Aside professional titles or that regarding a woman's family status, the 2 types of titles commonly used while addressing a lady are "Miss" and "Mrs." But the inappropriate usage of these titles could be problematic. So, when and when not do we use them?
It is a common thing to address an unmarried lady or a spinster with the title "Miss," and every married lady with "Mrs." This is, however, not always correct, and that is why a third title "Ms" was introduced in the early 20th century to avoid the pitfall of using either "Miss" or "Mrs."
When to use "Miss"
"Miss," like "Mrs" and "Ms," is derived from the word Mistress. It is used to address an unmarried young girl or lady whose age is below 30. It is not used to address every spinster or single lady out there.
Example: Miss Abigael is 10 years old today
Just like when Mister, instead of Master, is used for a mature man, "Miss" should be avoided when addressing a mature lady, single or not.
When to use "Mrs"
"Mrs" can also be colloquially tagged as Missus. It is commonly used to address married women only.
Example: Mrs. Sam-Biyi has been writing for Opera News Hub since May 2020.
This title, however, may not hold while addressing a divorced woman or one who is widowed. So how should these ladies be addressed? That leads us to the third and most important one.
When to use "Ms"
Since you don't have a psychic power that says the marital status of every lady you meet, how should such a person be addressed?
A sure way to eliminate the confusion that might arise when addressing a lady whose age or marital status is unknown is by using "Ms."
First, for a single lady who is over age 30, it is inappropriate to address her as a "Miss." The best title to use would be "Ms."
Example: Ms Gloria would be 31 this August.
Second, when a lady's marital status is unknown -- whether single, married, divorced, or widowed -- "Ms" should be employed.
"Ms" is like the title "Mr" used to address men of all ages and marital status. It helps to be on a safe side when addressing women of varying age and marital status. You can never go wrong with "Ms."
If you seem confused about what title to use for a lady, don't just use "Miss" or "Mrs," it won't hurt if you ask her her preference. If you feel too shy to ask, use "Ms."
I hope you are educated on this. So, don't ever use "Miss" or "Mrs" when "Ms" should be used.
Content created and supplied by: SamBiyi (via Opera News )