Well, I wouldn’t have known that English wasn’t your first language at all and you certainly haven’t said anything rude or harmful. You come across very clearly and civilly and bonus points for conceding to any of my points. I too acknowledge when one has been made by someone, but I rarely see others do it. I just was surprised to see you characterize Ms that way. I was trying to find some statistics about how much it is used (at least in the US) and couldn’t really tell except that in business in the US it is considered the default address for a women whose marital status or preferred honorific is not known. I also found this, which was interesting:

“The earliest known proposal for the modern revival of “Ms.” as a title appeared in The Republican of Springfield, Massachusetts, on November 10, 1901:

There is a void in the English language which, with some diffidence, we undertake to fill. Every one has been put in an embarrassing position by ignorance of the status of some woman. To call a maiden Mrs is only a shade worse than to insult a matron with the inferior title Miss. Yet it is not always easy to know the facts…”

And I do see your point about having change comes when it is time for it, but in my opinion, it’s past time for basic human rights for everyone, including addressing people respectfully in the way in which they ask to be addressed. There is few greater insult than to purposely refuse to do that.

Also, my partner, who is a lawyer, says that compelled speech (at least in a commercial context) is even more enforceable than prohibited speech, but he went off to something else before I got a clear example out of him.

Written by

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store