Author Topic: "Ms" the [b]only[/b] acceptable title for women?  (Read 9712 times)

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Marisol

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Re: "Ms" the [b]only[/b] acceptable title for women?
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2012, 12:03:03 PM »
Personally, I wish there was one "M" title for women...

That would be Ms.

Well yes, but what I meant was that there are other titles commonly used as well.  It would be simpler if Mrs. and Miss did not exist and women only had Ms.  I should have written "I wish there was ONLY one title".

DavidH

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Re: "Ms" the [b]only[/b] acceptable title for women?
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2012, 12:18:13 PM »
For a class, do what you need to in order to pass.

In the real world, I'd address a document to a female as Ms. Jones or Dr. Jones (if appropriate) unless I knew she used Mrs. or Miss.  In my field, the assumption would be that she has a PhD, so I'd probably err one the side of adding Dr. unless I knew otherwise or knew that she preferred Ms. Jones, PhD.  I would never address a document to Mrs. John Jones unless I were 100% positive that she wanted it addressed that way and even so, I'd probably default to Mrs. Jones. 

Once a person has expressed a preference, I think it is most polite to adhere to it independent of what others think should be that person's preference. 


nyarlathotep

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Re: "Ms" the [b]only[/b] acceptable title for women?
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2012, 02:49:54 PM »
Well yes, but what I meant was that there are other titles commonly used as well.  It would be simpler if Mrs. and Miss did not exist and women only had Ms.  I should have written "I wish there was ONLY one title".

Personally I think it would save a lot of arguments if we just had one word for people of all genders - kind of like the Japanese "san". I know some people use "Mx" but it hasn't really caught on.

Marisol

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Re: "Ms" the [b]only[/b] acceptable title for women?
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2012, 02:58:08 PM »
Well yes, but what I meant was that there are other titles commonly used as well.  It would be simpler if Mrs. and Miss did not exist and women only had Ms.  I should have written "I wish there was ONLY one title".

Personally I think it would save a lot of arguments if we just had one word for people of all genders - kind of like the Japanese "san". I know some people use "Mx" but it hasn't really caught on.

I've never heard of that!  I like the idea a lot. 

cicero

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Re: "Ms" the [b]only[/b] acceptable title for women?
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2012, 03:04:40 PM »
My professor on the other hand is quite insistent that she feels disrespected if any woman is referred to  as "Mrs." and that it.shall.be.done. her way.

Your professor doesn't get to decide what anyone besides her is called.
i agree. and what if Mrs. Smith is a doctor? or Rabbi? does she still call them "Mrs."?

I have found, for example, that many european women as well as latin american women (and possibly other cultures/ethnicc areas) prefer Mrs. over Ms.  I tend to use Ms. as a default, but will ask or change according to specific person's preference.

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sunnygirl

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Re: "Ms" the [b]only[/b] acceptable title for women?
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2012, 03:15:47 PM »
I only go by Ms and get very heated about it (sometimes other people use Dr which I don't mind, but I'm a PhD not an MD so I don't use it). I don't know if it's a British thing or what, but I've encountered people who persist on asking, "is that Miss or Mrs?" and absolutely refuse to accept Ms, which does really offend me. But I don't see what the problem is with calling someone Miss or Mrs if that's their choice - I think it's pretty rude not to respect someone's preference as to their own title.

stitchygreyanonymouse

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Re: "Ms" the [b]only[/b] acceptable title for women?
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2012, 03:35:04 PM »
Well yes, but what I meant was that there are other titles commonly used as well.  It would be simpler if Mrs. and Miss did not exist and women only had Ms.  I should have written "I wish there was ONLY one title".

Personally I think it would save a lot of arguments if we just had one word for people of all genders - kind of like the Japanese "san". I know some people use "Mx" but it hasn't really caught on.

That would be nice, but then again, -san isn’t the only Japanese honorific. -kun, -chan, -sama, -senpai… the list goes on. (Not to mention that -san can be added to other things to personify them. We wouldn’t call Mt. Fuji  Mr. Fuji in English, but it is sometimes referred to as Fugi-san in Japanese.)

MsApril

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Re: "Ms" the [b]only[/b] acceptable title for women?
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2012, 04:24:33 PM »
My professor on the other hand is quite insistent that she feels disrespected if any woman is referred to  as "Mrs." and that it.shall.be.done. her way.

Your professor doesn't get to decide what anyone besides her is called.
I think, in this case, the professor does get to decide because she is the one handing out the grades.
Professors can be very particular.

SamiHami

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Re: "Ms" the [b]only[/b] acceptable title for women?
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2012, 05:17:55 PM »
My professor on the other hand is quite insistent that she feels disrespected if any woman is referred to  as "Mrs." and that it.shall.be.done. her way.

Your professor doesn't get to decide what anyone besides her is called.
I think, in this case, the professor does get to decide because she is the one handing out the grades. Professors can be very particular.

Except the professor is not the one handing out the money.

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O'Dell

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Re: "Ms" the [b]only[/b] acceptable title for women?
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2012, 05:31:10 PM »
  I realize that I will have to do it her way for the project I turn in for a grade, but I thought it would be an interesting etiquette question to see how ehellers would resolve the two ideas of "proper" address?

I go with what a person requests to be called. I go with Ms. if I'm not sure. Your prof is goofy if she personally feels disrespected based on what title others use.
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athersgeo

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Re: "Ms" the [b]only[/b] acceptable title for women?
« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2012, 05:34:31 PM »
I only go by Ms and get very heated about it (sometimes other people use Dr which I don't mind, but I'm a PhD not an MD so I don't use it). I don't know if it's a British thing or what, but I've encountered people who persist on asking, "is that Miss or Mrs?" and absolutely refuse to accept Ms, which does really offend me. But I don't see what the problem is with calling someone Miss or Mrs if that's their choice - I think it's pretty rude not to respect someone's preference as to their own title.

That's interesting because my experience in the UK is the opposite. People call me Ms regardless of what I say or do. It doesn't actually bother me in a political sense (call me what you like as long as it's polite!), but it was an issue when my father was alive: we shared a first initial, so whenever a letter came addressed to someone with a two letter honorific and his initial he'd open it, assuming it was for him...

I don't know what was harder: convincing him to actually learn to read (he read perfectly well, he just chose not to) or convincing my bank to address everything to Miss (because there was no way he could mistake that!)

kglory

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Re: "Ms" the [b]only[/b] acceptable title for women?
« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2012, 05:38:07 PM »
Does your professor know that Mrs. Vasquez prefers to be called "Mrs."?

I can see the professor teaching that, in the business world, Ms. should be the default title used for women.

But it seems like very bad business sense (in addition to bad manners) to not call a donor what she wishes to be called, once she has made those wishes clear.

We've had whole threads here about people being upset  when their first names are misspelled and mispronounced.  Calling someone by the title they don't use seems just as pig-headed and rude!

snowdragon

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Re: "Ms" the [b]only[/b] acceptable title for women?
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2012, 07:44:35 PM »
Does your professor know that Mrs. Vasquez prefers to be called "Mrs."?


Yes, Mrs Vasquez introduced herself to said professor as that, she always does and the Professor acknowledges knowing this. It still is considered a personal affront to the professor to refer to any female as anything but Ms.
 

Slartibartfast

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Re: "Ms" the [b]only[/b] acceptable title for women?
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2012, 07:48:03 PM »
"Ms." is correct until you know what a woman prefers to be called.  Drives me nuts when people make assumptions about someone's title and then insist on sticking with their initial assumption even when the person in question tells them they prefer something else.  I mean, you don't have to honor calling your ex "Jason-san the White Ninja" or anything, but if he could legitimately be called one of multiple honorifics (mister, doctor, reverand, his holiness, etc.) he gets to pick which one to use and in which situations.  There are some social rules to this - someone who insisted on being called by their military rank 24/7 would get a lot of odd looks and gossip behind their back - but it's rude to unilaterally decide someone else's preferences don't matter.

Dindrane

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Re: "Ms" the [b]only[/b] acceptable title for women?
« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2012, 08:51:25 PM »
If your professor is supposed to be an expert on grant writing, and has this particular attitude about titles, I think she's in a very odd line of work.

In the real world, you call the donor/entity giving the money whatever they want to be called. Failing to do so could offend your source of funds, and that's a really stupid thing to do unless your goal is actually to not get funding.

I do think it is entirely reasonable to default to Ms. in a professional capacity. I process a lot of resumes, and always use "Ms." or "Mr." unless the applicant has very clearly specified otherwise. It's the only way I can avoid making unwarranted assumptions about a person's marital status or education level. But if someone does express a preference for a specific title in some way, I go with that. I triple check to make sure I've read/understood their preference correctly, but I don't override it once I am aware of it.