Results 1 to 31 of 31

General discussions discuss Using "Ms." instead of "Miss" or "Mrs." in the General Forums forums; What do you think about this? Is this an accommodation to Feminism? Or is it a natural progression in the use of our language? Are ...

  1. #1
    JohnV's Avatar
    JohnV is offline. Puritanboard Postgraduate
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    4,419

    Using "Ms." instead of "Miss" or "Mrs."

    What do you think about this? Is this an accommodation to Feminism? Or is it a natural progression in the use of our language? Are you offended by the use of "Ms.", or are you offended if it is not used? Should we use it? Or should we not?

    I've been caught in this dilemma a few times. I'm not comfortable with using "Ms." because to me it's an accommodation that is not necessary.

    I do find, though, that the use of "Ms." makes properly polite addresses harder to explain to my children.
    JohnV

    John Vandervliet
    Ontario, Canada
    member of: Canadian Reformed Church
    "In coming to understand anything we are rejecting the facts as they are for us in favour of the facts as they are" C.S Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism

  2. #2
    a mere housewife's Avatar
    a mere housewife is offline. Not your cup of tea
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    6,740
    I only use it when I don't know whether or not someone is married, and assume it is used in the same way with me. Given the maritally specific meaning of "Mrs." and "Miss" it seems like a good thing to have a further category of polite address for people whose marital status you don't know -- in other words, not a concession to feminism but to ignorance.
    Heidi
    Steger, IL

    'I cannot live like Jesus, example though he be
    For he was strong and selfless, and I am tied to me.
    But I have asked my Jesus to live his life in me . . .
    Behold his warm, his tangible, his dear humanity.'
    -Betty Stam

  3. #3
    Leslie is offline. Puritanboard Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,560
    It's also courteous in the case of older, unmarried or possibly-unmarried women. When used on a return address it's saying, "It's none of your business what my marital status is," which is true. Miss carries the connotation of someone who is young and marriageable. It sounds ridiculous attached to a 70 year old virgin.
    Mary Vanderkooi
    Kale Heywott Church (KHC)
    Soddo, Ethiopia

  4. #4
    LadyFlynt is offline. Inactive User
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    8,831
    Only ridiculous in today's society because of the assumptions people make. Personally, I only see "Ms." useful for divorcees who still have their married name attached. Otherwise, it's a means of saying, "none of your business".
    JC - PCA - PA...homesick for SC
    A we n' de Ya, ho; I mak sikker; Deus juvat

    Indicabo tibi o homo quid sit bonum, et quid Dominus requirat a te: Utique facere iudicium, et diligere, misericordiam, et sollicitum ambulare cum Deo tuo. Michaeas 6:8

    "Who says you can't go back, been all around the world and as a matter of fact. There's only one place left I want to go, who says you can't go home" Bon Jovi

  5. #5
    Hippo's Avatar
    Hippo is offline. Puritanboard Junior
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,235
    I try to use whatever the recipient would prefer, if that can be divined, as that seems to me to be good manners.

    If you just have an initial and a surname I just call them Mr as they have given no indication of how they wish to be addresed and I have a pathalogical aversion to addressing someone as "Mr or Mrs".

    I can see the arguments for using Ms, we do live in a very sexist society, but I do not like it, people are often too self abosrbed by what people call them.

    I like George Foremans quote that you can call him whatever you want as long as you call him for dinner.
    Mike
    Free Church of Scotland
    England

    "Surely, we wish to be orthodox, but we must first learn what real orthodoxy is. Surely, we wish to be progressive, but we must first have a basis to progress from."

  6. #6
    Reformed Covenanter's Avatar
    Reformed Covenanter is offline. Puritanboard Doctor
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    7,047
    Quote Originally Posted by Hippo View Post

    I like George Foremans quote that you can call him whatever you want as long as you call him for dinner.
    Daniel
    RPCI
    Northern Ireland
    "May that happy period soon arrive when the unclouded glory of divine revelation will shine from pole to pole; when men every where will see eye to eye, in all things that are connected with divine glory, and with their own eternal felicity." William Stavely (Irish Covenanter), An appeal to light (1796), pp 143-4

  7. #7
    k.seymore is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    141
    I like "Misc."
    It can be used for anyone.
    - Misc. Jane Smith
    - Misc. John Doe
    C. Gorsuch
    Glencullen Baptist
    Portland, Oregon

  8. #8
    Sonoftheday's Avatar
    Sonoftheday is offline. Puritanboard Sophomore
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    695
    I dont think Ive ever used the Miss. I have no objections to it, it just isnt in my vocabulary.

    Brother and Sister are my most used terms, if I am referring to an unbeliever I think I typically just say their names.
    Bryan Riddle
    1689 London Baptist Confession
    Bethel Baptist Church Owasso, Oklahoma

  9. #9
    DMcFadden's Avatar
    DMcFadden is offline. Meum cerebrum nocet
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    9,868
    The most Godly woman I know is a staunch ANTI feminist. But, when she was 29 her husband left her and their five children and ran off with a woman at work (who deliberately schemed to seduce him, btw). She feels it is oxymoronic to call a mother of five and grandmother of thee "Miss" (even at 48 years of age). On the other hand, "Mrs." certainly doesn't capture her situation now that she has been divorced for nearly two decades. She goes by "Ms." as the most descriptive title. Yet, there is a measure of sadness about it for her since she never wanted to be anything but a doting wife and stay-at-home mom.
    Dennis E. McFadden, Ex Mainline Baptist (in Remission)
    Atherton Baptist Homes, Alhambra, CA, President/CEO
    Emmanuel Lutheran Church, LCMS

    Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- Suggestions?

  10. #10
    JohnV's Avatar
    JohnV is offline. Puritanboard Postgraduate
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    4,419
    I am used to using "Miss" to refer to a young girl, or a single woman, or a woman who is representing her profession (teacher, nurse, etc.), or a woman who is widowed and in certain circumstances requires to be called "miss", or a woman whose married status is not known to me. That's what I am used to. So "Ms." is strange to me. I've called women "miss" even though I knew they were married because they were acting in their field of work.

    I've never seen it taken amiss.

    That's why I ask. I just want to know what others think about it. Thanks for the responses.

    I don't think that I'd call George Foreman anything but Mr. though. I might not call him for supper, but I'm not going to call him anything disrespectful. All my belts put together aren't as big as his one belt.
    JohnV

    John Vandervliet
    Ontario, Canada
    member of: Canadian Reformed Church
    "In coming to understand anything we are rejecting the facts as they are for us in favour of the facts as they are" C.S Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism

  11. #11
    Simply_Nikki's Avatar
    Simply_Nikki is offline. Puritanboard Junior
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,895
    I agree with some of the statements above. I know some people use Ms. as a none of your business title. But I use it particularly for older women or women who I'm not sure are married or not, widows or divorced women. It just seems a more appropriate and cautious title. I'd find it a bit inappropriate, in say a business oriented letter, to address a woman you don't know as Miss or Mrs., since you'd be assuming something you don't know about the woman. Ms. just seems like the safest route.
    Nikki Edmond
    Desert Springs Presbyterian Church (PCA)
    Tucson, AZ

    Principle and Practice Blog
    Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

  12. #12
    Theoretical's Avatar
    Theoretical is offline. Puritanboard Professor
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    5,144
    I use Ms. professionally only. It's safer to use Ms., especially on any document templates, to avoid referring to someone in a brief the wrong way.

    Personally, it would be Miss or Mrs. unless I accidentally slip into "business" mode. I've tended to overuse first names on lot of occasions, before I'm truly familiar with someone, so I'm transitioning to a more "Miss" or "Mrs." form of address.
    Last edited by Theoretical; 06-09-2008 at 09:26 PM.
    Scott - Dallas, Texas - Faith OPC

    "It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do." - Edmund Burke

  13. #13
    DMcFadden's Avatar
    DMcFadden is offline. Meum cerebrum nocet
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    9,868
    Quote Originally Posted by Theoretical View Post
    I use Ms. professionally only. It's safer to use Ms., especially on any document templates . . .
    Well, OK, if YOU insist . . . Ms. Scott Hooker. But I got to let you know, bro. It kind of creeps me out to think of you that way.
    Dennis E. McFadden, Ex Mainline Baptist (in Remission)
    Atherton Baptist Homes, Alhambra, CA, President/CEO
    Emmanuel Lutheran Church, LCMS

    Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- Suggestions?

  14. #14
    Theoretical's Avatar
    Theoretical is offline. Puritanboard Professor
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    5,144


    Ms. Scott Hooker - perish the thought.

    Now Mr. and Mrs. Scott Hooker - now that I could warm up to (of course, I don't know who the Mrs. in that would be)

    Of course I refer to men as Mr.
    Scott - Dallas, Texas - Faith OPC

    "It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do." - Edmund Burke

  15. #15
    VictorBravo's Avatar
    VictorBravo is offline. Administrator
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    8,403
    Blog Entries
    1
    I learned "Mzzzz" in the 60s when I lived in Texas. My 3rd grade teacher was Mzzz Wills (She was married to Chill Wills's brother, BTW). I figured the feminists just came later and adopted a reasonable language construction.

    If a woman lawyer is opposing counsel, I always address her (at least initially) as Ms. It no longer seems to be a statement--just a convention.
    R. Victor Bottomly
    Port Cities Reformed Baptist Church, Lewiston ID

    Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- How to access Politics and Government forum

  16. #16
    Kevin's Avatar
    Kevin is offline. Puritanboard Doctor
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    6,027
    I lived in the South long enough (17 years) to know that all women are called Miss. Single women are "Miss Jane" (or whatever their christian name is) & married women are "Miss Smith" (or whatever their family name is).

    At least that was the rule in North Georgia!
    TE Kevin Rogers
    MNA Church Planter
    Redeemer Community Church
    Moncton NB

  17. #17
    staythecourse's Avatar
    staythecourse is offline. Puritanboard Junior
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,890
    I only use it when I don't know whether or not someone is married, and assume it is used in the same way with me. Given the maritally specific meaning of "Mrs." and "Miss" it seems like a good thing to have a further category of polite address for people whose marital status you don't know -- in other words, not a concession to feminism but to ignorance.
    __________________
    Good answer Ms Manners. um Mrs. Manners.
    Bryan Wiley
    Layman
    Reformed Baptist Church
    Louisville, Kentucky

    "Seek the Kingdom of God first."

  18. #18
    JBaldwin's Avatar
    JBaldwin is offline. Puritanboard Postgraduate
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    4,504
    I use "Miss" with women who are unmarried and "Mrs." with women who are married. In the part of the South where I live that is still common practice. Personally, I tend to associate "Ms" with feminism. Frankly, I think that "Ms." is almost disrespectful.
    J Baldwin
    Keowee Presbyterian Church, PCA
    Pickens, SC
    “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27

    Check Out My Blog: http://reflectjoy.blogspot.com/

  19. #19
    PuritanCovenanter's Avatar
    PuritanCovenanter is offline. The Norseman Moderator
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    17,704
    Blog Entries
    89
    When my Dad divorced my Mom she went to Ms. She was not a Miss nor a Mrs.

    Norseman Moderator

    Randy Martin Snyder
    RPCNA Covenanter's Blog

    "Our object should not be to have scripture on our side but to be on the side of scripture; and however dear any sentiment may have become by being long entertained, so soon as it is seen to be contrary to the Bible, we must be prepared to abandon it without hesitation."
    William Symington


    RSI FacebookReformation Society of Indiana
    Twitter RPCNACovenanter
    Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- Suggestions? -- Joining PB Politics and Government Forums

  20. #20
    Leslie is offline. Puritanboard Junior
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,560
    Quote Originally Posted by LadyFlynt View Post
    Only ridiculous in today's society because of the assumptions people make. Personally, I only see "Ms." useful for divorcees who still have their married name attached. Otherwise, it's a means of saying, "none of your business".
    What assumptions?
    Mary Vanderkooi
    Kale Heywott Church (KHC)
    Soddo, Ethiopia

  21. #21
    JohnV's Avatar
    JohnV is offline. Puritanboard Postgraduate
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    4,419
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
    I lived in the South long enough (17 years) to know that all women are called Miss. Single women are "Miss Jane" (or whatever their christian name is) & married women are "Miss Smith" (or whatever their family name is).

    At least that was the rule in North Georgia!
    This isn't just the South, is it? I mean, that's what I learned too. We had a teacher in grade school who was called "Miss Gilmour", even though she was a Mrs. Gilmour. We had no connection to her at all except at school; we did not know Mr. Gilmour at all. So we called her Miss Gilmour. You could say, in the old tradition, that we called her Miss Gilmour "without prejudice". It was pretty common.

    But then, I live in the South too. Southern Ontario, which is as south as you can get in Canada.

    For me "Ms." came into use in the Seventies, and was attached to the objection to the use of the word "man" in such cases as "mailman", "policeman", and so on. It's still proper in some places, and is becoming more acceptable again, to call a woman postal delivery person a "mailman", and a woman cop a "policeman". It doesn't require an apologetic on the old inclusive term "man" anymore, because people understand it according to the context.
    JohnV

    John Vandervliet
    Ontario, Canada
    member of: Canadian Reformed Church
    "In coming to understand anything we are rejecting the facts as they are for us in favour of the facts as they are" C.S Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism

  22. #22
    SueS is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    416
    I've always thought that Ms (Mizzzz) sounds rather sleazy. I hate receiving a letter addressed to "Ms Scott"

  23. #23
    BJClark is offline. Puritanboard Doctor
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    6,151
    My kids call neighbors and close friends of the family "Miss" or Mr. (first name) Miss Tammy, Miss Judy, Miss. Tracy..and they call men Mr. Will, or Mr. Jimmy, or whatever.

    At church/school they refer to adults by Mr./Mrs Last name..unless of a course a teacher insists they be called Ms. which has only happened once or twice and the kids, thought it sounded odd, and would make comments at home like MSSSSS.. so and so said..I get onto them and let them know that's NOT respectful to the person, and what they prefer to be called..but it doesn't change how they feel..that it sounds odd..

    My daughter began to feel old when they started working in a daycare and the kids started calling them.. Miss Casey..and Miss Jessie...
    Bobbi Clark
    Covenant Member
    Pinewood Pres. (PCA) Middleburg

    When I kept Silent, My bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. Psalm 32:3

  24. #24
    calgal's Avatar
    calgal is offline. Puritanboard Graduate
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    3,475
    Quote Originally Posted by JBaldwin View Post
    I use "Miss" with women who are unmarried and "Mrs." with women who are married. In the part of the South where I live that is still common practice. Personally, I tend to associate "Ms" with feminism. Frankly, I think that "Ms." is almost disrespectful.
    I think Ms. is appropriate in business settings or if one is unsure what the marital status of a woman is. With a few exceptions, it is disrespectful for kids to address adults by their first names. I like Aunt (for relatives and children of close friends), Mrs. or Ms. in business or for acquaintances and friends.
    Gail

  25. #25
    BJClark is offline. Puritanboard Doctor
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    6,151
    calgal;

    With a few exceptions, it is disrespectful for kids to address adults by their first names. I like Aunt (for relatives and children of close friends), Mrs. or Ms. in business or for acquaintances and friends.
    Some they do call Aunt, but in the south, at least here in the south, it is quite common for children to call adults Miss (first name) or Mr. (first name).

    Even in daycares that is what they are taught to call the adults.
    Bobbi Clark
    Covenant Member
    Pinewood Pres. (PCA) Middleburg

    When I kept Silent, My bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. Psalm 32:3

  26. #26
    Galatians220 is offline. Inactive User
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    4,574
    Quote Originally Posted by a mere housewife View Post
    I only use it when I don't know whether or not someone is married, and assume it is used in the same way with me. Given the maritally specific meaning of "Mrs." and "Miss" it seems like a good thing to have a further category of polite address for people whose marital status you don't know -- in other words, not a concession to feminism but to ignorance.
    Yes! Agree totally. (My "thanks" button is gone again, otherwise I wouldn't have burdened this thread with the following.)

    I always address someone as "Mrs." when I know they're married. No one, not even anyone going through a divorce or after divorce, has ever registered an objection.

    Personally, although I try not to be, I'm offended when someone knows I'm married and addresses me as "Ms." I cut them "Christian slack," of course, and never mention it - but it still irks me. I took my husband's name when we married; I am not ashamed to be married, and I am "Mrs.," not "Ms."

    In the legal field, one is presented with the dilemma of what to address a female attorney. After 26 years, I still choke at putting "Esq." after a woman's name, although most women attorneys I know don't care about that. To me, it seems less than respectful to a woman to put "Esq." after her name (I've worked for a couple of women attorneys). So I usually, in the line of address in correspondence to a female attorney in my little part-time job, put her name and then on the next line, "Attorney-at-Law." No one has ever objected to that, either.

    I'm old, though, older than dirt, and old-fashioned as well.

    Margaret
    Margaret

  27. #27
    Gloria's Avatar
    Gloria is offline. Puritanboard Sophomore
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    786
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnV View Post
    What do you think about this? Is this an accommodation to Feminism? Or is it a natural progression in the use of our language? Are you offended by the use of "Ms.", or are you offended if it is not used? Should we use it? Or should we not?

    I've been caught in this dilemma a few times. I'm not comfortable with using "Ms." because to me it's an accommodation that is not necessary.

    I do find, though, that the use of "Ms." makes properly polite addresses harder to explain to my children.

    I use it all the time so I guess I'm not offended by it. I use it most when I'm unsure of a woman's marital status or when I'm addressing a divorcee'. I don't want to call her "Miss" because, well, it doesn't seem proper. I don't want to call her "Mrs." because she's not married.

    PS, I hit "thanks" on accident.
    ~Gloria G.~
    Bride of Warren G.
    Member of Trinity Presbyterian Church, PCA, Southeast Georgia

    "Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways." Psalm 119:37

  28. #28
    blhowes's Avatar
    blhowes is offline. Puritanboard Doctor
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    6,045
    Quote Originally Posted by Gloria View Post
    PS, I hit "thanks" on accident.
    I was going to tell you that there was a button called Remove my Thanks, or something like that, you could click to take away your thanks. I clicked Thanks to test it out, and found that apparently the function's no longer available. So, I guess you're stuck with the thanks.

    Thanks,
    Bob
    B.Howes
    Massachusetts

  29. #29
    JohnV's Avatar
    JohnV is offline. Puritanboard Postgraduate
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    4,419
    It looks like most of you take "Ms." to be a replacement for the old-fashioned "Miss", and take "Miss" to refer only to young girls or as-yet-unmarried women. Or am I mistaken? It seems that some of you think that it is just as inappropriate to call a married woman "Miss" if you're not sure about or don't know her married status as it is to call an unmarried woman "Mrs." The net result seems to me to be that the way I would use "Miss" is the way some of you (at least) think of "Ms."

    So it seems to me that the use of "Ms." has changed how we use "Miss". Or did that happen before "Ms." came along? Did "Ms." come along maybe because we changed our use of "Miss"? That is, has the use of "Miss" lost proper use and therefore come into misuse, therefore necessitating "Ms."?
    JohnV

    John Vandervliet
    Ontario, Canada
    member of: Canadian Reformed Church
    "In coming to understand anything we are rejecting the facts as they are for us in favour of the facts as they are" C.S Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism

  30. #30
    VirginiaHuguenot is offline. Puritanboard Librarian
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    23,794
    Blog Entries
    7

  31. #31
    blhowes's Avatar
    blhowes is offline. Puritanboard Doctor
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    6,045
    I went to school in VA, stayed down there for around 10 years. During that time, I acquired some of the southern way of talking. When I came back up north, I didn't find myself using "Miss", "Mrs.", or "Ms", but "Ma'am". I can't tell you how many ladies asked me not to say, "Yes, ma'am". Took a conscious effort to change.
    B.Howes
    Massachusetts

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72