Dear Readers: Today’s SOUND OFF is about the use of “Ms.” in place of “Miss” or “Mrs.”:
“Dear Heloise: One thing that irks me is that so many pieces of mail are addressed to ‘Ms.’ instead of ‘Mrs.’ They don’t know me. I could be ‘Miss,’ ‘Mrs.’ or ‘Mr.,’ but not ‘Ms.’ When they came out with ‘Ms.,’ it was for divorced women, and I have never been divorced! It may seem trivial to some, but I don’t like it.”
— Shirley W., Gardiner, Maine
Shirley, the title of “Ms.” is out of respect and politeness. The titles “Mrs.,” “Miss” and even “Ms.” were all derived from the word “Mistress,” which for centuries applied to all adult women, whether married or not. Until the 19th century, most women lacked a prefix before their names; they were often addressed as “so-and-so’s wife,” or simply by their name. Having a title of “Ms.,” “Miss” or “Mrs.” eventually indicated a higher social standing. While “Ms.” is more commonly used today for women whose status is not known, it never indicated a divorced woman, but rather all women. — Heloise
Dear Readers: Most households have cotton swabs, so here are a few more uses for them:
* Use them to clean a computer keyboard and get into those tight spaces.
* Wet one end and use it to seal envelopes.
* Got furniture with fancy carvings? Use one with furniture polish sprayed on the cotton to clean and shine the fancy wood.
* Keep handy to wipe away smeared mascara or nail polish on the areas around the nails.
KEEPING IT CLEAN
Dear Heloise: When our three daughters had their bridal showers, my mother, my sister and I bought a gift certificate to have their dresses dry-cleaned and preserved as our shower gift. We researched and found a reputable dry cleaner who did this kind of work.
Each daughter was delighted to receive such a lasting gift. It can be expensive to preserve a gown, so it’s nice to include several people in the gift, if need be.
— Connie F.,
Connie, that’s a very thoughtful idea, and one I’m sure other readers will appreciate as well! And the next hint has another wedding-gift idea.
IT’S IN THE BOX
Dear Heloise: I have another suggestion for storing a wedding gown: Have it put in a shadow box. My cousin did mine for me, and it’s on display in my living room. I enjoy your information very much.
— Sue G., Harrison, Ark.
FORK IT OVER
Dear Heloise: I went to an estate sale and bought five old metal forks for $1. I use them to uproot weeds such as chickweed and dandelions. It’s one of the most useful and inexpensive tools in my garden!
— Tina P.,
Send a great hint to:
P.O. Box 795000
San Antonio, TX