Couldn't you just do the same thing with the first names that you normally do with nouns vs. pronouns? So, like, call her Hillary Clinton the first time you mention her, then refer to her just as Clinton until you mention Bill Clinton, then refer to him as Clinton until you mention Hillary Clinton, then... and you get the idea. Maybe that'd be klunky in practice?
Why don't you just call them both Billary?
What's wrong with Mrs. Clinton?
Or you could call her VP Clinton.
@3: We tend not to use honorifics. So if we used "Mrs. Clinton" we might end up with a sentence that included "Mrs. Clinton" and "Edwards" and "Obama" — which would look weird.
Put another way: We don't say "Mr. Edwards" and "Mr. Obama." Why make an exception for her and say "Mrs. Clinton"?
One's Cock, the other is Cocksucker.
Poe stole my joke.
You could use "she-Clinton" and "he-Clinton"...
I'm betting on HRC and WJC. That's chatty, informal but not rude, and consistent.
You could say Bill Clinton or Hillary Clinton at the first mention. Then thereafter refer to them both by their first names, Bill and Hillary. That way if anyone considers it a diminutive, at least they are both equal, and you can't be accused of treating one of them differently. That works if the article is mostly about the two of them, not so much if it is part of a broader article including other candidates.
Alternately, you could differentiate like the Bush presidents, referring to Bill Clinton as "Clinton 42", and Hillary Clinton as "Clinton 44 wannabe". :-)
How about Romanizing the name Clinton using the correct gender?
WJC = Clintonus
HRC = Clintona
This would have the added benefit of sounding appropriately imperial and dynastic and all…
a Facebook friend of mine back east thinks we should have Paris Hilton for Pres and Tori Spelling for VP.
I think the other way around would be better.
Will, I'd support either ticket as long as Nicole Richie will serve as Secretary of State!
Bill is just emeritus these days. "Clinton" means Hillary. Use "Clinton" for her and "Bill" for him. She's the subject; he's just the PR guy.
And we all know how much he likes his "public relations"...
@9: I really like HRC, but I can't help but see Human Rights Campaign every time I read it.
@14: Agreed. I like "Clinton" and "Bill."
Honestly, I don't see any problem with just calling her Hillary. That's how we've known her for years. It's not sexist, just simple.
I think #14 is on-track, however, perhaps you underestimate your reader? If the article is about Hillary Clinton, do what you'd normally do: Just use her last name. When Bill Clinton comes up, just use President Clinton or former President Clinton or Bill Clinton or Mr. Clinton. Or be formal for a change.
The article is about Hillary Clinton so if Bill is only mentioned briefly, this should be easy. No need to dumb it down to the casual "Hillary", (which sounds like a sloppy work-around, IMO.)
Lastly, there are many women out there who came into political positions after their husbands where previously in that position. (Sonny Bono's wife, the wife of that poor guy in Missouri who died and beat John Ashcroft anyway, Benazir Bhutto, etc.) How have those reporters handled it?
just one of the unforseen pitfalls of the ascendency of women in america...
I could use the construction that her campaign seems to like and just call her “Hillary.” But there’s a sense here that this sounds demeaning, even if “Hillary” likes to be called “Hillary.”
Nanny state-ish much? She's a grown woman. She can decide for herself what appellation is or is not demeaning.
We will all hold our collective breath until tomorrow, but I'm guessing you're gonna reveal that Hillary's never visited a lesbo bar even though - well that's enough titillation for now. One can only imagine the angst you would experience if Sir Edmund Hillary were running for president.
You mean, just one of the unforeseen pitfalls of the practice of women taking their husbands' names for the purpose of indicating ownership.
Oh, just shut the fuck up and just call her Hillary. It honestly doesn't fucking matter. You're being foolish.
And you're being bossy. Hmph.
Calling her "Hillary" seems faux-familiar and trying-to-be cute.
Even if the Stranger doesn't use honorifics, maybe for this one they should.
Now I know why the NY Times uses "Mr. Obama" and "Ms. Clinton", etc.
May all your problems be this stupid.Perhaps you can get a job working for Bush.
I like 18's solution. This is the protocol for other politicians ... reporters discuss them by their surname, and their spouses (usually with no active political standing) by their honorific + surname.
The problem with "Mrs" is that it emphasizes the woman's identity as defined by her husband, while "Mr" is a simple appellation. So "Mrs" wouldn't fit so well in an article that focuses on Hillary Clinton as a politician, not a wife.
(What I really love is how often newspapers describe a woman as "his neighbour's wife" rather than just "his neighbour.")
Come on, semantics is fun!
What happened to the days of her hyphenated name? Rodham-Clinton. She may not actively use it, but it's still "respectful" enough.
whaddabout mrs. clinton? really ain't a big deal.
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