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Thread: Miss/Ms/Mrs.?

  1. #61

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    I married and didn't choose to take my ex-husband's last name. My name (first and last) have been the same my entire life. I've been a Miss, Ms., Mrs., Dr., Ma'am, Bella, and none of those titles define me, and none of them really bother me -- unless the intention or attitude behind the address is snotty or sarcastic. Guess I'm very much like a dog -- you can call me whatever you want as long as you say it nicely. In the end, however, I prefer being called by my first name.

    O-

  2. #62

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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."

    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."


    I had exactly the same experience. It annoys me because it shows discrimination.

    The other experience I had (not related to the title, but to discrimination) - particularly in graduate school- the male grad students majoring in Chemical Engineering were called 'Engineers', but I, who was also working on a Chemical Engineering advanced degree was called 'Chemist'. Oddly in undergraduate school we were all in Engineering College (IIRC).

  3. #63
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    I prefer Miz. but seldom get it.

  4. #64

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    Goddess or Queen. :p

    Seriously, it's Ms. or my first name (if we're on a first name basis). Even if I get married, I'd never want anybody to call me "Mrs." professionally.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  5. #65

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    I wasn't even aware that there was much of a difference in pronunciation between Mrs. Ms. and Miss. I mean, I know there is, but I don't think I would be able to catch the subtle difference in a quick conversation. However, I am a man so this has never been something I had to think about or face.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

  6. #66
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    As I only recently acquired the title of doctor, I prefer it. I did not change my name upon marriage for a variety of reasons, including the fact that I am the only grandchild to have my father's family name and the fact that I've been published so many times. It was and is fine with my husband, who has said he didn't want to marry me just so I would take his name.

    That being said. I'm not a big fan of Mrs. It bothers me to announce my marriage as part of my identity. I'm many things, but my role as wife is only important to my husband.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    They seem to think you are some bra-burning feminist.
    And what if you are?
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    And what if you are?
    And want to be called Mrs.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    I think it's too bad that "Mrs." only refers to married women. In Europe, I'm "Frau" or "Madame" not because I have a husband, but because I'm not a girl (a Fraulein or a Mademoiselle).
    Yes. In many languages and cultures, it's terribly rude and insulting to call a grown woman the equivalent of "Ms." I worked with some Europeans who otherwise spoke and wrote perfect English, but could not bring themselves to use "Ms." for an adult woman.

    Quote Originally Posted by PRlady View Post
    I changed my name in my first marriage but used my own professionally, which was confusing.
    This is my pet peeve. And it can be an administrative nightmare (as someone who manages people who show up different ways in different systems). Pick a name and stick with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anita18 View Post
    I prefer nothing
    You're not alone. Gen Y is not big on titles. I don't want to be called "Mr." If I am called "Mr.," I say "please call me Louis." If the person again uses Mr., I get annoyed. Even the biggest, most customer-centric brands are starting to recognize this. E.g., a lot of high-end hotel chains have moved away from strict policies requiring customers to be addressed by "Mr." or "Ms.", as well as discontinuing some other practices that Boomers associate with great service but Gen Y finds just plain weird.

    I don't use titles, ever, in writing or in speech unless specifically instructed to.

    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    Dr.
    I don't address people by "Dr." either, unless I'm in a physician's office . And, sorry to those of who you prefer to be addressed this way, but I roll my eyes at anyone who insists on being called "Dr" or has "PhD" on a business card outside of an academic or possibly a consulting setting. I find it's a sign of a big ego more than anything else. Most of the PhDs I know in the corporate world don't advertise the fact. Similarly, I find that the most senior executives often don't even include a title but just the name of their department.

    My general rule of thumb is the simpler the business card (no titles, degrees, professional designations, etc.), the more I tend to like the person . And often the more important the person.

  10. #70

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    I really don't care all that much. I teach so I get it all. As long as I hear the last name, I know the kids are talking to me!
    Haunting the Princess of Pink since 20/07/11...

  11. #71

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    Louis,

    Do the European women you talk to who have a problem with a grown woman being referred to as "Ms." are maybe confusing that with "Miss"?

    To be honest, I know it's pretentious and self-centered, but if I went through all that work to get a PhD, I would totally make it known that I should be referred to as "Dr." Just because one doesn't "respect" the field does not mean they didn't legitimately earn that title. But then, I'm all about self-determination and respecting other people's choice on the naming matter.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  12. #72
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    I think it's a combination of confusing Ms. with Miss, and also that their language / culture specifies that all women over a certain age are called "Mrs." out of respect.

    I certainly respect PhD degrees, no matter what the field, and wish I had the time to get one myself. I just think it's a silly custom to call PhDs "doctor" outside of an academic setting. I directly manage PhDs and have PhDs in the same positions as people with bachelor's degrees plus years of experience. I would feel odd calling one of those people "Dr" and one of them "Ms" or "Mr." I don't use titles for any. And, although I leave it to the individual's choice as to what's on their business card, I feel the same way about including "MBA" or any other designation as I do "PhD." In this age of technology, the half-life of most education is about five years. After that, a degree is a picture on the wall. Using myself as an example, does anyone really care that I got an MBA ten years ago? IMO, they shouldn't; the world is entirely different now than it was then. I'd much rather they focus on the continuous learning, improvements, and accomplishments in the following ten years.

  13. #73

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    I'm a bit confused by the irritation when people don't refer to people as "Dr." in a corporate setting. I went to law school with a lot of people who had PhD's in some other field before they decided to move to law school. There are people who get PhD's in law and end up practising. Normally, I just call everyone by their first name. But in formal correspondence or communication, I'm just gonna use Mr./Ms., even when I know they earned a PhD.

  14. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    I'm a bit confused by the irritation when people don't refer to people as "Dr." in a corporate setting. I went to law school with a lot of people who had PhD's in some other field before they decided to move to law school. There are people who get PhD's in law and end up practising. Normally, I just call everyone by their first name. But in formal correspondence or communication, I'm just gonna use Mr./Ms., even when I know they earned a PhD.
    Ph.D.s are actually called 'Dr.' and they (we) worked hard for it. In a corporate setting most people are called by first name, so I have no problem with it. In the academics and at conferences & other formal meetings I think it's appropriate to use 'Dr.' It is the norm, and it is not always followed for women, as a couple of us pointed out in earlier posts.

  15. #75
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    I would have thought that formal, professional correspondence is where "Dr." would be used. It's in social correspondence that the traditional distinction between medical doctor (used) and academic doctor (not) is made. And that's North American usage. When I was in college, we called almost all of our teachers by first names and wrote "Dear Henry", but I wouldn't have dared to call a Herr Doktor Professor by anything but the full title in Germany. (I'd never met a female professor when I was there there.)
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  16. #76

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    When I send correspondence that is to be addressed to another lawyer (who may or may not have a PhD), I do not expect my legal assistants (what--you think I write them?) to know when to use "Dr." and when not to.

    This is different when we send correspondence to some medical institution for medical records or the like (or to a university where we address a professor, but we rarely ever need to do that). Then we know to use "Dr."

  17. #77

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    I don't mind not being called Dr. in a non - academic research setting, but if my male colleagues are being called Dr. and I'm not, you bet you're going to hear about it.

  18. #78
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    I don't know. Ms. I think. Mrs. seems so old to me, I hate going by Mrs. Lastname. My friends are all teaching their kids to call people 'Miss Firstname' which is just weird as well. It seems popular in Christian circles.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    I don't mind not being called Dr. in a non - academic research setting, but if my male colleagues are being called Dr. and I'm not, you bet you're going to hear about it.
    My husband used to work with a woman who had two PhDs. She never mentioned either one unless pressed and never referred to herself as or asked anyone to call her Dr. One day she was setting up a Powerpoint presentation for a meeting and this new guy--whom I was, unbeknownst to myself, about to experience the joy of working with--swept into the room, glanced her way, and said, "I am Mr. Bigshot. You can bring me a coffee when you are done there."

    There are times when it's good to have a title with which to smite the unworthy. Not, alas, that he learned anything from this. I still get really angry thinking about some of the things he said and did when I was working with him.

    The only time I have ever had a real issue with how I have been addressed by a student was this guy in my very first class as a graduate teaching assistant. Even before the class started, he went to the department office to ask if there were any male teachers available for the same time slot and he complained at some length that he should not have to submit himself to the emotional vagaries of a female instructor, who by nature of her biology lacked both the objectivity and intelligence to assess his or anyone else's work. I always allow the class the interview me on the first day, and his questions were "Are you married?" "Why does your husband allow you to work?" and "Why are you going to graduate school instead of staying home and taking care of your husband?"

    Need I even say that he took great pleasure in calling me Mrs. Prancer at any opportunity?
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    The only time I have ever had a real issue with how I have been addressed by a student was this guy in my very first class as a graduate teaching assistant. Even before the class started, he went to the department office to ask if there were any male teachers available for the same time slot and he complained at some length that he should not have to submit himself to the emotional vagaries of a female instructor, who by nature of her biology lacked both the objectivity and intelligence to assess his or anyone else's work. I always allow the class the interview me on the first day, and his questions were "Are you married?" "Why does your husband allow you to work?" and "Why are you going to graduate school instead of staying home and taking care of your husband?"
    That's even worse than what my coworker was faced with at the grad school, when someone at the career center told her to go home and take care of her children. (It's even more laughable when I observed at graduation that most of the graduating classes were women, and a good number of them were mothers! Not many had more than one though...)

    Like you said, that says far more about him than any descriptor he could use for himself. Apparently he expects he'll become a baby once he got married.

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