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Old 03-07-08, 07:24 PM   #1
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Mrs. Widow or Ms. Widow?

Everyone knows when to use Mrs. and Ms.

When a woman is married she goes by "Mrs." and when a woman is not married she goes by "Ms."

My question concerns when a woman is widowed.
If you are married and your husband dies, would you still go by Mrs.? Or would you go by Ms.? Does it just depend on the person? Don't you still keep your married name, therefor making it more obvious to keep the Mrs.? I'm also curious as to how rude it is to refer to a widow as Mrs. since her husband is dead and she's technically single.

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Old 03-07-08, 07:26 PM   #2
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Re: Mrs. Widow or Ms. Widow?

Isn't Ms. used for ambiguity? I had married teachers who went by Ms., just cuz they didn't want everyone to know. For whatever reason. I thought Miss was used for un-wed women.

That's how they taught us at least, lol.
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Old 03-07-08, 07:52 PM   #3
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Re: Mrs. Widow or Ms. Widow?

Most women who are married and find themselves widowed have no problem with being still addressed as Mrs. It indicates respect for the woman's marriage and for her deceased husband. This is particularily true of older women who have had long marriages and/or if you are introducing or addressing the woman in a formal situation. Many women I know wish to retain the title of Mrs. because they view themselves as still married - even though the spouse may not be living. The use of "Ms." is like a slap in the face - as if you are failing to acknowledge that her husband even existed.
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Old 03-07-08, 08:22 PM   #4
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Re: Mrs. Widow or Ms. Widow?

and this is one of those things that cross cultural barriers, in my experience (having lived in Mexico, Venezuela and Puerto Rico)
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Old 03-07-08, 11:55 PM   #5
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Re: Mrs. Widow or Ms. Widow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveEko View Post
Isn't Ms. used for ambiguity? I had married teachers who went by Ms., just cuz they didn't want everyone to know. For whatever reason. I thought Miss was used for un-wed women.

That's how they taught us at least, lol.
I thought Ms. was just short for Miss. Although I do recall there being three titles for women (Mrs, Ms, Miss) but whenever I mention three titles people look at me weird and say there's just Mrs. and Ms. so I have no idea.
I think it's kind of foolish to be married and not want people to know. Unless you're going through a divorce or something, I find that kind of odd.

So for widows it's Mrs. That's easy enough to remember.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 03-08-08, 12:16 AM   #6
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Re: Mrs. Widow or Ms. Widow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cranky View Post
Everyone knows when to use Mrs. and Ms.

When a woman is married she goes by "Mrs." and when a woman is not married she goes by "Ms."

My question concerns when a woman is widowed.
If you are married and your husband dies, would you still go by Mrs.? Or would you go by Ms.? Does it just depend on the person? Don't you still keep your married name, therefor making it more obvious to keep the Mrs.? I'm also curious as to how rude it is to refer to a widow as Mrs. since her husband is dead and she's technically single.

Where in the world did you learn that? Ms. is a term used for a woman who doesn't want to be identified by her marital status.

I really loved the German terms Frau and Fraulein. Frau is used for women over somewhere in her 20's or so. Doesn't matter what the status is. That's the way Ms. should be applied.

I have been married twice, and never adopted my husband's name. I have always used the name I was given at birth. I have always referred to myself as Ms., regardless of whether before marriage, during marriage, or divorced.
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Old 03-08-08, 12:18 AM   #7
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Re: Mrs. Widow or Ms. Widow?

Yeah, I learned the three:

Mrs. (married or older)
Ms. (pronounced Miz - I've NEVER heard this used)
and Miss (for single or younger women)

Also in Spanish, Seņora is used for any female of about mid-20's up.
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Old 03-08-08, 12:31 AM   #8
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Re: Mrs. Widow or Ms. Widow?

Okay, so there are three, I'm not insane.
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Old 03-08-08, 12:42 AM   #9
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Re: Mrs. Widow or Ms. Widow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scotpgot View Post
Yeah, I learned the three:

Mrs. (married or older)
Ms. (pronounced Miz - I've NEVER heard this used)
and Miss (for single or younger women)

Also in Spanish, Seņora is used for any female of about mid-20's up.
It is so ingrained into Americans that Mrs. means married. I like giving mature women a title like Mr., which does not assume anything about his marital status.

Ms. was an attempt, but it doesn't appear to have caught on. These types of social changes take a while, but I do like the European way of using age as a barometer, instead of a man's control of a woman's status.
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Old 03-08-08, 03:22 AM   #10
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Re: Mrs. Widow or Ms. Widow?

My grandma burst into tears when she had to file as "Single" on her tax return this year. To quote her, "I am NOT single! My husband died. I am NOT single!" If anyone were to suggest that she is no longer a "Mrs" or that she is single in more than just the eyes of the IRS, I think she'd give them a swirlie. (Apparently, she was quite the firecracker in her younger days, and flushed a woman's head in the toilet for flirting with my grandfather.)
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