Some thoughts inspired by the 'split infinitive' discussion on another thread: My friends Dr Raymond (from Maine) and Dr Tony (from Sussex) will shortly be flying in to celebrate Christmas with us here in Al Andalus. Some time ago when I mentioned that I had lunched with two PhDs my old friend Professor Clovis responded with withering scorn, pointing out that a PhD was not in fact a person but an illuminated document awarded by a university. While I normally place complete confidence in the wisdom of Professor Clovis in all matters of philology, philosophy, politics, percolation, religion, metaphysics, stylistics, semantics, linguistics, ethics, Essex and excavation, I'm wondering if he is quite correct on this particular point. Is it permissible to write 'I'm going to have a boozy Christmas dinner with two PhDs' or must I say 'I am destined to partake of festive cheer with two gentlemen who have been awarded the distinction of doctorates by their respective academic institutions'? Would any colleague care to comment?