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'Mademoiselle' to be scrapped

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/03052006/80...emoiselle.html
post #2 of 24
Wow....I can honestly say I've never given "Miss" or "Mrs." or "Ms." or "Mademoiselle" much thought . Aren't we all still women, regardless of such titles?
post #3 of 24
Language does not change through political pressure. This seems alot like people who are offended by the word "Woman/women". (The actually offensive part is the wo-, but everyone objects to the -man. The -man means only person, the wo- means wife, which means the word really translates as "A person who is a wife". Everytime you see the so-called feminist alternatives, they've changed the -man or -men part, though!).
If everyone realizes that the word is offensive, and quits using it, then it naturally falls out of the language, as the article says has happened with fraulein.
Also, the article doesn't say whether the group is appealing to people to quit using the word or if they are petitioning the academie francois, or what.
Its like prescriptivist grammar in many ways. Telling people what they can or cannot say never works. Changing their ideas about the inflammatory topic naturally results in language change. Such as with racial slurs-- racists still use the words, everyone else doesn't because they have no need for them.
(Can you tell I'm a linguist!)

Interesting article!
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
I see their point. Men get to be called 'Mr.' at all stages of their lives.

And the idea that people can tell if you are unmarried just by looking at your mail box is scary too as many people may assume unmarried means living alone. Could make you more vunerable to weirdos.
post #5 of 24
I teach business English, and tell my students that they should avoid "Miss" and "Mrs." A friend of mine works in the personnel department of a major U.S. insurance company, and she has admitted that she simply discards applications that don't include "Ms.", and that her colleagues do as well.
post #6 of 24
They throw out applications of women who call themselves Mrs. or Miss????? Why? It seems odd that they wouldn't even consider hiring someone who didn't feel the same way as them about the salutation before their name. As Aimes pointed out, some people don't even think about it!
post #7 of 24
I never thought much of it. When I address envelopes I would put for a married couple John and Jane Smith. I don't do the Mr. and Mrs. thing. Only now am I going to do this as we are having a formal wedding and I'll be addressing the envelopes formally. What this means is that the couple is now "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith." This is really wierd to me, and sounds old-fashioned but I will follow etiquette.
post #8 of 24
I think they're just too lazy to write out "Madamoiselle". Just Kidding!!!

I never even think about it. Then again though I always confuse "Miss" with "Ms", so I never put it on applications unless required.

One person said that they did make a good point that men never have to change their "Mr.". I think women change as we normally take on the man's last name when we marry.
post #9 of 24
I can see the point, but personally, I like Madamoiselle just because it sounds so pretty. Does the French language have a word for Ms? I enjoy having the choice, myself. I try to call women Ms., but sometimes over the phone it ends up sounding like Miss anyways.
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Yeah, when i say ms. it comes out more like 'muzzzz'
post #11 of 24
I wonder if they'll scrap the chanel perfume that's called CoCo Mademoiselle?
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosiemac
I wonder if they'll scrap the chanel perfume that's called CoCo Mademoiselle?
They'll call it CoCo Madam, maybe.....


Me, I always go by Ms. In fact it bothers me, when a lot of married women seem to have lost so much of their identity, that they refer to themself as Mrs. John Smith. I just want to scream at them for doing that. I want to say, don't YOU have a name?
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick_kitten
Yeah, when i say ms. it comes out more like 'muzzzz'
Exactly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopeHacker
Me, I always go by Ms. In fact it bothers me, when a lot of married women seem to have lost so much of their identity, that they refer to themself as Mrs. John Smith. I just want to scream at them for doing that. I want to say, don't YOU have a name?
You know whats funny? I just got married on April 22. For months my (then) fiancee and I had been discussing whether or not I should change my last name. He said "I didn't buy you, why should I get to name you." I decided to change my name to his because I want us to have the same last name as a couple, but it meant a lot that he wasn't expecting me to.

As far as the Mrs. John Smith thing, I agree with you. I find it silly when women call to make an appointment and use their husband's name. Most times the husband isn't even home while we're there.
post #14 of 24
Ok I hate being called Ma'dam too mostly because I'm 24 and it makes me feel like I'm 60. But to obolish it from a language is nuts. It's women like her who give feminists a bad name.
post #15 of 24
Don't those people have anything better to do? I agree that no one should be addressed in a demeaning manner, but someone is going to complain no matter what they are called.
One day we will all just be addressed as "Earthling," assuming the Martians have not made it here yet and might be offended.
post #16 of 24
I get customers that come in and ask for Miss. Brandi or Ms.Brandi and Mrs.Brandi. I tell them Brandi works fine for me. When I adress a woman that I am unsure about her marital status I us Ms. Honestly I really don't hear the diferernce when I say Miss or Ms. Only Mrs. I really don't think its a big deal. A lot of couple are living together now before they are married so I don't care.

As for the women who introduce themselves as Mrs. John Doe I think it is a status symbol for them. But it DOES drive me insane!!
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phenomsmom
As for the women who introduce themselves as Mrs. John Doe I think it is a status symbol for them. But it DOES drive me insane!!
I agree...it almost comes across as "I'm rubbing it in your face that I'm married to somerich guy and YOU'RE NOT!"

The only thing I don't like to be addressed as is "Ma'am". Working in computers its well known that when you use the term "Ma'am" on a client call it really means another term. So I'll get irritated if I get called "MA'AM" anywhere.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phenomsmom

As for the women who introduce themselves as Mrs. John Doe I think it is a status symbol for them. But it DOES drive me insane!!
I actually wouldn't think it was a status symbol, more another way of saying one's name. When I'm married, I'd probably say "Mrs. José J", but not as a status symbol...it's just another way of saying my name.

I have gotten mail with Mrs. V; sorry but my mother lives in another city!

I actually like being addressed as Ma'am, considering I look about 16-18. I've heard, "Missy...?" *shudders* I dont mind Miss (eventhough I'm over 18/21) but Missy just gets me.

I generally use Ms. on cards to my girl friends. On married couples I use Mr. and Mrs. or just Mrs. last name. I also use "Master" on cards to my little cousin since thats proper if the male is under a certain age.

If it was up to me, there would be "Mr." and "Ms". That way I wouldnt have to google "how to address cards" everytime I have a question in formal writing!
post #19 of 24
It's just a question of both equality and simplicity. Language is highly symbolic of our accepted traditions and norms in society. Having to address a woman by her marital status may sound like small potatoes and like someone has way too much time on his or her hands, but it reflects something much larger, which is that women are defined by whether they're married or not.

It always has been and always will be Ms. for me!
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by StacieJ
I actually wouldn't think it was a status symbol, more another way of saying one's name. When I'm married, I'd probably say "Mrs. José J", but not as a status symbol...it's just another way of saying my name.
But your first name isn't Jose. So if you're married to Jose Johnson, and your first name is Helen, why not just say you're Helen Johnson? To me, to address yourself by your HUSBANDS first name is denying yourself your identity. I never looked at it as being snobbish, I have always thought it was demeaning to yourself, to COMPLETELY say good bye to your name, and in effect becoming HIM.
post #21 of 24
This is just my little opinion, but if say, Helen Johnson is married to Jose Johnson and she likes being called Mrs. Jose Johnson, then it's not demeaning. Now if she didn't like it, and wanted to be called Mrs. Helen Johnson or just Ms. Helen Johnson, and someone insisted on calling her Mrs. Jose Johnson when they knew she didn't like it, well, then I would think it would be wrong. I don't think by taking his last name you become him... it's just a way to show that you're married to him. Personally, I like being Mrs. Jennifer HisLastName, but that's just me. [Mr. & Mrs. Troy HisLastName is also fine for mailings, introducing us as a couple, etc.]

And this isn't a rub or anything, it's just an observation... under your avatar, you're Mrs. Paul Stanley... ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopeHacker
But your first name isn't Jose. So if you're married to Jose Johnson, and your first name is Helen, why not just say you're Helen Johnson? To me, to address yourself by your HUSBANDS first name is denying yourself your identity. I never looked at it as being snobbish, I have always thought it was demeaning to yourself, to COMPLETELY say good bye to your name, and in effect becoming HIM.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgaruba
And this isn't a rub or anything, it's just an observation... under your avatar, you're Mrs. Paul Stanley... ?

I only put it there because no one would get the meaning of my joke, if I said Hope Stanley. If I was actually married to Paul Stanley, I'd be Hope HACKER Stanley, or just Hope Hacker
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopeHacker
But your first name isn't Jose. So if you're married to Jose Johnson, and your first name is Helen, why not just say you're Helen Johnson? To me, to address yourself by your HUSBANDS first name is denying yourself your identity. I never looked at it as being snobbish, I have always thought it was demeaning to yourself, to COMPLETELY say good bye to your name, and in effect becoming HIM.
If I recall correctly, the (archaic) rules of etiquette demanded that a letter sent to a married woman be addressed to "Mrs. José Johnson", and one to a divorcée or widow to "Mrs. Helen Johnson". Horrible!
I can actually see "Mademoiselle" being scrapped, as "Fräulein" is almost never used in German nowadays, except perhaps for a young child. I've noticed that my Spanish and Latin American colleagues don't address anybody as "Se~norita" (sorry, the tilde isn't working) anymore.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopeHacker
But your first name isn't Jose. So if you're married to Jose Johnson, and your first name is Helen, why not just say you're Helen Johnson? To me, to address yourself by your HUSBANDS first name is denying yourself your identity. I never looked at it as being snobbish, I have always thought it was demeaning to yourself, to COMPLETELY say good bye to your name, and in effect becoming HIM.
If my first name was José, I'd be Mr. José Johnson. Since I'm not José, only a part of him, and def. not a Mr, I'd be Mrs. I'm not denying myself an indentity, instead I'm informing whoever I'm talking to of my indentity (equal of José). Right now by saying I'm Stacie Vase, I'm saying to someone I belong to the Vase family and my first name is Stacie. Granted, I could say Mrs. Stacie Johnson, but maybe I just happen to like Mrs. José Johnson? I sometimes introduce myself as Stacie L. Vase because its another name I go by (and it sounds nice) For some reason it's written on my school papers as well.

It has nothing to do with the fact that I'm giving up an indentity and more with the fact that I'm changing one. José changes his indentity, as well. Its just not apparent in his name.

And, yes, society used to place importance on a woman by if she was married or not. However, I would assume that the trend is Ms, eventhough Mrs./Miss/Ms. are still around with thier rules. There's even more words that relate to defining males as being "above" females, if you're into linguistics.
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