Mr./Mrs./Miss [first-name]

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Sep 21 15:18:31 UTC 2006

And even further south -- two South American acquaintances, one a
Brazilian immigrant, probably in his 30s or early 40s, a house
painter, intelligent, and one a Venezuelan, 18, upper class,
well-educated -- both refer to a woman friend of mine by her first
name, as "Mrs. Lee".


At 9/20/2006 01:37 PM, you wrote:
>Wilson is right (as usual!); Southern white folks also could--and
>still CAN--refer to an adult woman, married or not, (and somewhat
>formally) as "Miss <given name>."
>Also, it was normal Southernese to pronounce the honorific "Mrs." as
>/mIz/, thus--at a later point in history--conflating "Mrs." and "Ms."
>---- Original message ----
> >Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2006 12:27:26 -0400
> >From: Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> >Subject: "Obsolete," but still in use
> >>
> >On The People's Court, a twenty-ish black male defendant
> continually addresses or refers to the forty-ish black female
> plaintiff as "Miss Audrey" before immediately correcting himself to
> "Mizz Johnson," to such an extent that even the judge inadvertently
> says, "Miss Audrey, Mrs. Johnson." The courtroom environment
> probably interferes with the man''s use of the usual format. Both
> people are from Florida.
> >
> >I remember "Miss [woman's first name]" as the standard way of
> formally addressing or referring to a woman, whether black or
> white, down home in Texas. I think that this locution is / was also
> used by Southern whites, though not when speaking to or of black
> women, of course.
> >
> >-Wilson
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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