Open Thread

by epi on February 16, 2014

Welcome to the Etiquette Daily

This open thread is your space to use as you like. We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

beverly February 16, 2014 at 4:58 pm

When addressing an envelope for a shower invite, when the shower is women only, how do you address a married lady – Old days Mrs. was used – today I am told I should address Ms. Jane Doe – even though she is married. Or should it be Mrs. John Doe??? Or is it Mrs. Jane Doe????? Thanks!


Winifred Rosenburg February 16, 2014 at 6:24 pm

The default is Mrs. John Doe. However if the woman in question prefers to be addressed with her own first name, Ms. Jane Doe is also correct.


beverly February 17, 2014 at 10:46 am

Thank you for your reply. I have two friends that I feel are both very well poised in etiquette that strongly feel when addressing invitations to ladies only shower, tea, brunch, wine and cheese, etc. that the envelope should read Ms. Jane Doe. They feel Mrs. John Doe is incorrect or no longer acceptable. I was wanting to see what others thought – Thank you again!


Elizabeth February 17, 2014 at 10:50 am

I agree with your friends because I greatly dislike being addressed in terms of my husband. We are equals who entered into a partnership, I did not become his property or join “his house.” Plus, I did not change my last name. I think of Ms. as a safe neutral term that one can use when you don’t know how someone prefers to be addressed.


Lily February 16, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Hello again,

Another work-related question, but on greeting/acknowledging someone (not introduced to, but known by sight) encountered on a corridor at the workplace.
I usually take my cues from the other individual’s body language to decide on a smile and/or a greeting, regardless of whoever should greet first. Quite a few times, I have got nothing in response. However, being I am bolder in my own turf and persist with my routine.

I find it trickier, though, whenever I visit other departments, particularly because of the strong existence of hierarchy. Regardless of their position in the ladder, I find them presenting a negative body language (even hostile) that I end up not initiating a smile or a greeting (I was greeted with incredulous stares when I did try!). And, the other day, I came across someone a rung up the ladder and I wasn’t sure about what I should do (eventually, nothing)!

Any ideas?


Cat February 17, 2014 at 11:55 pm

I would keep smiling. You present a friendly front, and they may end up smiling back once you have, even if it is after 50 times of non response.

Smiling also makes you feel better. I’ve noticed up the street that not many people smile back, but the one that does makes me feel even better than before.


Cat February 16, 2014 at 8:35 pm

As it is a women only shower and the woman is marriecd, I would address the envelope as Mrs. Jane Doe, as the husband is not invited, so why should he be alluded to?


Winifred Rosenburg February 17, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Mrs. literally means “wife of” so it is incorrect to use “Mrs.” with the person’s own first name.


Beverly February 17, 2014 at 4:51 pm

I agree 100%. It is either Mrs. John Doe Or Ms. Jane Doe


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