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.

Tim Kane said...

Men use Mr. regardless of marital status. Women should have the same privilege. Ms. was suppose to accompish this but may have a stigma attached to it. I use Mz. if unaware of a woman's preferred title.