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Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I've been hanging out with knights lately and had been thinking about British knights vs honorary knights and how strange the idea of American knights was. Just when I was pondering the weirdness of Bill Gates becoming a knight, Dvorak rants.


looking at Dvorak's rant, sounds like the Queen is looking for a handout ;-)

Technically speaking, only British citizens become Sir. He'll get a knighthood and will be allowed to put OBE or so after his name.

Hehe. John Dvorak is funny: "Sir William of Redmond - His Worshipfulness and Grand Poobah the Right Honorable Sir Major Domo William Gates!"

Douwe Osinga, is correct that as an American citizen Bill Gates cannot use the title "Sir" but will be entitled to put the letters KBE (Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) after his name. (OBE = Officer of the British Empire - one step down from KBE).

btw Dvorak's sources may have missed off the "t" from "this" age. According to a BBC online report, Foreign secretary Jack Straw said he was "delighted" Mr Gates had been honoured. He added: "He is one of the most important global business leaders of this age" :)

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The U.S. Constitution forbids the Federal government and the States from granting titles of nobility. What about the IEEE? Can it? How about IBM or Microsoft itself? Seeing everyone start to grant knighthoods and encourage people to preface their names... Read More