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Roger Mills <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Padraic Brown wrote:
>
> >Am 27.01.02, Fabian yscrifef:
> >
> >> > > >Yehy is the masculine counterpart of Miss -- the title for an
> >> > > >unmarried man.
> >
> >> > > We NEEEEEED this word in English.  Honestly.
> >
> >> > I disagree.  I think we need to ditch the distinction between married
> >> > woman and unmarried woman.
> >>
> >> Back about 150 years ago, the common word for this was 'master', and
> >> exactl;y equivalent to 'miss'.
> >
> >Mister is just a weakened form of Master; as Missus is a
> >weakened form of Mistress. I use Miss and Mister regardless.
> >
> >Master was also in fairly common use much more recently. When
> >I was little, older relatives addressed cards and such with
> >"Master". I've never used it for anyone.
>
> Tristan's "150 years ago" prompted me to think, ah yes, when I was a wee
> one.
> Nice to see someone else in the same category.  :-)
>
> I think Ms. for adult women of unknown marital status is quite useful.  I
> don't feel that Mr. implies a married man; it's also true that we shouldn't
> be concerned about it in either case, but..... Obviously, a language needs
> some polite way to address strangers.

    It seems in reading this discussion that people are assuming that "Miss"
means a woman is not married and "Mrs." means that she is.  This is a
convention which some people use, but it is not the convention I was taught
and was not the prescriptivist convention used by (for instance) the New
York Times back before it belatedly adopted "Ms."  The convention I learned
is that "Mrs." is used for a woman who is using a husband's surname, and
"Miss" is used otherwise.  So a divorced woman who kept her married name
would be "Mrs.", and a married woman who kept her maiden name would be
"Miss".

 ===========================================================================

                 Dennis Paul Himes    <>    [log in to unmask]
                   http://home.cshore.com/himes/dennis.htm
        Gladilatian page: http://home.cshore.com/himes/glad/lang.htm

Disclaimer: "True, I talk of dreams; which are the children of an idle
brain, begot of nothing but vain fantasy; which is as thin of substance as
the air."                      - Romeo & Juliet, Act I Scene iv Verse 96-99