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by Abigail Van Buren

Truth of Abusive Marriage Will Tarnish Man's Sterling Image

DEAR ABBY: I work in a doctor's office. One of our patients makes a big scene if we do not address him by his title -- "Reverend Smith." He has to tell everyone within earshot that he went to school for eight years to get that title. He insists that, out of respect, we should address him as such.

Abby, this man is not MY reverend. So far, I have avoided calling him this. Am I being disrespectful, or is he being pompous? -- UNIMPRESSED IN LOUISVILLE

DEAR UNIMPRESSED: You are not only being disrespectful, but also passive-aggressive. Because this patient has made clear that he prefers to be addressed by the title he has earned, you should use it.