Antedating of "Ms."

Ann Burlingham ann at BURLINGHAMBOOKS.COM
Mon Jun 22 16:26:55 UTC 2009

On Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 9:41 AM, Shapiro, Fred<fred.shapiro at> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Shapiro, Fred" <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Antedating of "Ms."
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The OED's first use for the form of address "Ms." is from a Dec. 4, 1901 Iowa newspaper.  The Iowa article is referring to prior usage in the Springfield (Mass.) Republican.  I have not yet traced the original Springfield article, but I have found an earlier other newspaper reprinting the Springfield article.  In the Newspaperarchive database, the Salt Lake Tribune, Nov. 17, 1901, p. 21, reprints the Springfield article, including the use of the term "Ms."

I'm surprised by this, though maybe I'm missing a nuance here, but I
know I read Miss Manners, in her discussion of "Ms." referring to at
least a century's-older usage.

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