Ms, Mrs, Miss?

This question has been answered · 57 replies
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Hi,

I'd greatly appreciate anyone's help.
What should I use for addressing to a woman in a coverletter when it does not tell us?
Ms, Mrs or Miss.
Dear madam/ sir could be used if there was no name.
However usually, there is a name e.g., Contact: Amanda Moore

There might have been a post in the past asking similar question. I'm not sure, you can direct me to the older post. There are way too many for me to search. If you don't mind you can explain to me again?

Thank you in advance.
New Member27
Thread is locked
Approved answer (verified by )
If you don't know. use Ms. as it is neutral regarding marital status.

Miss is for unmarried women.

Mrs is for married women.

Ms is for 'unknowns' and any woman who wishes to use it.
Veteran Member11,782
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.
Thread is locked
Approved answer (verified by )
Hi,
Since there seems to be a lot of misinformation here, let me put in my two cents.I'm afraid that some of your comments here are not correct. Don't discount the comments earlier in the thread. Here are just a few quick and brief comments.

The general consensus in the American business world in my experience, and according to my Honors English instructor, seems to be that Ms. is pronounced "Miss" Definitely not. It's pronounced with the Z sound, ie Mizzzz. and should be used as the generic reference to any female whenever her marital status is not know, and also if it IS known that she is NOT married. Also it does not matter if she is divorced, she is still a "Miss/Ms.", as it is impolite to title her by the fact that she is divorced. It depends on her preference, if it is known to you. The only time when one can't be certain about the correct title is when the woman is widowed, in which case it depends upon her preference. Some widowed women like to go back to being called a "Miss/Ms." while others prefer to remain a "Misses/Mrs." This seems to depend somewhat upon whether or not the woman is interested in remarrying. I think many divorced or widowed women would not like this remark. It shows a lot of presumption.

Mrs. means "Misses" and refers specifically and ONLY to a married woman. No, it's short for the archaic form 'Mistress'. And it can also be used by divorced or widoed women, if they wish.

Mz. is the only abbreviation that would be pronounced "Mizz" but it is archaic and is realistically never used anymore. In 12 years working in offices and customer service, I have NEVER even once seen Mz. used. It never has been used at all, to my knowledge. I think you are confusing is with Ms.

Also, nobody in America uses the term "master" for young men. This is also considered archaic and even arrogant by some. Young men are referred to as Mr., just as all men are. The quite archaic 'master' was used for young boys rather than for young men.

I'd prefer if we just changed all the rules and used the simple "Mr" or "Ms" ALL THE TIME but old rules die hard.

Best wishes, Clive
Veteran Member69,557
Moderator: A super-user who takes care of the forums. You have the ability to message a moderator privately should you wish. These users have a range of elevated privileges including the deletion, editing and movement of posts when needed.Teachers: Users in this role are certified teachers. This may include DELTA, CELTA, TESOL, TEFL qualified professionals. Email a scan of your qualification to an admin, if you wish to be considered.
Thread is locked
Approved answer (verified by )
What's the big deal about it all?
It's so simple, no need for any further discussion.

With my neighboors, teachers at school and women I know who are married I've always used Mrs.

As for women I don't know I always stick to Ms. and have never had a problem. I don't think it sounds impolite.

Young girls I just call by the first name.

As for Miss...I don't use it that much. I remember using it a few times in school because I had some single teachers.

Concluding, I think titles are a part of an old society. I don't think that calling a person by his/her first name shows disrespect at all. My mother for instance prefers to be called by her first name and all of my friends do so. Besides, I also call many of my friends' mothers by their first names and we all have a good relationship.

Let's evolve our minds, we're in the 21st century.
Full Member231
Thread is locked
Approved answer (verified by )
AnonymousSimply reply To Whom it May Concern:
No, no, and no!

You know who sent the correspondence. You know her name. The only thing you don't know is whether to use "Miss" or "Mrs." or "Ms." As this thread should have made abudantely clear, if you don't know, use "Ms."

You use "To whom is may concern" only when any number of yet unkonwn people may read it - a letter of recommendation, perhaps. You would never use it when you know the recipient but simply not her marital status.

It's time to lock this thread before any additional well-meaning but totally erroneous advice is given.
Veteran Member27,524
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.Trusted Users: Trusted users are allowed to use additional capabilities of the site such as private messaging to all users and various other advanced features. You cannot join this role unless you are promoted by an administrator.
Thread is locked
ALL REPLIES
Anonymous:
no brainer with MS you can go wrong..been their
Thread is locked
Anonymous:
what would you use for a widowed woman?

i know divorced is ms, so would it be the same for a widower?
Thread is locked
A widower is a man. Most widows, I think, prefer Mrs. Nor do divorced women necessarily use Ms-- Miss is also available for those who prefer it.
Veteran Member92,329
SystemAdministrator: A system administrator takes care of the inner workings of the entire system. These users have the ability to promote, ban and modify other users.Teachers: Users in this role are certified teachers. This may include DELTA, CELTA, TESOL, TEFL qualified professionals. Email a scan of your qualification to an admin, if you wish to be considered.
Thread is locked
Anonymous:
Hi,

If it does not say which to use, your best option is to use Ms. as this courtesy title is regardless of her marital status.
Thread is locked
Anonymous:
Hi!

As a dutch girl, pronunciation is sometimes a bit tricky for me.

Is there a difference between Ms and Miss?? ( does it end in /z/ or /s/?)
Thread is locked
the Z sound.
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.Trusted Users: Trusted users are allowed to use additional capabilities of the site such as private messaging to all users and various other advanced features. You cannot join this role unless you are promoted by an administrator.
Thread is locked
Anonymous:
just wanted to thank you. im writing christmas cards at the moment and did not want to offend anyone. you helped me out alot! Emotion: smile
Thread is locked
Show more
Live chat
Registered users can join here