One year way back when, I was planning a research trip to the UK, with stops to see some manuscripts at the BL and the Bodleian. I had never used the manuscript rooms at either place, so I emailed to see how to get permission. The BL was fairly straightforward with directions, but the person I contacted at the Bodleian wrote that he’d have to check with Duke Humfreys about the MS I wanted to see. He later wrote again to say that Duke Humfreys had granted permission to use the manuscript library.
Somehow, my American brain just assumed that “Duke” was a first name, kind of like Bo or Jeb, or Butch — one of those. Why I did not think “Duke” = nobleman and “Duke Humfreys” = ancient aristocratic benefactor of Oxford for whom library is named, I don’t know. Instead, I thought that Duke Humfreys must be a very powerful librarian indeed, since the other librarians apparently deferred to him.
So I wrote back expressing my gratitude to “Mr. Humfreys” for letting me use his library.
Oops. heh heh.