Difference Between Miss and Ms.
It is an interesting distinction that the titles of women indicate their marital status. That is one of the major differences between Miss and Ms. Each has a plural form, but other than that they share little. The title Miss originated around the beginning of the 1600’s while the title Ms. began to be used around the mid 1900’s. This is a significant fact as its use was promoted by a movement that did not exist until that time. It creates an interesting image of the development of language and idea in a society.
Miss is used as a title, traditionally of respect, for females that are unmarried. It is also used as a generic address for young woman and may be used when the female is unknown in place of her name. For example, ‘Miss, do I know you?’. It originated around 1600 ‘“ 1610 and is a shortened form of Mistress. It is considered a courtesy by many and has found its way into announced titles. In instances where a female is proclaimed something they may be titled ‘Miss Congeniality, etc.’.
In strict usage as a title the use of Miss indicates that the woman is single. It can be noted that the titles ‘Mr.’ and ‘Sir’, for example, do not. It is this fact and its interpreted inequality that resulted in action by the women’s movement in the mid 1900’s.
This title is used to refer to women and does not denote the marital status of the woman that it refers to, unlike ‘Mrs.’ and ‘Miss’. It began to be used in the 1950’s when the woman’s marital status was either irrelevant or unknown. By the 1970’s the women’s movement had begun to actively promote its usage on the grounds of a greater equality to the men’s title of ‘Mr.’.
Ms. has also gained usage in referring to women who epitomize a quality or are a striking example of some attribute. Ms. Dependability is an example of this.
These and other titles have often begun with a good intention. It continues to be noted in definitions, particularly in the case of these two title, that they are intended to imply respect. The development of a title that supplies an equal level of anonymity (independence) is an interesting and seemingly positive reality of a living language.
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