Is Anyone a ‘Miss’ Anymore?
When should I use “Ms.” and “Mrs.” today?
Is anyone a “Miss” anymore?
—————————– – AKWP, Storm Lake, Iowa
Dear AKWP in Iowa:
Ms. is an honorific for a woman that does not specify marital status. It is now almost always used in the United States in the business arena regardless of what the woman chooses to call herself in her private life. Mrs. is sometimes used in business environments, but only when it is known to be the preference of the bearer.
Miss in the US is less frequently used among professional women. It is certainly used as an address for young girls, say, under 12 years of age. Once girls reach, say 13, most people today are addressing envelopes to young women as Ms. (name).
In professional environments outside the United States Ms. is not so ubiquitous: Mrs. (woman’s name) and Miss (name) are common, especially in Commonwealth countries. In many countries Mrs. (woman’s name) is used by working women without any implication of their marital status.
—————————–— Robert Hickey Use of Miss
Having read your post I couldn’t help but send you an email to let you know that you do indeed know several women who prefer Miss over Ms! I am one but also you may remember Bunny Murdock who was Deputy Chief of Protocol at the end of the Reagan administration. Though there are certainly many more, I thought you might appreciate being aware of at least two from your acquaintance. Also, for what it is worth mine is the voice that encouraged Ambassador Mary Mel French to include Miss when she was addressing the issue in her book. Like you, she was not aware of that still being a preference for some.
—————————–– L.L., Washington, DC