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Thread: Miss/Ms/Mrs.?

  1. #41

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    I agree with antmanb. I'm happy to call people whatever they prefer; I just hate the awkwardness of not knowing. A lot of students call me Mrs hoptoad, but it doesn't bother me enough to correct them. Let's just adopt "san" for everyone.

    I get annoyed every time I see a box for Mrs/Ms/Miss on forms. Men don't have to declare their marital status OR their preference to not be identified by their marital status. I usually leave it blank, as my name is just fine without a title. Even though I hate that box, I do wish there was a title indication for parents in our school's database, so I'd know what they prefer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post

    I've never been so happy to work for a Japanese company where you just call everyone san and they're happy
    It's so easy although if you've never met someone face to face it can be difficult to discern whether they are male or female sometimes just from surnames (and even first names sometimes).

    I personally like to be called by my first name as do most people in Ireland.
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    I hate websites that insist I choose between Miss, Ms. or Mrs. as a mandatory field. There is no mandatory field for men.

    Mrs. Husband's last name was my MIL, even though she had been divorced from my FIL since my husband was 2. I assume part of the Mrs. in the 40's, 50's and 60's was meant to assure people of the proof one was married when you had children?

    I was very young (20) when I got married, in a conservative part of the US where it was expected that one take husband's last name when married. But if someone refers to me as Mrs. I don't answer, because that's not who I am. I'm my first name last name.

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    I don't particularly like any of them, but if I had to pick, I suppose I'd choose "Ms." I kept my maiden name, so putting "Mrs." in front of that seems weird. (Indeed, if someone sends mail or calls the house looking for "Mrs. HusbandsLastName," I know I can hang up on them or discard the mail, because they obviously don't know us.)

    I guess I've always been in very casual work and social situations, but I can't think of a time when anyone addressed me as other than my first name once we were introduced.
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  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    It's so easy although if you've never met someone face to face it can be difficult to discern whether they are male or female sometimes just from surnames (and even first names sometimes).

    I personally like to be called by my first name as do most people in Ireland.
    I get so many emails addressed to "Mr. Jenya" that I really don't care what people call me, as long as they realize that I'm not a man.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    Etiquette wise, I think that is correct though. A lot of etiquette books say it is wrong to use Mrs. with the woman's first name.
    It's not really modern usage, as women get their own names
    Traditionally, if a woman was married, she was referred to as Mrs. John Doe. If she was divorced but retained the last name of her former husband, she was addressed as Mrs. Mary Doe. Now it's considered acceptable if not preferred to refer to a married woman as Mrs. or Ms. Mary Doe and to call a divorced woman who has retained her former husband's last name Ms. Or Miss Mary Doe.

    It creates a definite generation gap. My mother considered it an honor to be called Mrs. Husband'sFullName and would have been insulted to be called Mrs. HerFirstName LastName. Me, I when called Mrs. Husband'sFullName. The only time that happens, however, is when we get mail from charitable organizations, some of which appear to be locked in the 1950s.

    When I was younger, I got quite bent out of shape about such things (how dare they not recognize my autonomy!), but now, I am completely meh about it all. The way people address me does not define me; it tells me what they are and are not comfortable with, which has little to do with me. If I don't like the way I am addressed, I tell people what I prefer and that's what they call me, and life goes on.
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    If someone calls me Mrs. Ridge, I always want to say, "That's my mother!"

    It amuses me when people call me Miss, which actually seems to be happening more frequently lately, I think maybe because people will call a younger woman by her first name but are less likely to feel comfortable when one is more mature.

    In general its rather superfluous to me.
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    My husband is often called Mr [mysurname] and it doesn't bother him at all. He'll sometimes even call himself that if we are staying in a hotel for example where the reservation is in my name.

    For me, like so many things, it's about intent. If the person is just trying to be polite and respectful, I'm not going to fuss when they get it wrong. You're never going to please everybody, so all you can do is try your best.

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Traditionally, if a woman was married, she was referred to as Mrs. John Doe. If she was divorced but retained the last name of her former husband, she was addressed as Mrs. Mary Doe. Now it's considered acceptable if not preferred to refer to a married woman as Mrs. or Ms. Mary Doe and to call a divorced woman who has retained her former husband's last name Ms. Or Miss Mary Doe.

    It creates a definite generation gap. My mother considered it an honor to be called Mrs. Husband'sFullName and would have been insulted to be called Mrs. HerFirstName LastName. Me, I when called Mrs. Husband'sFullName. The only time that happens, however, is when we get mail from charitable organizations, some of which appear to be locked in the 1950s.

    When I was younger, I got quite bent out of shape about such things (how dare they not recognize my autonomy!), but now, I am completely meh about it all. The way people address me does not define me; it tells me what they are and are not comfortable with, which has little to do with me. If I don't like the way I am addressed, I tell people what I prefer and that's what they call me, and life goes on.
    Thank you for sharing this. The last paragraph is particularly enlightening.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post

    When I was younger, I got quite bent out of shape about such things (how dare they not recognize my autonomy!), but now, I am completely meh about it all. The way people address me does not define me; it tells me what they are and are not comfortable with, which has little to do with me. If I don't like the way I am addressed, I tell people what I prefer and that's what they call me, and life goes on.
    And it says something about them when you make the correction and they still do it their way, or if you tell them up front what you want to be called, and they still insist on doing it their way.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    When I was younger, I got quite bent out of shape about such things (how dare they not recognize my autonomy!), but now, I am completely meh about it all. The way people address me does not define me; it tells me what they are and are not comfortable with, which has little to do with me. If I don't like the way I am addressed, I tell people what I prefer and that's what they call me, and life goes on.
    Of course. I'm at the age where I can acknowledge that if I try my best and people still want to do things their way (or be mad at me or whatever), that says far more about them than about me.

    And of course I don't get bent out of shape when strangers call me Mrs. They don't know, they only see the ring on my finger, why should I be mad at them? But I think it's normal to be annoyed when friends and relatives call you that when they know you preferred to be called differently. But yeah, there are more worthy things to be outraged by. Still, annoyance =/= real life non-emoticon outrage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    But I think it's normal to be annoyed when friends and relatives call you that when they know you preferred to be called differently.
    I wouldn't know, which is why I didn't even mention that particular issue. My friends and relatives all know me well enough to call me by my first name, which is what I prefer to be called. It works out well that way.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  13. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    And it says something about them when you make the correction and they still do it their way, or if you tell them up front what you want to be called, and they still insist on doing it their way.
    Ah, yes. My MIL was apparently displeased that I didn't take my husband's name and to this day addresses birthday cards to CynicElle MyLastName Husband'sLastName. She is a very sweet woman in about 99% of things, so I've let that one slide.
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  14. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by CynicElle View Post
    My MIL was apparently displeased that I didn't take my husband's name ...
    Apparently that is a quite common condition.
    Creating drama!

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    Okay, to start with the unimportant but fascinating (to me), Vash01, I have thought you were a man ever since you helped me when I was fed up while working on my dissertation 7 years ago!

    Second, I think that calling people what they want to be called is important, so I don't think that your dislike of "Mrs." is a "pet peeve."
    I totally get what you mean about disliking "Mrs." being used as a sign of respect, because it implies that not being married is a status to be respected less than being married.

    I think that the terms "Miss" and "Mrs." are outdated because they tie a woman's name to her marital status, and the same is not done for men. "Ms." was created to be the equivalent of "Mr." I'm surprised that, so many decades after the term was created, it still is treated with such scorn.

    I, like several of you (I'm surprised at how many there are just in this thread!!) did not take my husband's name when we got married. If someone accidentally calls me Mrs.Husband'sLastName, I don't get offended, but I do politely inform them of my correct name. What does offend me is when people repeatedly call me by the wrong name after I have told them. Why is it that if people call us by the wrong first name or they misspell our name, people think we are justified in politely correcting them, but if a married woman is incorrectly called by our husband's last name, we are considered a pain in the neck if we politely correct them on that?
    Last edited by mikemba; 06-10-2014 at 08:22 PM.

  16. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemba View Post
    Okay, to start with the unimportant but fascinating (to me), Vasho1, I have thought you were a man ever since you helped me when I was fed up while working on my dissertation 7 years ago!

    Second, I think that calling people what they want to be called is important, so I don't think that your dislike of "Mrs." is a "pet peeve."
    I totally get what you mean about "Mrs." being used as a sign of respect, because it implies that not being married is a status to be respected less than being married.

    I think that the terms "Miss" and "Mrs." are outdated because they tie a woman's name to her marital status, and the same is not done for men. "Ms." was created to be the equivalent of "Mr." I'm surprised that, so many decades after the term was created, it still is treated with such scorn.

    I, like several of you (I'm surprised at how many there are just in this thread!!) did not take my husband's name when we got married. If someone accidentally calls me Mrs.Husband'sLastName, I don't get offended, but I do politely inform them of my correct name. What does offend me is when people repeatedly call me by the wrong name after I have told them. Why is it that if people call us by the wrong first name or they misspell our name, people think we are justified in politely correcting them, but if a married woman is incorrectly called by our husband's last name, we are considered a pain in the neck if we politely correct them on that?
    Funny, I had forgotten about our little exchange 7 years ago. Also funny that you thought I was a man, although from the cybername it's hard to tell the gender of a poster at times.

    When I started this thread, I didn't think it would get such a large response (that's why I wondered in my OP if I had company). Nice to see so many posters that think along similar lines. I am also open to those who are not offended by it. We are just different. Like you, I am surprised that after so many decades, people still don't accept 'Ms.' as an equivalent of 'Mr.' and they still feel that Mrs. is more respectable. I have absolutely no issue with women who want to take on their husbands' names and want to use Mrs. It is their choice. I just don't want to be forced to do that, even by implication.

  17. #57
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    Oh, I don't have any problem with women who change their name and want to be called "Mrs." I know and like many women who go by "Mrs." I am surprised, though, that there isn't reciprocal respect for those women who want to be called "Ms."

    To complicate matters, my correct title, like yours, is "Dr." Of course, I wouldn't expect telemarketers, etc. to know that. But even in a professional setting where people do know our titles, it is surprising how often people will call the male PhDs "Dr." but call the women PhDs "Mrs./Miss./Ms."

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemba View Post
    But even in a professional setting where people do know our titles, it is surprising how often people will call the male PhDs "Dr." but call the women PhDs "Mrs./Miss./Ms."
    Me too. And that is the other situation in which I will blow a gasket (in a mature and professional manner, of course ).

    In classes I am fine with students calling me by my first name, but there are always some students - usually international ones - who don't feel comfortable doing that. So I tell them they can call me Professor Firstname or Doctor Firstname, and that works for them.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    In classes I am fine with students calling me by my first name, but there are always some students - usually international ones - who don't feel comfortable doing that. So I tell them they can call me Professor Firstname or Doctor Firstname, and that works for them.
    My former boss (a man) hated being called "Dr. LastName" because it "made him feel old." We all called him by his first name in the lab, but students coming in for office hours would still call him Dr. and we'd snicker inside every time we heard it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemba View Post
    Oh, I don't have any problem with women who change their name and want to be called "Mrs." I know and like many women who go by "Mrs." I am surprised, though, that there isn't reciprocal respect for those women who want to be called "Ms."
    I have no problem with people calling themselves what they want either, but agree with you about how some people treat those who want to go by Ms. They seem to think you are some bra-burning feminist. It is all about respect.

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