Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mrs vs Ms vs Mz

In a social gathering, referencing other people is easy amongst peers - you could even say 'that guy' or just call him by name, 'Bala'. With elders, though, it is difficult with the elderly ladies. I've always had a bit of hesitation in naming a person - 'Who prepared this dish?' 'Ms/Mrs XY'.

Depending on their marital status, the answer can vary: the Guardian style guide says use Ms unless they have specified Miss or Mrs; Time magazine in a non-article says anything is fine.

There is one more specific: British speakers tend to pronounce Ms as Mz, indicating their current marital status is 'unknown'. I've heard it a couple of times on TV shows, so at last there seems to be a solution: Mz.


a fan said...

I remember reading a BBC article where it was suggested to use Ms Y in all circumstances, unless the person Y specifically suggests to be called Mrs Y.

Marianne said...

I remember learning the following:

Mrs. - Married
Miss - Single
Ms. - Unknown marital status
Mz. - Widowed

Quanna Love said...

Mz.- Using a name other than their last name,middle or first name instead. Unknown material status.