I never changed my last name after I got married for professional reasons. Recently, I started dropping off my granddaughter at school and when her teacher referred to me by my granddaughter's (and my husband's) last name, I politely corrected her, telling her that I go by my maiden name. The teacher has started to call me Miss ______ which for some reason just doesn't sit well with me, I feel it's inappropriate for a woman my age (I'm in my late fifties). I don't want to make a big deal out of it by mentioning it to her but just out of curiosity I was wondering what is the right way to address a grown woman like myself who is married and has kept her maiden name?
since it has become very commonplace for married women to use their maiden names regardless of professional status, to avoid confusion the most accepted form of address is 'Ms.' when referring to any woman over the age of eighteen when you are unsure of her marital status or preference.
If the lady is married, she can be addressed by either form, 'Ms.' or 'Mrs.' accompanied by the last name she prefers and uses. For example, if a married woman has never changed her maiden name she would be referred to as Ms. Jones. If she has changed her name to her husband/partner's, she could be referred to as Mrs. Brown or Ms. Brown. (If the woman is single and over the age of 18, the form 'Ms.' would be used once again.)
The term 'Miss' is usually reserved for a single woman under the age of eighteen (and for some reason makes people think of an old maid or spinster if used in reference to anyone older 30) so I can understand why you might feel a little discomfort with someone using that form of address with you. While I am sure the teacher didn't mean any harm by how she addressed you, there is nothing wrong with politely correcting her the next time she addresses you in a way that makes you uncomfortable.
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