An article in the June 14 newspaper calls our president a professor of constitutional law. He is also referred to as a professor in many other articles and on TV. I wanted to find out how does one become a professor of constitutional law or any other subject.
I used the Encarta World English Dictionary. Surprisingly, it appears if you teach, you or someone can bestow on you the title of professor. I volunteer to teach tennis at a local high school for nearly 20 years, call me professor of tennis? Must be more to it.
I went to my New American Encyclopedic Dictionary (Pub. 1907 Vol. 4 of 6), a treasure trove of original information. In short, a professor is a teacher; however, one can also be a professor of the occult or a professor of magic, etc. It appears to be in the same category as Mr. (Master) or "The Honorable."
A doctorate in a given subject is an entirely different title. It requires several additional years of academic studies and a final thesis that is reviewed by your peers. It is important not to confuse the two.
Prof. Dushan O. Lipensky
Professor of tennis