A Point of Etiquette

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Bob McCarty
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A Point of Etiquette

Postby Bob McCarty » Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:02 am

Having been born and grown up in Colorado, I need a lesson on the proper use and indication for "Miss", ie "Miss Janet" and "Miss Martha". I was taught to address my elders as Mr. or Mrs. until they indicated you could call them by their first name, and then only if it was insisted upon. I believe this is used both as a term of respect and endearment. Could someone fill me in on the details, so I will know how to use it properly. Also, what geographical regions favor this useage.

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Postby PageRob » Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:23 am

The way I've always understood it, Miss was unmarried or younger lady.
Ms. (pronounced Mizz, not to be confused with Miss) was used for a lady your age or older of uncertain marital status*.
Mrs. is obviously a married woman.

*My wife doesn't have my last name, so she prefers to be called Ms. Jennett when she's teaching. Mrs. seems to imply to her that the person is married and does not have their original last name, so I can see where it might be considered rude for a Miss or a Ms. I think that Miss and Ms. are both safe titles to address with unless you specifically know that the lady is a Mrs.
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Postby spiveyman » Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:23 am


Here, your elders, well, my elders are Mr. and Mrs. Like in the case of my spanish teacher in high school, she was fresh out of college and not married, thus she was just Ms. Chambers. When you get to know your elder well, or if it's not a formal occasion that you are meeting, Mr. Jimmy, and Ms. Martha are fine. For the most part, unless I'm in school or at some very formal event meeting new people, i tend to address as Mr. Jimmy instead of Mr. Long. No one really takes offense either way - they prefer their first name so as to not feel "old" they say :lol: . This is quite the norm here. If this isnt clear let me know. 8)
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Postby Paul B » Sun Oct 07, 2007 11:33 am

It is southern in origin, and as others said, is used to show respect. Depending on the area, you will find it pronounced Miss or Ms (Mizz). It would be used to greet some one you know on more than just a casual or who they are basis, and is more personable and less formal than using their last name - Miss Janet verses Mrs Johnson.

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Postby KETCHAM » Mon Oct 08, 2007 10:39 am

In biker slang we use ole lady.Try that one out.None of them like it.keeps me duckin. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: Kevin
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Postby VinceD » Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:26 pm

I think Paul B said it best for our area of southern Missouri. The only thing I can add is the term "Miss Ann" would be used by a peer of about the same age. A younger person would still be required to use the proper "Miss Jones" or "Mrs. Jones" terminology.
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Postby Hengy » Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:48 am

Terms of respect like these are a dying thing today to be sure!

When I was growing up in the 1970's we ALWAYS called our friends' parents by their "proper" name. (Mr. and Mrs. Anderson,etc.) Today, my kids call almost all of their friends' parents by their first name, and I find it disrespectful. The problem is that these folks WANT to be called by their first name by my kids, so I can't do anything about it.

I do have some friends from back east, though, and they go by Mr. and Mrs. with my kids. It is refreshing to me...and they don't sound 'pretentious' or anything... Just MUCH more respectful...

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Postby Ken (48 Cub) » Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:30 am

When my teenage son brought home a little girl he was dating she always called me "Mr. Horn", very respectful. I decided to have a little fun with her and told her that she did not have to call me Mr. Horn. She got this big smile on her face and then I dropped the bomb and told her she could cal me SIR! :lol: :lol: She took it very well. We have moved on to another girl friend now. Kids today are much more socially savy today than we were, good or bad.
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Postby Brandon Webb » Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:04 am

I've heard some people (I believe my Grandmother) say(pronounced) Mizris...
You think that is Mrs. ?

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Postby Rudi » Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:09 pm

Well, I am glad that there are a few people left in our society that understand respect. My friends can call me Rudi, my wife and my mother can call me by my Christian Name.. anybody else does it, they is looking for me to make em a new one ifn you get the point.. What really ticks me off is young people who call me by my first name.

Up until my uncle died this past Christmas. and he was more of an older brother (11 years between us) to me, I always called him Unc... always.. that was what he liked, that is what I liked, and it was respectful. His sister who is 6 years older than I was always and will always be my Aunt. Why.. because that is who she is..

My Dad would bounce a 2x4 off of my head if I was to be so cheeky :big say what: and disrepectful to call an elder by their first name, or if I was to call a peer.. whom I did not know personally by their first name UNLESS it was indicated as proper.

Course .. bouncing a 2x4 offn anyone's head these days will get you 30 - 120 in the hoosegow.. but it is perfectly ok to call your teacher or elders by their first name.

NOT !!!! :big angry:
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