France, never shy about controversy, has banned the use of Miss, or Mademoiselle, on government forms.

But why? And while we’re at it, what’s the deal with Ms?

UWA linguist Daniel Midgley discusses terms of address on this episide of Talk the Talk.


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Show notes

Jezebel is a good place to start
http://jezebel.com/5887397/quite-reasonable-french-government-bans-mademoiselle

Or the BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17123531

Ms goes back farther than you’d think.
http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/wordroutes/1895/

But it took until the 1970s for it to hit print in a big way.
This chart from Google N-Grams compares “Ms Smith” and “Ms Jones”, two common surnames.

Why is there an ‘r’ in Mrs? Cecil explains.
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1525/what-does-mrs-stand-for

Etymonline backs it up.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Mrs.