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Active Questions

How do you address a woman in a formal letter?
Career / 5:28 AM - Wednesday November 19, 2008

How do you address a woman in a formal letter?

How does one address a woman of unknown marital status in a formal letter? If I write Mrs. to an unmarried woman she might be insulted, but on the other hand if I address a married woman as Miss she'll also not like it................ and if I address a woman as Ms. she might think that I'm assuming she's a feminist. What's a guy to do?

Update: November 19, 2008.
Thank you everybody, I'm going with Ms!

- Asked by evets211, A Rebel, Male, 56-65

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Ms is the proper use of address.

Fems may have made it popular by their usage of the word in a strong way during the feminist movement but it has always been there for use in an unknown situation. I don't think you'll offend her. I'm a widow and I still get "Mrs." and sometimes I'll even get "M." by people who do not know about "Ms." and don't know how to properly address me and no, "M" isn't the initial of my first name. I can only assume they didn't want to insult me and didn't know what to put. Good luck.

Ms. Brunette

- Response by msbrunette, A Sweet Sarah, Female, 46-55

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Ms. Is also used to address a woman of unknown marital status. It isn't only for feminists.

- Response by mistyjean, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Self-Employed

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Community Rating: Community Star

Feminist? No... we honestly don't think about it that closely. Ms. is the standard address for women with an unknown marital status. Many widows also use it so you'd be very unlucky to be ranted at by a feminist...


- Response by devonette, An Alternative Girl, Female, 26-28, Administrative

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Use Ms. Intelligent women know your dilemma. Intelligent women also aren't feminists, so you will be wrong, but they will understand.

- Response by amberlynm, A Life of the Party, Female, 46-55, Who Cares?

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Ms. I would think is proper. Don't assume she'd assume anything :)

- Response by lissa78, A Cool Mom, Female, 36-45

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Stick with the Ms...:-)

- Response by spitfire815, A Hippie Chick, Female, 66 or older, Who Cares?

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Ms. is safe and used mostly

- Response by butternutbisque, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Who Cares?

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You can't go wrong with Ms.

- Response by barbb, An Alternative Girl, Female, Who Cares?, Other Profession

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I use Ms. if I'm not sure; otherwise, Dear (the person's name)

- Response by hulagirl55, A Sportif, Female, Who Cares?, Who Cares?

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Go with Ms.

Just don't call her Ma'am or Madam.

- Response by ginvcooks, A Thinker, Female, 46-55

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hey beeeeeeech get your arse over here now.

- Response by movi, A Guy Critical, Male, 56-65, Administrative

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