Tuesday, June 26, 2012

There is no Ms. in England?

I have largely stopped posting about the (mis)gendered language in sports.
But language still continues to fascinate me. And I was particularly struck by the incongruity I heard at Wimbledon yesterday while watching Kim Clijsters's match.
Wimbledon refers to female players as either Miss or Mrs (last name) depending on their marital status. While the formality is quaint, the practice seems antiquated--especially in this situation:
Clijsters is married. She gets referred to as Mrs. But she never changed her name. So she is called Mrs. Clijsters at Wimbledon. It sounds so odd.

1 comment:

Diane said...

There is no "Ms." in England, and there isn't too much of it these days in the U.S. Referring to Kim as "Mrs. Clijstes" is ridiculous.

It's interesting to note, however, that even the enemies of "Ms." in the U.S. constantly misuse the "Mrs." honorific. Ther is no such thing as "Mrs. Mary Smith." She is "Mrs. John Smith" or she is Mary Smith.

(Note that when the Senate roll call is done, the only females referred to as "Ms." are the ones who aren't married or Sen. Landrieu, because she never changed her name. Defeats the whole purpose.)