SC after your name, response may be faster! It happened in my case; the gas agent asked me what SC after my name stood for. I said Senior Citizen. He said: Sorry for inconveniencing you; You are on priority list now. Oh! God, Do such (good) things happen in India? I got the cylinder next day!!

You may practice adding SC after your name, as if it is a degree earned or some honor conferred upon you. Start it with your visiting card, email signature, letterhead, your name board etc. After all, our active days are over and it is unlikely that many of us will do something fantastic that will fetch us a honorific title which we may add after our names with a pride. Just convert your present status into a suffix. You need not let out the secret of the reason about this suffix SC to anyone. Just say it is a directive from some mystic group!

Vyasamoorthy. SC



  1. Sir, thank you very much for writing this. My mother js a senior citizen and although she can't read this herself but many others who can, will benefit from it. You are doing a great job. We all need to respect each of us and show more sensitivity towards senior citizens simply because where you are today, we will be tomorrow. If we can't make your today better, we have no right to expect a future any better for us. Lastly, I will only leave you with a thought that not only should senior citizens be proud of their status but also use and publicize the suffix SC so much so that there is enough awareness amongst masses and they respond to the need in faster than usual manner. Thanks again.

  2. Not a viable suggestion. SC means as categorized by Government of India means Scheduled Caste.