Tag Archives: gender

Mme, Mlle, Mrs, Miss, Ms

It’s way past time, but the French language police have finally determined that a word meaning “young female virgin” might be inappropriate on a job application. Happy to see them catching up to the 20th century (not knocking France – a wonderful country, except for those very uptight defenders of the language). Can’t find the news story, but here‘s a prior, albeit somewhat dated, one.

That story today reminded me of how our own efforts to replace the words “Miss” (unmarried female) and “Mrs” (married female) with the single designation of “Ms” (female), in order to align with the male “Mr” (which reveals nothing of that person’s marital status), went awry.

Instead of simplifying, we managed to replace the previous two  categories with three. The ladies are now classified as Mrs (she’s just a bit old-fashioned), Miss (such a shame dontcha know) or Ms (none of your fracking business). Of course, the men are still Mr (a male person – and that’s all the information you need so butt out.)

FAIL.