Trying to think of something that hasn’t already been said on this, it occurs to me that universities have become so expensive that perhaps they feel, without saying so out loud, a need for laxity. If they send candidates back and back and back for yet another re-write of a dissertation, the candidate may just give up. Post grad degrees are not a ticket to job security anyway.
My other thought is that, while my own post-grad degree is a “Juris Doctor,” my colleagues would laugh me out of the courthouse if I ever dared to call myself the D-word.
“Where do you guys want to go for lunch?”
“Well, I defer to the Doctor on that. What say you, Doc?”
We are daily grinders — “ham and eggers,” as Rocky put it, not physicians and not even law professors. As for the “Esquire” that we are allowed (by custom) to append to our names in correspondence, I did that once or twice in the 80’s, right after graduation, and felt ridiculous. So I stopped.
I suspect that Mrs. Biden is privately telling her staff to stop using the honorific and let this issue die as quickly and as quietly as possible. I hope so.