Friday, November 13, 2009

'Nuff said

(Taking context-optional note of thought-provoking quotes)

'There is a void in the English language .... Every one has been put in an embrassing 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.'
--unsigned article published on November 10, 1901, in The Sunday Republican of Springfield, Massachusetts, and quoted in etymologist Ben Zimmer's recent column on the origin of the honorific "Ms." According to Zimmer, the term began not as the icon of feminism it's become (Exhibit A: the magazine at right), but rather as a simple (albeit not-clear-how-to-pronounce) matter "of simple etiquette and expediency."

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