new york times & ms./gay

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Sun May 23 15:51:09 UTC 1999

Lynne Murphy asks:

> Can anyone tell me when the New York Times started using 'Ms.' (in
> addition to 'Mrs.' and 'Miss')  or referring to people/organizations as
> 'gay' (rather than 'homosexual')?  I know that Ms. was quite
> late--mid-late 80s, I think.  Or, if you have an easy way to figure this
> out, without going through years' worth of old newspapers, please
> suggest it to me.

I started getting home delivery of the Times in the fall of 1989, and I quite
honestly don't remember whether the Times had already surrendered on Ms. But I
have a vague recollection of some kind of editorial note saying that they
would follow the wishes of individual women as to how they wished to be
referred to. Duh. As if they hadn't had to look very silly when Geraldine
Ferraro was running for political office, in New York and nationwide; neither
Mrs. Zaccaro nor Miss Ferraro was at all a reasonable way to refer to her.


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