Titles, which are considered to be symbols of recognition, are actually not completely dialogic in nature. Titles are determined after authorities exist to assess a person’s achievement. There have to be judges whose word is not doubted: universities, palaces, or customary leaders.
A FEW decades ago, this conversation took place in a crowded student hostel in Semarang:
T: “Hey. Who’s in the bathroom? He’s taking long enough.”
J: “It’s Doctorandus…”
Names can be ignored, it seems, but not so titles. Back in those days, the Dutch academic title ‘doctorandus’ or ‘doctoranda’ was still prestigious, when looking for work or for a spouse...