Are you one of the 44?
You might be wondering what the heck I’m talking about.
Let me explain.
I recently did 51 intakes for my fabulous Rock Your Business English corporate coaching program.
My intakes are quite detailed, as I want to find out more about my new clients and how I can serve them best in their English communication goals. I ask a lot of questions to determine their level, their interest, their experience, and their fears.
One question really stumped a lot of people.
As a matter of fact, 44 people out of 51 got this one wrong.
So, now my dear, it’s your turn.
Do you know the difference between ‘Miss’, ‘Ms’, and ‘Mrs’?
Don’t worry, you’ll get it in 2 minutes flat!
Let’s get cracking.
‘Miss’ (pronounced ‘mis’) is usually used for women who are 18 years old or younger. You will often see this written on envelopes (usually in fancy calligraphy) for an invitation to a formal event, or as a placeholder on the table at that event.
‘Mrs’ (pronounced ‘misses’) is used for women who are married and have taken their partner’s name. For example, Mrs. Duberman is not me, but my mom. She got married, to Mr. Duberman, and changed her name to Mrs. Duberman. I am married, but I did not change my name. So…what am I? (I ask myself this often, anyway.)
I am Ms. Duberman. We use ‘Ms.‘ (pronounced ‘mz’!) when addressing a woman who is married but has kept her own last name (otherwise known as her ‘maiden name’). We also use ‘Ms’ for everyone else who does not fit into the first 2 categories above. If they are married but you don’t know if they have changed their name, if they are single, if they are living together, if they are a happy cat lady, a widower, or anything else – go with ‘Ms’. You can’t make a mistake with this one. But you can if you use ‘Mrs’ for someone who is not.
So…only use ‘Mrs’ when you know for sure that she is married and has changed her name, and use ‘Miss’ when she is under 18 (or some say, under 21 years of age). Use ‘Ms’ for anyone who does not fit into these categories.
I hope this helps you communicate with confidence in English!
(And my mom, Mrs. Duberman, says hi.)