Tricky Words in this week's OVI
There are various ways of translating "útulok", a range of words with different levels of formality and with different connotations of meaning. The range is from "sanctuary" and "asylum" via
"retreat" and "refuge" to "home" and "shelter", which I have used for the facility near Haniska. Shelter suggests a temporary place of protection, whereas a home suggests something more permanent,
like a foster home.
Refuge and retreat are places which people (rather than animals) seek out for themselves, a refuge providing protection from violence, and a retreat offering opportunities for meditation and
reflection. Asylum nowadays is for political refugees, and the most formal word is sanctuary, which is also part of a church ("svätyna"). In history, someone who was being chased by persecutors
could run inside a church and "demand sanctuary" or protection from their enemies. If the Haniska Animal Shelter gets the assistance it deserves, it might be called an animal sanctuary.
This week's question is about the use (or rather the non-use) of TITLES by native English speakers. Titles are used before or instead of a person's name. They are a Central European custom, and the
range is quite limited in English-speaking cultures. Apart from Mr, Mrs, Miss (or Ms, if a woman's marital status is not important), and the honored titles Sir and Dame (followed by the first
name), there is Doctor, meaning of medicine (Doctor for PhD degree holders is only used within universities) and Professor (the top university rank, not a secondary school position), and Reverend
(for vicars and pastors) or Father (for priests).
University degrees (which come after the name anyway) and professional positions are not usually mentioned. The person's name is basically more important. Please send questions about English
language habits to email@example.com, and I will choose one to answer each week.