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Miss, Ms., and Mrs. - How should I address my teacher?

Miss, Ms., and Mrs. - How should I address my teacher?

When should I address someone as Ms., Miss, or Mrs.? It's a question we get often, and it's a totally fair question. It can be confusing, and no one wants to address someone incorrectly. Luckily, it's pretty easy to remember once you get it figured out. 

First off, Miss, Ms., Mrs, Mr., Mx, Misc., and even Dr. are all called honorifics. Honorifics convey esteem, courtesy, or respect for position or rank when used in addressing or referring to a person.

In the case of women, Miss, Ms., and Mrs. all refer to a woman's marital status.

Miss [ mis ]

"Miss" is a title generally used to address female children, young women under 18, and unmarried women. 

Miss is NOT an abbreviation, so there is no period following it. For example, "Miss. Grace" would be incorrect; it should be "Miss Grace."

Mrs. [ mis-iz, miz-iz ]

"Mrs." is the abbreviation of Missus. "Mrs." is a title used before a surname (last name) or full name to address or refer to a married woman. "Mrs." may also be used for someone who has been married (such as a widow). 

Because it is an abbreviation, a period is required. For example, "Mrs. Grace" is correct; "Mrs Grace" would be incorrect.

Ms. [ mizz ]

The title "Ms." is used before any woman's surname (last name) or full name, regardless of her marital status. It's a neutral alternative to "Mrs." or "Miss". "Ms." is a catch-all and can be used interchangeably between situations. For example, "Ms." would be acceptable for a married or unmarried woman and divorced women. 

Because "Ms." is an abbreviation for "Miss", a period is required. For example, "Ms. Grace" would be correct; "Ms Grace" would be incorrect.

Mx [ miks ]

Developed as an alternative to gendered honorifics (such as Mr. and Ms.), "Mx" is the most common gender-neutral title among non-binary people and people who do not wish to imply a gender in their titles. It also does not indicate marital status.

Because Mx is NOT an abbreviation, no period is required. For example, "Mx Grace" is correct; "Mx. Grace" is incorrect.

What if I'm unsure which to use?

If the teacher you're addressing identifies as female, "Ms." is the most neutral and appropriate honorific to use. Ultimately, though, most teachers won't mind which you chose, and if they do, reach out, and we'll work gladly with you to correct the honorific chosen.

What if the person is getting married soon?

Great question! We suggest ordering with the person's current name, but on some of our products, you can add personalization on the back. Customers often chose to put the person's current name on the front, and their new, married name on the back. 

What if I made a mistake when ordering?

We automatically correct common issues here including capitalization and punctuation. We won't change anything beyond this, however, to respect the selection each person made for which honorific to use. That said, if you chose the wrong one or are unhappy with anything, please reach out! We'll make it right!

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