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20 July 2006


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What on earth is the matter with "Mr. & Mrs. Joe Smith"?

After all, Mister Smith was and is a Mister Smith quite without Missus Smith, but Missus Smith is only a Missus at all and a Smith one in particular because of and in relationship with Mister Smith.

Why would you want to go and upset a perfectly good convention, especially one of the few remaining that actually tends to support the true natural order of things; bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh, and all that, you know?


There's nothing "holy" about this particular convention, John; it's a *social* convention, after all, not a discipline or anything. And it's a convention I don't like. Even Eve was granted her own first name. (And if you point out that she didn't get one until after the Fall, I shall be quite annoyed with you.)

My first name was announced at my baptism; my surname and the title "Mrs.", at my marriage. I think they're both important and invested with religious significance, due to their association with those two Sacraments.

The point of marital unity is made when I use the title and surname; I don't need to belabor it by disappearing under a name that is *not* mine, i.e., my husband's own baptismal name. His baptism is his baptism and mine is mine, both of indelible character; our marriage, on the other hand, is ours.


The point isn't that it's holy or not.

It is perfectly reasonable for a woman to use her first name with the last name of her husband, but not with the title.

Calling somebody Mrs. Jane Smith is an absurdity. She is not the wife of Jane Smith. It makes as much sense as calling her Missus with her maiden name. The point of the "Mrs." is to indicate that she is married to Mr. Smith. To which Mr. Smith? Mr. John Smith. She is, therefore, Mrs. John Smith.

If a woman insists on upsetting this longstanding and logical convention, she is perfectly free to use the newfangled and nonsensical construction 'Ms' with her own name.

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