Apologetic Postnominals: See Me? See My Letters!

PostnominalsI was looking at someone else’s website the other day.  If I thought I had a lot of postnominals, they had – ooh, easily three times as many, the whole width of their web-page.  They were Fellows of a vast number of societies, only one of which I’d ever heard of. Now, not all Fellows are equal: I worked hard to attain my FCLIP, and was elected into the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. The academic, music and librarianship qualifications were all earned after a lot of blood, sweat and tears.  However, it set me wondering.  There’s a place for postnominals, but maybe one can overdo it.  Suffice to say, for the first time I found myself embarrassed, not because I’m well-qualified, but because those hard-earned postnominals may come across as showing off – an almost paranoid demonstration of one’s own worth.  Or am I becoming tainted with the Scottish “I kennt his faither” tendency, which basically translates as “who do they think they are?”