How to talk about Sally Warhaft and Robert Manne

There’s a lot of talk in various places about Sally Warhaft leaving her position as editor of The Monthly. I don’t have a novel substantive opinion on this: I’m a The Monthly subscriber (and I’ve therefore enjoyed Warhaft’s work), but not a writer or a left-wing socialite or a media insider. Wikipedia has a little summary of the actual story. That said, I have a helpful guide to talking about Sally Warhaft and Robert Manne (or Morry Schwartz) in the same text.

  • If you refer to Robert Manne as ‘Manne’, then Sally Warhaft is referred to as ‘Warhaft’, not ‘Sally’, because otherwise you come across as treating Sally Warhaft as if she was an intimate of yours and Manne as a professional when you’re presumably wanting to comment on her professional editorial work.
  • If you refer to Sally Warhaft as ‘Ms. Warhaft’ then Robert Manne must be ‘Mr. Manne’, not just ‘Manne’. Otherwise it sounds like you’re making a big deal out of Warhaft being a woman, which doesn’t seem to be a factor in the story, and even if it was, that’s not the way to make that point.
  • If you refer to Robert Manne with his academic title, ‘Professor Manne’, you should refer to Sally Warhaft with hers, ‘Doctor (or Dr) Warhaft’. I can at least squint and see the argument for this one: Manne has an academic position and Warhaft doesn’t, but it’s not as though her The Monthly position is totally divorced from her academic background either.
  • If you’re going to comment on Sally Warhaft’s physical presence, say, by coming out with something like she’s a whip-smart, willowy beauty, which makes her a great front for a lively mag, then here’s your line for Robert Manne: he’s a whip-smart, potent steed, which makes him a great front for a lively magazine.