Addressing Letters to Women

Moglea Calligraphy.jpg

For someone who writes and addresses many letters, most of which are to women, I have been woefully ignorant about the proper etiquette for letter-addressing. A new favorite blog of mine, Annie Dean, addressed this recently. You may consider these "rules" silly or archaic, but I can set my feminist tendencies aside and enjoy receiving mail addressed to Mrs. Robert Levy from time to time.  Following these rules might be overkill for everyday correspondence, but certainly they are appropriate for formal occasions (e.g., a wedding invitation). What are your thoughts? Is it anachronistic to follow these rules in 2013? Or do you think more people should observe them?

To quote Annie Dean:

An unmarried woman is a Miss. Miss Jane Longfellow

A married woman who keeps her maiden name is Ms. Ms. Jane Longfellow

A married woman who takes her husband's name or who uses her husband's name socially is Mrs. Mrs. John Parker

A widowed woman is a Mrs. Mrs. John Parker

You'll note that when the 'Mrs.' honorific is used, it is always used with the husband's name. Never with the woman's name. A woman is not ever Mrs. Jane Parker. She is Ms.Jane Parker or Mrs. John Parker. If they're the traditional sort, send your wedding invitation to Mr. and Mrs. John Parker and escort them to dinner with place cards that read Mr. John Parker and Mrs. John Parker.

You can see Annie's original post here.

Image credit to Moglea.