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The Difference Between Miss And Ms: How To Use Them Appropriately

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The appropriate times to use Ms and Miss is something that confuses many. Luckily, the rules are not as complicated as you may have thought. However, it is important to arm yourself with the skill of knowing when and when not to use these titles as people are sensitive to it.


Knowing the right title to use will make you more confident when addressing women both in person and on invitation cards or letters. This piece will explore the right times these titles should be used.


Use Miss for young unmarried women under the age of 30. Generally, Miss can be used for just about any unmarried female but some person’s especially older ladies are offended when referred to with this title. So to avoid making a social faux pas, refer to girls perceived to be 18 and below as Miss while to older ladies as Ms.

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Ms is actually the safest option to go with when addressing a woman. The title was birthed in 1950 when women decided they’ll like to have an identity outside marriage. It was reinforced by the Civil Rights Movement of 1970. Miss is pronounced like quiz with the “z” sound at the end and not like miss or hiss.  It’s also considered the female equivalent for Mr.

Some women prefer to use Ms in business environments where marital status is not important or when they’ll like to keep their marital status obscure. If you’re not sure if a lady is married or not, then go with Ms.


This title is generally used for married women. In our contemporary times, several women prefer to keep their maiden names instead of taking on their husband’s surname. They’re still referred to as Mrs. A widow retains the title Mrs even her husband’s death. Some divorced women also decide to keep the Mrs title though this depends on age, circumstances, or personal preference.  You can also use Mrs when addressing a woman of high status to show respect.


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