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post #81 of 102

I am from the PNW and back home, everyone referred to themselves as "firstname." Unless it was a teacher or leader type position. School teachers were "Mr/Ms/Mrs Lastname and activity leaders were sometimes their first name and sometimes Miss Firstname. We moved to TX several months ago and I hate being called "Miss Stephenie." It sounds contrived to me. It's also been a struggle to decide if I should teach the kids to refer to people as "Miss Firstname" or just by their names. I don't want them to be seen as rude, but I also hardly think we should change how we do things just to "blend in." 

post #82 of 102

I can't stand Miss First name either. A former coworker had her son call people that and it took a lot of getting used to. My mother and I used to tutor at the same school and it happened to me there because I wasn't married and stuck after I got married. I am from Kentucky and was always taught Miss meant young, never married, Ms meant older, never married or divorced, and Mrs meant married.

post #83 of 102

Another transplanted into the south Northerner here . . . I don't like being called "Miss Erika" but to me it's more about the child being polite.  It's not the end of the world to me, so I just let them . . . it seems silly (again, to me) to pick a battle over what some other parent has chosen to teach their child is good manners. 

 

I guess what I'm saying is that even though I don't like being called that, I'm just grateful that the child's parents actually taught them something!  I see so many kids who have been taught nothing and are disrespectful, that it cheers my heart to be reminded that there are lots of parents out their doing the best they can to teach respect.  Even if it's not exactly the title I'd like to be called.

 

Erika

post #84 of 102

I'm a NJ'er with family in deep South Carolina--I think it's just a regional thing.  My BIL's mother was introduced to me as Miss Kathy (or Miz Kaaaaaathhhhyyyyyyy) and it's just how they do it.  I wouldn't read a lot of meaning into.  My BIL also refers to my mom as Mother Smith, which cracks all of us.  But, we just accept that it's how they do it down there. 

 

My NJ husband calls my mom "Crazy Lady" usually.  Things are different here...

post #85 of 102

lol... I’m originally from London England, where it is a lot more formal. As a child you are raised not to use first names full stop! (period! ha). So if the person is married you would say Mrs. Last Name, if single Miss Last Name or for men married or unmarried Mr. Last Name. I now live in the south and teach my kids to use the accepted address of Miss first name or Mr. first name. I really don't mind it, but when we go home to England to visit, some of my married friends have mentioned that they don't really care for it.lol. I’m totally of the opinion that, when in Rome...  

post #86 of 102

I think I'd take Miss Firstname over DS1's Mom, which is how I usually get addressed by kids.  I've only rarely been called Mrs Lastname and don't really like it. 

 

I think it varies alot by where you are.  I'm in the Northwest and it's just not common here.  I do have a friend who grew up in New Orleans and her kids (who've always lived here) call women Miss Firstname. 

post #87 of 102

That's interesting about Ms. being "invented" in the 70's.  That makes perfect sense to me.  I don't remember which PP explained that, but thanks!  Wasn't there even a popular magazine called "Ms."??

 

For me, I prefer to be called by my first name.  I never connected with the "Mrs." title either.  And "Miss" is what I was raised (northern midwest, North America) with being called on birthday or holiday greeting cards from my older relatives or if an adult was reprimanding me.  EX: "Miss Natalie, just what do you think you're doing?!?" -  "Miss Natalie Ophelia Mansfield" etc.  So, "Miss" does remind me of a young girl addressed by an authority figure, either positively or negatively.  With my name I usually get some sort of nickname that people are trying to be cool or funny by tagging me with if they only use my first name.  That's annoying in itself.  

 

Actually, call me whatever you want...

 

... just please, PLEASE don't call me "MA'AM"!!    lol.

post #88 of 102

My experience has been that younger kids are often directed to use Miss/Ms. Firstname (honestly, they sound exactly the same pronounced) while older kids are directed to use Ms/Miss/Mrs. Lastname.

 

When we were part of playgroups with lots of younger kids, almost all the kids called the other moms Miss/Ms. Firstname.   Once we started homeschooling, we found that most parents seemed to want their kids to call other adults Mrs. Lastname. (if married) or to be called Mrs. Lastname. 

 

We've lived in the North, the South, Midwest...honestly this has been the same everywhere. The one exception being that classes taught by young adults (in their 20's) tend to be Miss/Ms. Firstname.

 

However, usually it seems that the preschool and younger set go by Ms/Miss Firstname while older kids are expected to use Mrs. Lastname.  I always figured this was usually because first names are often easier to remember and pronounce for young kids.

 

For the most part, I honestly don't care what kids call me.  Some kids call me Miss/Ms. Amelia and some call me Mrs. Lastname.  I honestly don't care.  I don't like for kids to just use my first name however. I like some sort of title. I feel that with my age...I deserve it. :lol.

post #89 of 102

Here its "miss or mr. firstname"

 

We joined a natural moms group and that seems to be what everyone goes by, so we went along with it.  It seems common here, and although its a little weird, I've gotten used to it and it makes it easy to tell ds what to call people b/c I dont have to know their last name!  

post #90 of 102

I was familiar with the "Miss FirstName" growing up, for less formal situations.  This was in the midwest but also military (and therefore influenced by all over).  Most adults I didn't know well, I used Miss / Mrs / Mr LastName.  Occasionally a woman would indicate her preference for "Ms. LastName", and then I would use that.  And, occasionally, we might get a neighbor who would go with the honorary title "Aunt FirstName."  That's okay too.

 

I don't recall ever calling an adult by just their first name, until I went to college (with fellow students, peers, it seemed natural).  Then on my internships, where it was coworkers, that's where I started shifting over to adult usage.

 

Living in the south as a married woman, I am a *little* bit irked to be called "Miss" by service personnel, without my name (since they don't know me).  But I don't really feel like a "Mrs." either, but I think it's because I'm still young enough / short enough to be ambiguous.  Sometimes I'll get "Ma'am," and as a married woman, I think I actually prefer that.

 

For children (not teens) that I relate to regularly, since I'm still used to dealing with people on a first-name basis, count me as one of those odd people.  My order of preference at the moment, for younger children, is:

 

"Miss FirstName"

or, less preferred / more formal, "Mrs. LastName"

 

Working with adolescents at church, though, I can go with just "FirstName."

post #91 of 102

I have a couple of thoughts only marginally related to the original post :lol but related to the direction this thread has taken. I think the clear issue in the original post was asking what OP preferred and then ignoring it.

 

However, in terms of form of address:

 

1. It was a convention in the English language to address all adult women as "mistress," BEFORE it became separated into "miss" and "mrs." So there was a tradition NOT to care about marital status in addressing women, but we abandoned it along the way.

 

2. As we can see in this thread, a big part of the issue with formal address is that we all have strong feelings on the "Mrs/Miss/Ms" thing, in different directions. Many other languages have solved this, especially in European countries. In Germany, for example, as a PP mentioned, address is formal by default, period. However, the big difference is that Germany has changed their conventions over the past, I don't know, 60 years? so that any adult woman is Frau, period. The word "Fräulein" (Miss) still exists, but is just not in use for adult women. So "Frau" is the default address for adult women and no one gets offended to be called it. So long as we cling to the idea that women get different forms of address for different marital status, we will always have problems with some of us feeling strongly that we DON'T want to be called Mrs/Ms/Miss whatever.

 

3. Finally, it's obvious from this thread that there's currently no one right answer, and one thing that it's helped me to realize is that other people have MASSIVELY different associations with words than I do. Forms of address that give me a knee-jerk HATE reaction are endearing to others! One example for me is "lady." I HATE the word lady and teach my DS to call unknown women "woman" rather than "lady" (as in "that woman we met at the restaurant asked how old I was.") I know the traditional definition of "lady" is positive, but my association with it is (picture the crassest man you possibly can): "Hey lady! You forgot one of your grocery bags over here!" Just unpleasant. So I'm sure some of you LOVE to be called lady, and I hate it! Just food for thought-- we can't please everyone, but knowing that others feel differently can help us recognize why someone's uncomfortable with a form of address we love.

post #92 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by number572 View Post

That's interesting about Ms. being "invented" in the 70's.  That makes perfect sense to me.  I don't remember which PP explained that, but thanks!



It wasn't invented in the 70's... unless you're talking about the 1670's!  I don't know who said this, but they're wrong.  While it was not used as much for a time, it's been very much in use for over 100 years and was prior to that, centuries ago.  headscratch.gif

 

Formal forms of address have been around for a long, long time... and in some circles are still used (especially in written correspondence, which does still happen for many people.)


Edited by velochic - 11/21/10 at 1:27pm
post #93 of 102

Ms as in "Ms" was used centuries ago? Not "mistress" or "missus", but "Ms"? Can I see some references for that?

post #94 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

Ms as in "Ms" was used centuries ago? Not "mistress" or "missus", but "Ms"? Can I see some references for that?



Google "etymology of ms."  I don't know if it was used in spoken language, but it was used in the written language that far back.  It fell out of use, but it certainly wasn't "invented" in the 1970's.

 

From wiki:

 

"Ms.", along with "Miss" and "Mrs.", began to be used as early as the 17th century as titles derived from the then formal "Mistress", which, like Mister, did not originally bear reference to marital status.[4][5] "Ms." however, fell into disuse in favor of the other two titles and was not revived until the 20th century.[6][7]

post #95 of 102

Huh. So does "modern" Ms officially stand for "mistress" too, or is it meant to be a complete title in and of itself?

 

One factoid I've always found cool is that cooks used to be called Mrs as a sign of respect/status, even if they were unmarried.

post #96 of 102

Fascinating!

post #97 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by number572 View Post

That's interesting about Ms. being "invented" in the 70's.  That makes perfect sense to me.  I don't remember which PP explained that, but thanks!



It wasn't invented in the 70's... unless you're talking about the 1670's!  I don't know who said this, but they're wrong.  While it was not used as much for a time, it's been very much in use for over 100 years and was prior to that, centuries ago.  headscratch.gif

 

Formal forms of address have been around for a long, long time... and in some circles are still used (especially in written correspondence, which does still happen for many people.)


ok, here's why i said "invented".  was just sort of quoting while being too lazy to go back and find the post.  the feminism idea (MR. and MS., neither representing one's marital status) made sense.  thx for the history, its interesting and i never thought too much about it before this thread.

Quote:

Originally Posted by laohaire View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post

I guess I was always taught that Miss equaled young, never-married women, Mrs. equaled married of any age, and Ms. was for divorced women, whether they kept their ex-husband's name or switched back. 

 

Ms was not intended as a designation for divorced women at all - it was supposed to be the female counterpart to Mr.

 

Men are Mr. no matter whether they are married or not. Before Ms. was "invented" in the 70s, a woman was Miss (unmarried) or Mrs (married) - completely defined by her marital status.

 

So Ms became the third option for women who did not wish to be defined by their marital status, whether they were never married, married, divorced, whatever.

post #98 of 102

I'm from the deep south, so we are Miss/Mr Firstname here, too.  I called my great-grandmother's friends Miss Ada and Miss Sister (she had a name, but everyone called her Sister).  It's very common where I live.

 

And, I'm with the pp.  I can't hear the difference between "Mrs/Miss/Ms".  They all sound the same to me.  Just like pen and pin.  We had a first year teacher in the 3rd grade from "up north", and it made her crazy that none of us could hear the difference between pen and pin.  Odd language quirk. 

post #99 of 102
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post

I guess I was always taught that Miss equaled young, never-married women, Mrs. equaled married of any age, and Ms. was for divorced women, whether they kept their ex-husband's name or switched back. 

 

Ms was not intended as a designation for divorced women at all - it was supposed to be the female counterpart to Mr.

 

Men are Mr. no matter whether they are married or not. Before Ms. was "invented" in the 70s, a woman was Miss (unmarried) or Mrs (married) - completely defined by her marital status.

 

So Ms became the third option for women who did not wish to be defined by their marital status, whether they were never married, married, divorced, whatever.



What Laohare said. I almost fell off my chair when I saw that you were taught Ms was for divorced women! That's like the opposite of what it was trying to do!

post #100 of 102

Old thread revival....but I was at the elementary school today volunteering and two of my friends' kids walked by me and enthusiastically said "Hi Miss Andrea!!" and gave me big hugs.  (kids rock :)  It didn't feel weird or overtly formal.  I was there to chaperone and was acting in a teacher-like capacity.  It fit and seemed appropos.  The kids I know seem A-OK with the Miss FirstName.  For us, meaning the parents I know, it's level of familarity that kids don't have with teachers (Mrs/Mr Last Name) and feels more like an "inner circle"/family thing.  We're not aunts, but we're close to the littles who call us that and we all (kids included) know it denotes a special relationship.

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