Mrs, Miss, Ms ?? Which do you use for someone whose marital status is unknown?

Miss-young, teen
Ms-for the unmarried and older than teen age Ms. Miss. miss Ms. Ms. Miss someone you know is unmarried

Mrs. you know they are

MS. you do not know their marital status when in doubt of the martial status you should always use Ms. This way you do not instantly offend the recipient of your letter (especially if this is for a coverletter regarding a job). miss. The titles Miss and Mrs. are both abbreviations of the word mistress. The missis (or the missus) is a dialectal or informal term for one's wife, or the mistress (female head) of a household. The pronunciation (MISS-iz, MISS-is) reflects an altered pronunciation of mistress.

The word mistress had many meanings in Middle English, some of which are still familiar today: female head of a household, goddess, sweetheart, expert in some occupation, teacher, and governess. Basically, mistress referred to a woman who had expertise, power, and control. But it was also used as a title of courtesy when addressing an unmarried or married woman. The sense to which you refer, the 'other woman; the woman who occupies the place of wife' came into English about 1600.

The abbreviation or shortened form miss was first used in 1645 (in John Evelyn's Diary) to mean 'a concubine; a kept mistress'. About twenty years later, Samuel Pepys first used the term as a capitalized title before the name of a girl or unmarried woman. Around the same time, John Dryden first used Miss as a term of address. There are also examples in which it referred to a female baby.

The abbreviation Mrs. was first used in 1615 before the name of a married woman, as it is today. However, to confuse matters, it was also the abbreviation of mistress in all the many senses of that word, and it also distinguished an unmarried woman from a child: "Mrs. Veal was a maiden gentlewoman." (Daniel Defoe, The History of Colonel Jack)

The male equivalent of mistress was master, which meant, among other things, 'male head of a household'. In the 16th century, master changed to mister and the abbreviation Mr. arose to identify a man but not his marital status.

So it appears that the uses of Mr. and Mrs. were somewhat parallel until the 19th century. At that time, Mrs. began to refer only to a married woman.

Many people have asked us about the abbreviation Ms. Surprisingly, it was first used as early as 1949, in Mario Pei's The Story of Language. It may be a blend of Miss and Mrs. call her Ms. till she corrects u if she's married it is Ms. The answer is Ms. You use Ms if status is unknown, or they are divorcee and old ladies who have never been married. Dear Ms. Michelle blah:

continue In a letter, you would normally start dear Sir/Madam, but you know it's a female, so it's Dear Madam, but if you know her name you'd probably put Dear Ms. ? Dear Ms. _____ Dear Ms. <family name>,

This is the most formal greeting for an e-mail.

Also, you might want to check if she has another title like "Dr." and use that instead of Ms. I concur with Ms. Ms.

Dear Ms.(or whatever) (Dr.) Jane Doe

blah blah balah

With all due respect,
Yr Name

Yr Name

teddybearthejedi MRS --- > Married

MISS ----> Not Married

MS ----> Widowed or unknown

Use "MS"... Either Miss or Ms. It is best to address her as Ms.

Usage Note: Many of us think of Ms. or Ms as a fairly recent invention of the women's movement, but in fact the term was first suggested as a convenience to writers of business letters by such publications as the Bulletin of the American Business Writing Association (1951) and The Simplified Letter, issued by the National Office Management Association (1952). Ms. is now widely used in both professional and social contexts. As a courtesy title Ms. serves exactly the same function that Mr. does for men, and like Mr. it may be used with a last name alone or with a full name. Furthermore, Ms. is correct regardless of a woman's marital status, thus relegating that information to the realm of private life, where many feel it belongs anyway. Some women prefer Miss or Mrs., however, and courtesy requires that their wishes be respected.


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