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When should I use Mrs. or Ms. in emails?

up vote 14 down vote favorite

When I am writing emails, I prefer to use either Mr., Mrs., or Ms. when addressing the recipient's name. When I am addressing a woman, I may not always know their marital status and don't know whether to use "Mrs." or "Ms."

Assuming I have no way of knowing this person's marital status, should I use "Mrs." or "Ms."? Or is it a best practice to use neither?

2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accept

Unless you are positive that someone is married you should not use Mrs. If you want to use one of the two then use Ms.

up vote 3 down vote

"Ms." was popularized in the US to provide a form of address for women that is agnostic of married status. "Miss" means the person is unmarried and "Mrs." means that she is married.

"Ms." is generally considered acceptable for all women unless they have communicated another preference.


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When should I use Mrs. or Ms. in emails?

up vote 14 down vote

When I am writing emails, I prefer to use either Mr., Mrs., or Ms. when addressing the recipient's name. When I am addressing a woman, I may not always know their marital status and don't know whether to use "Mrs." or "Ms."

Assuming I have no way of knowing this person's marital status, should I use "Mrs." or "Ms."? Or is it a best practice to use neither?


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up vote 9 down vote

Unless you are positive that someone is married you should not use Mrs. If you want to use one of the two then use Ms.

edit

Hey, thanks for the answer! Can you please explain exactly why you think that this is a good idea? Why do you say to take this course of action? What’s the thought process behind this answer? As this currently stands, this is essentially a “Try this!” answer. We require that answers provide some sort of explanation for why they are suggesting this solution, and unfortunately, at the moment this answer doesn't appear to do that. - Arwen Undómiel Mar 19 at 8:55

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