Hello! I’m Macy Manners, and I’m here to help with all your questions regarding proper attire, rules of social graces, and online etiquette. Feel free to send in your questions; I’ll try to answer them in a future article.
Today we are talking about titles, no, not British titles of the aristocracy. But instead, the more common use of Miss, Mrs., or Ms. It can be confusing as to which one to use for what situation. But not to worry, I’m here to help.
When no title is known, a man should be addressed as Mister. (Mr.) For example, Mr. John James Wilson. If they have an official title or prefer you call them something else, it’s usually at this point they will correct you.
If a person has another title, such as Esq, you could use either, but they should not be used together. For example, it would be Mr. John James Wilson or John James Wilson, Esq. or Doctor Wilson.
It is not customary to use Mr. or Esq. when Jr. or Sr. is used.
A female’s name should always have the Miss or Mrs.
Miss is used when a female is unmarried. Mrs. is used when a female is married. If you are unsure, or the female is divorced, you can use Ms.
A married woman should be spoken of as Mrs. Amy Smith and personally addressed as Mrs. Smith.
A single woman should be spoken of as Miss Amy Smith and personally addressed as Miss Smith.
A woman should never be given her husband’s official title. For example, if her husband is a Doctor, you wouldn’t call her Mrs. Doctor Smith. She would simply be Mrs. Smith.
If, however, she has a professional title of her own, then she should be addressed with that title when it is a professional correspondence or as Miss (or Mrs.) if a social address. So say, for example, if you address Dr. Amy Smith professionally, you will address her as Dr. Amy Smith instead of Mrs. Amy Smith.
When addressing young girls, you should call them Miss and then their first name. For example, Miss Jennifer. When dealing with minors, it is always just their first name – Miss Jennifer as opposed to Miss Jennifer Smith.
Parents should introduce their daughter as “My daughter Jennifer,” and then, in return, you would address their daughter Jennifer as Miss Jennifer if Jennifer is a minor child.
For example, you might say, “Hello, Miss Jennifer, it’s wonderful to meet you.”
Good manners are a treasure to the people who possess them. Good manners are about making those people around you feel comfortable. So always try your best to use your good manners to show others you respect them.