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If you go by age, I guess I am considered of the old school but I have always been one who dislikes labels so I never use Mr., Mrs., or Ms. I use their names and always have. Just my mindset but I guess it can make it easier all around..........D
Location: CNY but I'd rather be in Bonaire snorkeling!
Just checked Emily Post and boys are Master until age 7. Then no title is used until they reach 18 and then it's Mr. Who knew??? Looks like all the others are proper etiquette.
Personally, I'm a rebel who 29 years ago kept my maiden name when I got married....much to hubby's dismay. I prefer people put both our full names on the envelope. I like to acknowledge the woman so I write Jane & John Doe if the wife has changed her last name when they married. My mother said, "Ladies before gentlemen."
Arlene, The Snorkeler
Stamp with us: Poughkeepsie March 12, 2016, Buffalo March 19, 2016, Binghamton April 2, 2016, Ilion April 23, 2016!!!
I'm like rockybeta, I use their name(s)
Ie I sent a baby gift to my nephew and his wife I address it (not their real name):
Thomas & Jessica Smith
These days many women do not take their husbands last name, or hyphenate. I have even come across a couple where the husband took his wife's last name. So I'm inclined to not address anything as Mr. & Mrs. John Smith.
Location: Where the trees sway gently and birds sing softly in Sunny SoCal.
If I were formally addressing envelopes, I'd do them exactly as you have done. It should not offend anyone except maybe a hard-core feminist.
Personally, if I was sending a card to a militant married feminist (and I have one among my circle of friends) and she was upset that I referred to her as Mrs. instead of Ms., she would not get a second card.
In days of old, Miss was the proper term for any unmarried female, regardless of age. And Ms. originated as a designation for any adult woman, regardless of marital status. It was meant to be ambiguous about the woman's attachment to a man, or lack of one. It's a term that became popular during the 1960's women's liberation movement and quickly caught for business use as people did not have to know if a woman was married or detached to properly address a business letter.
Curious, about the origins of Ms, I looked it up on the Internet (which we all know is an infallible source of information ) and learned that it actually began in the 17th Century, hundreds of years before the Suffragette movement at the turn of the 20th century. According to the article, the term fell out of use but was picked up again during the 1960s.
Thank you! I remember filling out some forms back in the 80's I guess and I had to designate my self as a Spinster as I was unmarried, I was horrified! My mother just laughed...I keep telling myself I am only 43 why do I feel ancient lol!
If I am sending something "formal" to a couple I do what you listed (Mr. & Mrs. John Doe.) Less formal, I will use their actual names. I have one sister in law is always a tough one for me because she uses her married last name as her middle name, and kept her last name from her first marriage. I can never remember to get that right!
Funny story along these lines... one of my brothers sent me a gift basket for Christmas and addressed it to my husband's first name and my maiden last name. We got a good laugh out of that one!
Personally, I never get offended by however someone addresses an envelope/package. I am just happy they sent it
When I send mail, I usually do an informal name (Jane and John Doe); the exception is when something is formal (e.g. wedding invitation, birth announcements, graduation). Receiving mail is always a delight. I'm married, but for professional reasons kept my family name (in a publish or perish world, hyphens don't work). My family name has 2 capital letters but is all one word (Ellis Island). Some people know me by my family name, some know me just through my husband, and some don't know me, so I get:
Susan Smith (Smith & Jones are pseudonyms!)
Susan SmithJones (correct)
And then there are all of the variations involving the title (Dr, Ms, Mrs, Miss).
Ah..the lost art of letter writing (and therefore addressing) ....
For formal events/invitations, like a wedding I would do as you have it-formally.
For every day, holidays, etc. ...
Just the name, no title-James Bond
The Xs. -The Bonds
If they have kids,
The X family- The Bond Family
For two last names (gay or she kept hers, etc)
I write the names with no title, ladies first. Gays, the person I am connected to more goes first with the exception of holidays.
Ie: I have gay cousins. My cousin is Jewish, his husband is Irish Christian. They get all kinds of cards therefore.
The Jewish holidays my cousin's name goes first on the envelope and card. The Christian, his husband's name goes first. St Pats-the husband's name goes first. It's basically whose it for most. Both equally, my cousin will go first as the stronger tie to me.
The other exception would be for people I dont know well/work associates-if they are single, I will use Mr or Ms. Otherwise it's what I said above.
It might avoid pain for recently divorced/widowed...although the last name could still sting, or even the taken back maiden could. It's a touchy thing and you can only do the best you can.
Here's the thing of it imho. If you only address to one person in a house, in theory no one else should be opening it. So if it is meant for everyone, then I have to do it in an inclusive manner.
The only time I might do that is for someone who has a long term other who is not living there. aka I know the other for years, but he/she isnt a resident in the house. So I wont put the name on the envelope but will on the card.
My Q is for work stuff:
If you send a card to a boss....and you know the spouses name but have never met them....for the INSIDE of the card...
Do you write to Mary and Bob or to Mary and family or what? You want to be inclusive but not overly familiar.
Oy. No wonder I gave up titles. It's still complicated! LOL
I am personally opposed to titles myself, and will explain why below. I use first and last names for everyone, and if it's a couple and I know the other one, I use their first name, too.
For holiday cards like Christmas, Halloween, etc. for a family, I sometimes use the last name in plural, i.e. The Smiths, or sometimes The Smith Family.
Years ago I had to deal with a lot of doctors when my mother was ill with cancer. I really got tired of some of them having such a condescending attitude when I talked to them. Some felt very free to use my first name, and my sick mother's first name, but we were somehow supposed to call them "Doctor So and So.
I decided on a radical approach - I started speaking to doctors by using their first name. I got some pretty strange looks, but I felt very empowered and not like the little sheep some doctors like you to be.
I have kept it up since then. I am respectful, kind and considerate, but I don't use titles.
Bugga in OK
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." Dalai Lama
Location: Where the trees sway gently and birds sing softly in Sunny SoCal.
These days a lot of people keep their maiden names, especially if they are in a career where they are publicly known by that name. Many of my journalism friends kept their maiden names.
I'm probably an odd ball in that, after 13 years with my husband, we divorced and I kept my married name. Now, 17 years post-divorce and I still very much identify with the name, which I've had longer than my maiden name. If someone were to call out my maiden name I might think they were talking to someone else!
Edited to add that I think I broke the record for using the word "name" the most times in such few sentences. My former editors would be terribly disappointed! LOL