ADS-L Digest - 28 Jun 2004 to 29 Jun 2004 (#2004-182)

David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Wed Jun 30 11:46:28 UTC 2004

From:    Jesse Sheidlower <jester at PANIX.COM>


: "Ms" on the other hand really isn't an abbreviation, and this,
: rather than any sense of British lack-of-periodness, is the
: secondary reason why I don't use a period after it.

Actually, "Ms" may not be an abbreviation for all (or at least most) of us
on this list, but i suggest that for many (if not most) real people, "Ms" is
an abbreviation for "Miss".

In fact, i know that that's what i thought it was until i was a few years
into grad school, even!

(I blame phonology--in my variety, word-final [z] just doesn't happen. This
made hearing the classic example of the plural marker changing in cases like
cat[s] vs. cad[z] a very bizarre experience, since it took me a long time to
even be able to *hear* the difference.)

Actually, as IIRC Dennis Preston pointed out at the ADS meeting in January
(in the Q&A session after Janet Fuller's presentation), for a lot of
speakers, "Mrs"/"Ms"/"Miss" are all homophonous--and, taking it further, are
possibly even processed as the same word.

<snip excellent last line>

David Bowie                               
    Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
    house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
    chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.

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