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The Death of "Mrs."

Last week, I was helping a good friend of mine, not long married for the first time, with the plan for her new business. While going through various documents she had already written, I noticed one in which she referred to herself as "Mrs. Lastname," as in, "Mrs. Lastname has extensive experience..." I surprised even myself with my reaction, which was instant.

"You have to get rid of that. No one calls themselves 'Mrs.' anymore. It makes you sound like a country club, volunteer society wife. You need to use 'Ms.' instead."

We talked about it for a moment and she agreed with me, changing "Mrs." to "Ms." everywhere it appeared in the plan.

Was my reaction fair? Probably not. But I wasn't concerned with fairness; I was concerned with how my friend's plan would read to potential investors.

Is "Mrs." on the way out? I think it may be, starting with professional women and moving from there. I can't back this up with statistics, but I'd be willing to bet that its usage has been gradually decreasing since the 1970s, and dropping even more sharply in just the last few years.

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