Whatever happened to Esquire? Free titles for penniless neo-gentlemen (British style)
Have you heard of feudal titles being sold online for £1000s? The paying person apparently bolts the uncovered title onto their regular surname... But wait! People want to stand out, it's understandable, but at least do it for free! The British use of Esquire carries no charge, and its meaning has gradually arrived at a new equilibrium whereby the Esquire title no longer raises someone a simple notch above the status of mere gentleman. It shifts the mind towards a different kind of gentleman perhaps, but this takes nothing away from Esquire... Remember that we can (and should) also romanticise the idea of a gentleman against its lack of use in modern life – a gent's ethereal presence is a sweep of the hand towards an elegance rooted in the past. Neo-gentlemen unite!
We invite you to think of Esquire in modern use in the following way. Using Esquire in the context of letter writing is much more than a novelty, it's a mark of respect – of both self-respect and of showing your respect for those rare people who take time to write to you. Adding Esquire is at once an esoteric compliment, a taste of British tradition, politeness and flair, and, most crucially, implies a robust belief in all round quality of expression. In short, it's no blank bolt-on, it represents your acceptance of and involvement in the above.
Well then.... Is there a measure of the old gent in you, or are you more of a modern dandy? No matter. In our view any committed letter writer is worthy of including Esquire after their name. Note that traditional usage of the suffix “Esq.” after a name precludes the use of a title such as “Mr.” before the name. But break tradition at will if your eyes favour the view of a modified form – an unabbreviated “Esquire” after the name can be a welcome sight for example. After all, The Letter Writing Revival stands for beauty, quality and eclectic content, so we're far from disturbed by creative solecisms; frankly we encourage them and their evolutionary effect.
Are you a new letter writer? Fear not! Join our letter writing revival, reach for you pen and we'll show you how to charm the world with your soul and your presentation. As you form your identity on paper you'll find your voice and style as you go. And remember that a complimentary neo-title, pseudonym or invention of your own is there for the taking as your mood dictates. Letters are perfect for posterity, so write to your literary friends... your letter and envelope might be living in a museum one day – make them unforgettable!
Now raise your drying pens to the new Esquires, to the true epistolarians... those who've earned the title with their thoughts and their words, their time and care. We honour you with the low sweeping bow of an ink-spattered sleeve.
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