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Donna Richoux

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Apr 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/22/99
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I was watching a news conference with Madeleine Albright on CNN about
two days ago, and there appeared to be a little British-American English
tangle. The reporters said, "It has been NATO policy not to target
individual leaders, but the British have said that Milosevic must step
down! How can you..." etc, etc.

Albright sighed, said something about "garbled" and "two nations divided
by a common language" and that what the British had really meant was
that Milosevic must "back down."

I would like to get just a little clearer on this. First, is "step down"
ever used to mean "resign" in the UK? Second, what else is it used for -
to back down? To de-escalate?

(I've also been thinking of starting a thread on the matter that people
forced out of their homes at gunpoint shouldn't be called "refugees" --
deportees, the expelled, evictees, something that implies force was
used.)

Can follow-ups please stick to language matters and not stray into
personal and political declarations? Tempting though it may be.

Thanks --- Donna Richoux

Catweazle

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Apr 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/22/99
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Donna Richoux wrote in message
<1dqnvgu.fp...@p116.hlm.euronet.nl>...

I would suggest the following:

'step down' = resign

If there is a difference, it may be that one tends to resign on a matter of
principle or as a protest while one steps down due to scandal or to make way
for a younger replacement.

'back down' = retreat from a position or claim


Catweazle

--------------------------------------------------------
"Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)"

Walt Whitman

K. Edgcombe

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Apr 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/22/99
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In article <1dqnvgu.fp...@p116.hlm.euronet.nl>,

Donna Richoux <tr...@euronet.nl> wrote:
>I was watching a news conference with Madeleine Albright on CNN about
>two days ago, and there appeared to be a little British-American English
>tangle. The reporters said, "It has been NATO policy not to target
>individual leaders, but the British have said that Milosevic must step
>down! How can you..." etc, etc.
>
>Albright sighed, said something about "garbled" and "two nations divided
>by a common language" and that what the British had really meant was
>that Milosevic must "back down."
>
>I would like to get just a little clearer on this. First, is "step down"
>ever used to mean "resign" in the UK? Second, what else is it used for -
>to back down? To de-escalate?

To me, "step down" definitely means "resign", and "back down" means "moderate
one's terms, stop being so assertive, take back what one has said".
I think this is your understanding too. If a British spokesman said he should
"step down", they didn't mean de-escalate, whatever Ms Albright says they
meant.

Katy

Chris Stokes

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Apr 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/22/99
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In article <1dqnvgu.fp...@p116.hlm.euronet.nl>,
tr...@euronet.nl (Donna Richoux) wrote:

> I would like to get just a little clearer on this. First, is "step down"
> ever used to mean "resign" in the UK? Second, what else is it used for -
> to back down? To de-escalate?

Almost always. I would _never_ say 'step down' if I meant merely draw back,
desist, or back down (assuming 'back down' means the same on either side of
the pond). If the reporter's sentence is accurate, the meaning is plain that
Blur had insisted that Milosevic step down _from power_. Either Allbright is
overconfident of her understanding of cross-pond linguistic differences or
she was papering over a serious political difference by sleight of hand. My
money's on the latter. (NODE's definition is 'withdraw or resign from an
important position or office'; I would understand 'position' here to be
roughly synonymous with 'post' and not to cover what might be called the
Serbian 'position' in Kosova.)

The only other figurative meaning in British English that I'm aware of is a
technical one. Transformers (specifically step-down transformers) are used to
step down voltages in electrical and electronic engineering.

Chris
--
A language is a dialect that has an army and a navy. (Max Weinreich)

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Laura F Spira

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Apr 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/22/99
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Donna Richoux wrote:
>
> I was watching a news conference with Madeleine Albright on CNN about
> two days ago, and there appeared to be a little British-American English
> tangle. The reporters said, "It has been NATO policy not to target
> individual leaders, but the British have said that Milosevic must step
> down! How can you..." etc, etc.
>
> Albright sighed, said something about "garbled" and "two nations divided
> by a common language" and that what the British had really meant was
> that Milosevic must "back down."
>
> I would like to get just a little clearer on this. First, is "step down"
> ever used to mean "resign" in the UK? Second, what else is it used for -
> to back down? To de-escalate?
>
> (I've also been thinking of starting a thread on the matter that people
> forced out of their homes at gunpoint shouldn't be called "refugees" --
> deportees, the expelled, evictees, something that implies force was
> used.)
>
> Can follow-ups please stick to language matters and not stray into
> personal and political declarations? Tempting though it may be.
>
> Thanks --- Donna Richoux

My boss has just 'stepped down' from her post, as she described the
process, but is staying on in the institution in another capacity. To
me, 'step down' has some subtle sense of courteously giving way, while
still being in control of the process. 'Backing down' suggests the
unsuccessful outcome of a confrontation. 'Resign' could have either
connotation - you might resign as a result of giving way to pressure or,
more proactively, to make a point of principle - or in a fit of pique.


--
Laura F Spira

Ross Howard

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Apr 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/22/99
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On 22 Apr 1999 11:21:48 GMT, ke...@cus.cam.ac.uk (K. Edgcombe) wrote:

>whatever Ms Albright says they
>meant.

Since Albright is her married name, isn't "Ms" out of place here? Do
you also say Ms. Thatcher or Ms. Reagan?

Ross Howard
-----------
While one person's comments maybe one person's treasure,
another person's comments maybe another person's garbage.
-- The Bun

K. Edgcombe

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Apr 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/22/99
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In article <371f59b2...@news.sisna.com>,

Ross Howard <rho...@mx3.redestb.es> wrote:
>On 22 Apr 1999 11:21:48 GMT, ke...@cus.cam.ac.uk (K. Edgcombe) wrote:
>
>>whatever Ms Albright says they
>>meant.
>
>Since Albright is her married name, isn't "Ms" out of place here? Do
>you also say Ms. Thatcher or Ms. Reagan?

Hello, Ross, glad you're back.

I was simply ducking out of the fact that I didn't know whether she was married
or not. However, I didn't think Ms was restricted to use with one's maiden name.
I use it, when I'm feeling bloody-minded about it not being people's business
whether I'm married or not, but I use it with my married name because as far as
I'm concerned that *is* my name.

I don't habitually use it for other people unless either I don't know
whether they're married, or they have indicated in some way that that is their
preferred mode of address. So I would say "Mrs Thatcher" and "Mrs Reagan".

Actually I never say "Ms" if I can possibly help it, but I do write it.

Katy

a1a5...@bc.sympatico.ca

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Apr 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/22/99
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On Thu, 22 Apr 1999 17:20:29 GMT, rho...@mx3.redestb.es (Ross
Howard) wrote:

>On 22 Apr 1999 11:21:48 GMT, ke...@cus.cam.ac.uk (K. Edgcombe) wrote:
>
>>whatever Ms Albright says they
>>meant.
>
>Since Albright is her married name, isn't "Ms" out of place here? Do
>you also say Ms. Thatcher or Ms. Reagan?
>

>Ross Howard

If you do not want a thick ear, my lad, it's Lady Thatcher and to
blazes with the common touch.

Donna Richoux

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Apr 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/22/99
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Ross Howard <rho...@mx3.redestb.es> wrote:

> Since Albright is her married name, isn't "Ms" out of place here? Do
> you also say Ms. Thatcher or Ms. Reagan?

I'm really surprised at this question. I thought everybody grasped the
basic point that "Ms." can be applied to any woman regardless of her
marital status, the way that "Mr." applies to any man regardless of his
marital status. (Oh, well, maybe not rulers and popes and such.)

This is independent of whether you like the term, use it yourself, etc.

I suppose you thought that Ms. is only used by single women who don't
want to be called Miss, and divorced women who no longer want to be
called Mrs. Not so. Oh, and married women like myself who use different
last names than their husbands.

Best --- Donna Richoux

Truly Donovan

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Apr 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/22/99
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On Thu, 22 Apr 1999 17:20:29 GMT, rho...@mx3.redestb.es (Ross Howard)
wrote:

>On 22 Apr 1999 11:21:48 GMT, ke...@cus.cam.ac.uk (K. Edgcombe) wrote:
>
>>whatever Ms Albright says they
>>meant.
>

>Since Albright is her married name, isn't "Ms" out of place here?

Have you really misunderstood the use of "Ms" so completely, or is
this a troll?

--
Truly Donovan
reply to truly at lunemere dot com

N.Mitchum

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Apr 22, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/22/99
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K. Edgcombe wrote:
-----

> To me, "step down" definitely means "resign", and "back down" means "moderate
> one's terms, stop being so assertive, take back what one has said".
> I think this is your understanding too. If a British spokesman said he should
> "step down", they didn't mean de-escalate, whatever Ms Albright says they
> meant.
>.....

"Step down" by itself means "resign" to me as well, but it's still
conceivable that the context could permit a "de-escalate"
definition. If the spokesman had been describing Milosovic as
having "stepped up" his campaing against Kosovo, it's possible he
could have said that he must now step down that campaign. Not too
likely, but possible all the same.


----NM

R J Valentine

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
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Truly Donovan <tru...@ibm.net> wrote:

] On Thu, 22 Apr 1999 17:20:29 GMT, rho...@mx3.redestb.es (Ross Howard)


] wrote:
]
]>On 22 Apr 1999 11:21:48 GMT, ke...@cus.cam.ac.uk (K. Edgcombe) wrote:

]>
]>>whatever Ms Albright says they
]>>meant.
]>
]>Since Albright is her married name, isn't "Ms" out of place here?

]
] Have you really misunderstood the use of "Ms" so completely, or is
] this a troll?

You may be stuck in the eighties. "Ms." has come pretty much full circle
from being used the way "Miss" used to be used (which is to say, with a
woman's surname, regardless of her marital status) to how "Miss" was used
at about the time that preview issue of _Ms._ was published as an insert
in _New York Magazine_ (which is to say, with a single woman's surname,
regardless of her wish to conceal her marital status).

I've seen plenty of forms with only the three choices: "Mr.", "Mrs.", and
"Ms." The practice in a number of schools is to call married women
teachers "Mrs." (with their surname) and single women teachers "Ms." (with
their surname). As a matter of English usage, "Ms." means "Miss".

It may be time for another title shift. How about we award a doctorate
with every driver's license.

--
R. J. Valentine <mailto:r...@clark.net>

Drgnwng

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
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In article <30TT2.357$qg4....@dfw-read.news.verio.net>, R wrote:
>As a matter of English usage, "Ms." means "Miss".

In the US, "Ms." still refers to a woman of unspecified marrital status. This
has been its meaning from the beginning of the use of the term in the US.

Forms usually include both "Mrs." and "Ms." as options because some women
prefer to indicate their marital status, not because "Ms." means "Miss". Women
who wish to specify that they are unmarried still use "Miss".

tas

Drgnwng

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
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R J Valentine

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
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Drgnwng <drg...@aol.comtas> wrote:

] In article <30TT2.357$qg4....@dfw-read.news.verio.net>, R wrote:
]>As a matter of English usage, "Ms." means "Miss".
]
] In the US, "Ms." still refers to a woman of unspecified marrital status. This
] has been its meaning from the beginning of the use of the term in the US.

Same with "Miss".

] Forms usually include both "Mrs." and "Ms." as options because some women


] prefer to indicate their marital status, not because "Ms." means "Miss". Women
] who wish to specify that they are unmarried still use "Miss".

Not if there's no "Miss" box to check, they don't.

Too bad the rest of my text was snipped, because it explained all that.

Drgnwng

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
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In article <hVTT2.358$qg4....@dfw-read.news.verio.net>, R wrote:

>] In the US, "Ms." still refers to a woman of unspecified marrital status.
This
>] has been its meaning from the beginning of the use of the term in the US.
>
>Same with "Miss".

According to every usage I see of "Miss", and according to every American
dictionary I have, "Miss" refers ONLY to an unmarried woman. Therefore, it is
not interchangeable with "Ms.", which (by the same examples and references)
means ONLY "a woman of unspecified marital status".

>] Forms usually include both "Mrs." and "Ms." as options because some women
>] prefer to indicate their marital status, not because "Ms." means "Miss".
Women
>] who wish to specify that they are unmarried still use "Miss".
>
>Not if there's no "Miss" box to check, they don't.
>
>Too bad the rest of my text was snipped, because it explained all that.

Yes, your message referred specifically to forms offering only the options of
"Mr.", "Mrs.", and "Ms." My apologies for not starting a new paragraph with my
last sentence, which extended my comments beyond just the forms you mentioned.
I have seen forms that listed all four options, as well as forms that list only
the three.

In any case, "Ms." does not mean "an unmarried woman" or "Miss". It means that
you are not given the information of whether the woman is married or not. That
was my point. I apologize for not making that clear in my previous message.

(I also apologize that AOL burped and sent my previous message twice.)

tas

A. Farrell

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
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Drgnwng wrote:
>
> In article <hVTT2.358$qg4....@dfw-read.news.verio.net>, R wrote:
>
> >] In the US, "Ms." still refers to a woman of unspecified marrital status.
> This
> >] has been its meaning from the beginning of the use of the term in the US.
> >
> >Same with "Miss".
>
> According to every usage I see of "Miss", and according to every American
> dictionary I have, "Miss" refers ONLY to an unmarried woman. Therefore, it is
> not interchangeable with "Ms.", which (by the same examples and references)
> means ONLY "a woman of unspecified marital status".

[snip]

There is a form, still current I believe in the USA, whereby a woman
with a professional name -- say, an actress -- will be politely addresed
as "miss", whether married or not. "You're on in five minutes Miss
Monroe!" sounds so much better, does it not, than "Ya got five, Mrs
Miller!"

AF.

AF.

R J Valentine

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
Drgnwng <drg...@aol.comtas> wrote:

] In article <hVTT2.358$qg4....@dfw-read.news.verio.net>, R wrote:
]
]>] In the US, "Ms." still refers to a woman of unspecified marrital status. This
]>] has been its meaning from the beginning of the use of the term in the US.
]>
]>Same with "Miss".
]
] According to every usage I see of "Miss", and according to every American
] dictionary I have, "Miss" refers ONLY to an unmarried woman. Therefore, it is
] not interchangeable with "Ms.", which (by the same examples and references)
] means ONLY "a woman of unspecified marital status".

Nevertheless.

Even OED isn't much help in giving merely "= Mrs." as one of the meanings
of "Miss", because the examples are unconvincing. But alt.usage.english
wouldn't be worth much if it just parroted the contents of dictionaries.

If you don't want to take my word for it, you could ask a _really_ old
person or check _Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior_
by Judith Martin (ISBN 0-689-11247-5) from 1982, which notes on page 75
that in business correspondence a name of the form "Mrs." followed by a
woman's given name and surname "would be incorrect" and on page 565 that
"Miss is preferable to Mrs. in this situation, as it was increasingly
being used as an all-inclusive business term before Ms. came along."

Wherever all the married women are using "Mrs.", the secret is out about
all those people using "Ms." Stop by a school and check the faculty list
in the main lobby.

]>] Forms usually include both "Mrs." and "Ms." as options because some women


]>] prefer to indicate their marital status, not because "Ms." means "Miss".
] Women
]>] who wish to specify that they are unmarried still use "Miss".
]>
]>Not if there's no "Miss" box to check, they don't.
]>
]>Too bad the rest of my text was snipped, because it explained all that.
]
] Yes, your message referred specifically to forms offering only the options of
] "Mr.", "Mrs.", and "Ms." My apologies for not starting a new paragraph with my
] last sentence, which extended my comments beyond just the forms you mentioned.
] I have seen forms that listed all four options, as well as forms that list only
] the three.

And there was indeed a time period when what you bring up now (all four
options) was standard, just as before that the classic three options were
the standard way of giving choices. I'll give you that right away; no
argument there. But we have moved now all the way to the nineties, where
it is becoming increasingly true that forms omit the now little-used
"Miss". And that completes the circle I mentioned in my original reply.
"Ms." means what "Miss" used to mean.

] In any case, "Ms." does not mean "an unmarried woman" or "Miss". It means that


] you are not given the information of whether the woman is married or not. That
] was my point. I apologize for not making that clear in my previous message.

There is no question that "Ms." *can* be used to refer to women whose
marital status is unknown or irrelevant (unless they have requested a
different form of address). It has the advantage of being the only way of
doing so that is both correct and reasonably current, though "Miss" filled
that function nicely before "Ms." arrived. About the only time we hear
the "Miss" usage nowadays for a married woman is when a great actress is
introduced on a talk show. The point was clear enough, but it was an
eighties point. "Miss" has gone the way of "Master" for most purposes.
"Ms." now has all the advantages and disadvantages that "Miss" used to
have. Look for a new title on the horizon.

] (I also apologize that AOL burped and sent my previous message twice.)

That'll happen. Cancel messages will come in time.

Cheryl L Perkins

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
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R J Valentine (r...@clark.net) wrote:
: Drgnwng <drg...@aol.comtas> wrote:

: ] In article <30TT2.357$qg4....@dfw-read.news.verio.net>, R wrote:
: ]>As a matter of English usage, "Ms." means "Miss".

: ]
: ] In the US, "Ms." still refers to a woman of unspecified marrital status. This


: ] has been its meaning from the beginning of the use of the term in the US.

: Same with "Miss".

I've never seen "Miss" used to refer to a woman of unspecified marital
status. It always is used for an unmarried woman (or young girl).

Ms. doesn't imply anything about the marital status of the lady. A Miss is
unmarried, and a Mrs. is or was at one time married.

Cheryl
--
Cheryl Perkins
cper...@stemnet.nf.ca

Raymot

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
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In article <7fp9h8$mcc$4...@coranto.ucs.mun.ca>, cper...@stemnet.nf.ca says...

>
>R J Valentine (r...@clark.net) wrote:
[...]

>I've never seen "Miss" used to refer to a woman of unspecified marital
>status. It always is used for an unmarried woman (or young girl).
>
>Ms. doesn't imply anything about the marital status of the lady. A Miss is
>unmarried, and a Mrs. is or was at one time married.
>
>Cheryl
>--
>Cheryl Perkins
>cper...@stemnet.nf.ca

That's the way it still works in Oz too, despite
R J Valentine's campaign.
The primary connotation of Ms. is the same as it was
last decade, regardless of how many boxes some printer
puts on his forms.

Raymot
======
Brisbane, Australia
[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[


Ross Howard

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
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On Thu, 22 Apr 1999 22:42:50 +0200, tr...@euronet.nl (Donna Richoux)
wrote:

>Ross Howard <rho...@mx3.redestb.es> wrote:
>
>> Since Albright is her married name, isn't "Ms" out of place here? Do
>> you also say Ms. Thatcher or Ms. Reagan?
>
>I'm really surprised at this question. I thought everybody grasped the
>basic point that "Ms." can be applied to any woman regardless of her
>marital status, the way that "Mr." applies to any man regardless of his
>marital status. (Oh, well, maybe not rulers and popes and such.)

Ah, but men, upon marriage, don't change their surnames to those of
their wives. Nor do they, as Ms Albright does, persist in using them
in an age when doing so is no longer socially necessary. That's why we
have "Ms Nancy Davis" but "Mrs Nancy Reagan", and "Ms Margaret
Roberts" but "Mrs Margaret Thatcher" -- and that's why "Ms Clinton"
invariably refers to Chelsea, rather than to Hillary (who could be "Ms
Rodham" or "Mrs Clinton"; for some reason, the latter form appears to
be the preferred one).

>This is independent of whether you like the term, use it yourself, etc.

What's that got to do with it? This is about *coherent* usage, not
personal bugbears (which, in this case, I actually don't have).

>I suppose you thought that Ms. is only used by single women who don't
>want to be called Miss, and divorced women who no longer want to be
>called Mrs.

Why did you suppose that? Since the lady/woman/person in question has
gone to some effort to disguise her disturbingly Captain Bobbish
origins by marrying one of those fellowship fellows and take advantage
of the free all-American surname that came with him, why shouldn't she
also acknowledge the accompanying "Mrs"? She should therefore be
addressed as "Mrs Albright" or "Ms Original-Czech-Surname". Or aren't
two choices enough?

ObNothinginparticular: Why are so many (OK, three) US Secretaries of
State and National Security Advisers first-generation eastern-European
immigrants? Henry the K, Big Zbig, and now the Mighty Ms Mad. . . .

Ross Howard

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
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On Fri, 23 Apr 1999 17:37:44 +1000, "A. Farrell"
<afar...@trump.net.au> wrote:

>There is a form, still current I believe in the USA, whereby a woman
>with a professional name -- say, an actress -- will be politely addresed
>as "miss", whether married or not. "You're on in five minutes Miss
>Monroe!" sounds so much better, does it not, than "Ya got five, Mrs
>Miller!"

Inadvertently (or perhaps not), AF has put his finger on the whole
question -- Using "Ms" before an optionally maintained married surname
is inconsistent.

Some people seem to have assumed that I mistakenly believe that "Ms"
is an equivalent of "Miss". I don't. I believe it is a construct
construed to equalise the situation between men and women when it
comes to the use of titles and surnames. Since women now have the
option -- an option millions now choose to use -- of not changing
their surnames after they get married, this, combined with the use of
"Ms" to offer no clues as to their marital status, achieves the
desired equilibrium. But those women who persist in using their
husband's surname have opted out of that. And part of that opting out
is the marital-status marker "Mrs".

"Ms. Albright" is as confused and inconsistent a combination as "Ms.
Cruise" would be if reffering to Nicole Kidman.

I don't object to her "Ms". I dig that "Ms". I just assumed that it
was standard practice to address married women who *choose* to
publicise their marital status by using their husband's surnames (the
key to all this) as "Mrs".

A. Farrell

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
Ross Howard wrote:
>
> On Fri, 23 Apr 1999 17:37:44 +1000, "A. Farrell"
> <afar...@trump.net.au> wrote:
>
> >There is a form, still current I believe in the USA, whereby a woman
> >with a professional name -- say, an actress -- will be politely addresed
> >as "miss", whether married or not. "You're on in five minutes Miss
> >Monroe!" sounds so much better, does it not, than "Ya got five, Mrs
> >Miller!"
>
> Inadvertently (or perhaps not), AF has put his finger on the whole
> question -- Using "Ms" before an optionally maintained married surname
> is inconsistent.

[Necessary snipping of excellent comment]


> "Ms. Albright" is as confused and inconsistent a combination as "Ms.
> Cruise" would be if reffering to Nicole Kidman.
>
> I don't object to her "Ms". I dig that "Ms". I just assumed that it
> was standard practice to address married women who *choose* to
> publicise their marital status by using their husband's surnames (the
> key to all this) as "Mrs".

The point to me was always the question of "equality": is a woman to be
in the same situation as any man so far as courtesy titles are
concerned? The answer is, that "Ms" allows this, if she so chooses.

Here follows a commonplace, but I'll say it anyway: a married woman is
"Mrs Joe Bloggs" *always*, until the death of her husband, when she
becomes "Mrs Cynthia Bloggs". "Miss Cynthia Bloggs" is an unmarried
woman (of indeterminate age), *or* perhaps a married (or unmarried for
that matter) woman using a professional name. "Ms Cynthia Bloggs" may be
married, unmarried or living in any number of permutations of what I
believe are these days called "bona fide domestic circumstances", and
she is in exactly the same situation as any man. She is addressed by her
own name, to which is prefixed a courtesy title.

It strikes me as retrograde for a married woman to be known by her
husband's surname, to which has been appended the title "Ms". However,
as Virginia said: "I don't care what people do; just so long as they
don't frighten the horses."

AF.

nancy g.

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
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R J Valentine wrote:

>> In the US, "Ms." still refers to a woman of unspecified
>> marrital status. This has been its meaning from the beginning
>> of the use of the term in the US.

> Same with "Miss".

Do you really mean you think "Miss" was or is used to mean a woman
whose marital status is unknown? That's not the way I have *ever*
heard the word used, and I've been around long enough to remember
the days when "Miss/Mrs." was the only choice offered to women.
"Mrs." always indicated a married woman, and "Miss" always indicated
an unmarried one.

I'm currently single and use Ms. when forced to choose a title,
although I prefer none. I still use my ex's name so it will be
the same as that of my children, but I *certainly* don't feel that
using "Mrs." would be appropriate. After my upcoming marriage
(for very long values of "upcoming", that is) I'll become Mrs. again,
although the opinion of most of my friends is that I'm being quaint
and old-fashioned by doing so. But I haven't been a "Miss" since
the days before my first wedding, and I would never be one again.

If a form offers only "Mrs." and "Ms." as choices for women to
check off, that form is incorrect. There should either be three
options for women or just one.

Donna Richoux

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
Ross Howard <rho...@mx3.redestb.es> wrote:
>
> Ah, but men, upon marriage, don't change their surnames to those of
> their wives. Nor do they, as Ms Albright does, persist in using them
> in an age when doing so is no longer socially necessary.

Madeleine Albright is -- well, not elderly, but right on the edge of
*old.* Surely she changed her name back in the days when it was (nearly)
unquestioned that women did so. I can think of no one who changed their
name *back* except on the occasion of divorce. So why jump on her for
using the name that she has for many decades?

>That's why we
> have "Ms Nancy Davis" but "Mrs Nancy Reagan", and "Ms Margaret
> Roberts" but "Mrs Margaret Thatcher" -- and that's why "Ms Clinton"
> invariably refers to Chelsea, rather than to Hillary (who could be "Ms
> Rodham" or "Mrs Clinton"; for some reason, the latter form appears to
> be the preferred one).

I haven't seen the same consistency of usage that you have. Different
journalistic standards, probably. Maybe someone who owns the Chicago
Manual of Style will tell us what their current recommendations are
about Ms.

> >This is independent of whether you like the term, use it yourself, etc.
>
> What's that got to do with it? This is about *coherent* usage, not
> personal bugbears (which, in this case, I actually don't have).
>
> >I suppose you thought that Ms. is only used by single women who don't
> >want to be called Miss, and divorced women who no longer want to be
> >called Mrs.
>
> Why did you suppose that?

Oh, vague memories of discussions on this topic with unremembered
persons. I am glad to know these concerns do not apply to you.

>Since the lady/woman/person in question has
> gone to some effort to disguise her disturbingly Captain Bobbish
> origins

I don't know what that means, and I'm not sure I want to know. There was
a biography of her in a recent New Yorker, I can look up some facts if
you think they are murky.


>by marrying one of those fellowship fellows and take advantage
> of the free all-American surname that came with him,

Good Lord, you have reason to believe she married her husband for
nefarious reasons instead of the usual fall-in-love-and-start-a-family
stuff?

>why shouldn't she
> also acknowledge the accompanying "Mrs"? She should therefore be
> addressed as "Mrs Albright" or "Ms Original-Czech-Surname". Or aren't
> two choices enough?
>
> ObNothinginparticular: Why are so many (OK, three) US Secretaries of
> State and National Security Advisers first-generation eastern-European
> immigrants? Henry the K, Big Zbig, and now the Mighty Ms Mad. . . .

A guess -- people who grow up in (and flee from) boundary regions,
caught between superpowers, are unusually interested in the subjects of
regions, powers, etc?

Of course, in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, an Eastern
European immigrant can grow up to be Secretary of State, whereas in --
no, I'd better not pursue that line any further, should I?

Well, anyway, Ross, I'm glad you're back.

Best --- Donna Richoux

Frances Kemmish

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
Ross Howard wrote:
>
> On Fri, 23 Apr 1999 17:37:44 +1000, "A. Farrell"
> <afar...@trump.net.au> wrote:
>
> >There is a form, still current I believe in the USA, whereby a woman
> >with a professional name -- say, an actress -- will be politely addresed
> >as "miss", whether married or not. "You're on in five minutes Miss
> >Monroe!" sounds so much better, does it not, than "Ya got five, Mrs
> >Miller!"
>
> Inadvertently (or perhaps not), AF has put his finger on the whole
> question -- Using "Ms" before an optionally maintained married surname
> is inconsistent.
>
> Some people seem to have assumed that I mistakenly believe that "Ms"
> is an equivalent of "Miss". I don't. I believe it is a construct
> construed to equalise the situation between men and women when it
> comes to the use of titles and surnames. Since women now have the
> option -- an option millions now choose to use -- of not changing
> their surnames after they get married, this, combined with the use of
> "Ms" to offer no clues as to their marital status, achieves the
> desired equilibrium. But those women who persist in using their
> husband's surname have opted out of that. And part of that opting out
> is the marital-status marker "Mrs".
>
> "Ms. Albright" is as confused and inconsistent a combination as "Ms.
> Cruise" would be if reffering to Nicole Kidman.
>
> I don't object to her "Ms". I dig that "Ms". I just assumed that it
> was standard practice to address married women who *choose* to
> publicise their marital status by using their husband's surnames (the
> key to all this) as "Mrs".
>


I have been married for twenty-eight years. During that time, I have
been known as Frances Kemmish. I have even built a (albeit very
insignificant) professional reputation using that name. I have a
publication in print using that name. I think that I have reason to
regard it now as my name.

Most of the people with whom I deal professionally have no idea whether
or not I am married. Hardly any of them have ever met my husband, and so
very few of my colleagues know whether or not "Kemmish" is my husband's
name or my maiden name. In what way, then, does my use of that name
publicise my marital status?

If I were to divorce my husband, do you think that I should instantly
abandon the name by which I have been known for almost all my adult life
and take up a name which would be unknown to any of my friends,
acquaintances and colleagues. I think not.

When the archaeologist, Jacquetta Hawkes divorced her husband,
Christopher Hawkes, and married J. B. Priestley, she continued to be
known as Jaquetta Hawkes; she did not return to her maiden name, nor did
she use the style "Mrs Priestley". I think, in fact, that I heard her
introduced as "Miss Hawkes" when I heard her speak, back in the sixties,
before the title "Ms" had any currency.

The title "Ms" is maritally neutral. By using it, I declare nothing
about my marital status, nor about the date at which I started to use my
current surname. When my marital status is irrelevant I use "Ms". There
is nothing confused or inconsistent about that.

Fran

nancy g.

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
Ross Howard wrote (quoting AF):

>> There is a form, still current I believe in the USA, whereby a woman
>> with a professional name -- say, an actress -- will be politely addresed
>> as "miss", whether married or not. "You're on in five minutes Miss
>> Monroe!" sounds so much better, does it not, than "Ya got five, Mrs
>> Miller!"

I'd guess that, in the example above, it would be difficult for the
casual listener to distinguish between "Five minutes, Miss Monroe" and
"Five minutes, Ms. Monroe". And since the lovely lady in question was
indeed married at the time but was using a name that had been hers since
her single days, "Ms." would be the only really *accurate* title for her.

> Inadvertently (or perhaps not), AF has put his finger on the whole
> question -- Using "Ms" before an optionally maintained married surname
> is inconsistent.

I don't think so at all. Regardless of whether a woman chooses to
use the surname that she was born with, one she invented, or one that
her husband was born with, her choice is entirely independent of whether
or not she wishes to advertise her marital status to the world at large.


> Some people seem to have assumed that I mistakenly believe that "Ms"
> is an equivalent of "Miss". I don't. I believe it is a construct
> construed to equalise the situation between men and women when it
> comes to the use of titles and surnames.

And that is absolutely correct, according to my understanding of the
word and the way I've always used it.


> Since women now have the option -- an option millions now choose
> to use -- of not changing their surnames after they get married,
> this, combined with the use of "Ms" to offer no clues as to their
> marital status, achieves the desired equilibrium. But those women
> who persist in using their husband's surname have opted out of that.

I completely disagree. You act as if it's a package deal -- that if
you choose to use your husband's surname, you also choose to give up
the right to use "Ms." as your title. It doesn't work that way.

Many women choose to change their name when they get married as a
simple matter of convenience, especially if they plan to have children
together, so that all members of the family have the same last name.
Once this choice has been made, however, the name is no longer just
the husband's name, but the wife's as well. Since it is now her OWN
name, just as much as her birth name was, she has *exactly* the same
ability to choose for herself what title she will use in front of it.
The only difference is that now, instead of deciding between "Miss"
and "Ms.", she will decide between "Mrs." and "Ms.".


> "Ms. Albright" is as confused and inconsistent a combination as
> "Ms. Cruise" would be if reffering to Nicole Kidman.

Saying "Ms. Albright" does not confuse me and does not seem inconsistent
to me, since she is a woman who uses the name Albright. Saying "Ms. Cruise"
to refer to Nicole Kidman, on the other hand, would be both of the above,
since the name she has chosen to use is Kidman, not Cruise.


> I don't object to her "Ms". I dig that "Ms". I just assumed that it
> was standard practice to address married women who *choose* to
> publicise their marital status by using their husband's surnames
> (the key to all this) as "Mrs".

Sorry, but that assumption was incorrect. Choosing to use one's
husband's name is not the same thing as choosing to publicize one's
marital status, unless the public is aware that (a) the woman's name
used to be different; (b) she is currently involved in a relationship
with a man; and (c) the man in the relationship has the same name as
the one she is now using.

Suppose I used to be known as Mary Jones but decided to start using
my husband's name when I married him. If I meet you and introduce
myself as Mary Smith, or as Ms. Smith, that does not tell you a thing
about my marital status. If I introduce myself as "Mrs. Smith",
on the other hand, that is what will let you determine whether or
not I'm married. It's her title alone that can indicate a woman's
marital status if she wishes to publicize it, and not the name that
follows the title.

nancy g.

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
A. Farrell wrote:

> Here follows a commonplace, but I'll say it anyway: a married woman
> is "Mrs Joe Bloggs" *always*, until the death of her husband, when she
> becomes "Mrs Cynthia Bloggs".

This has *never* been correct, even in those days before there was
any such option as "Ms."

In the good old days, a woman who married became "Mrs. Joe Bloggs"
forever, until the day she died, even if that day came AFTER the death
of her husband. The only time she could ever become "Mrs. Cynthia Bloggs"
would be in the extremely rare event that she divorced the esteemed
Mr. Bloggs, usually due to some outrageous action on his part such as
desertion or adultery.


> "Miss Cynthia Bloggs" is an unmarried woman (of indeterminate age)

True. And "Bloggs" in this case would be the name she was born with.


> "Ms Cynthia Bloggs" may be married, unmarried or living in any number
> of permutations of what I believe are these days called "bona fide
> domestic circumstances", and she is in exactly the same situation
> as any man. She is addressed by her own name, to which is prefixed
> a courtesy title.

Correct, assuming that one of the permutations above is that she used to
be known as "Cynthia Flugle" until she married the man who is known as
"Joe Bloggs", at which point she changed her name to "Cynthia Bloggs".


> It strikes me as retrograde for a married woman to be known by her
> husband's surname, to which has been appended the title "Ms".

Hmmmm. I looked up "retrograde" and found one definition to be
"moving, occurring, or performed in a backward direction or opposite
to the usual direction" which I have to admit describes me rather
accurately much of the time; another definition was "contrary to the
normal order", which may or may not be true, depending on how one
defines "normal"; and a third meaning, "tending toward or resulting
in a worse or previous state", which I don't think applies at all.
In any event, retrograde or not, this is a common use of the title,
at least among my circle of friends. I'm willing to accept that this
may be one of those terms with very distinct regional differences.

Speaking of regional differences, is there a reason why you do not
use the period after "Ms." and "Mrs."? Do you use one after "Mr."?

Skitt

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to

nancy g. <nan...@tiac.net> wrote in message
news:372085DA...@tiac.net...

> Speaking of regional differences, is there a reason why you do not
> use the period after "Ms." and "Mrs."? Do you use one after "Mr."?

From the FAQ:

Fowler recommends putting a "." only after abbreviations that do
not include the last letter of the word they're abbreviating, e.g.,
"Capt." for captain but "Cpl" for corporal. In some English-
speaking countries, many people follow this rule, but not in the
U.S., where "Mr." and "Dr." prevail.
--
Skitt http://i.am/skitt/
Central Florida CAUTION: My veracity is under limited warranty

Ross Howard

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
On Fri, 23 Apr 1999 10:20:16 -0400, Frances Kemmish
<arc...@iconn.net> wrote:

[snip much not-getting-the-point]

>The title "Ms" is maritally neutral. By using it, I declare nothing
>about my marital status, nor about the date at which I started to use my
>current surname. When my marital status is irrelevant I use "Ms". There
>is nothing confused or inconsistent about that.

But everybody knows that she is called Albright not because it's a
traditional Czech surname, but because she *married* into one of one
of America's leading Power Families.

Your own practice is irrelevant, because, with all due respect,
"Kemmesh" just doesn't flip the same levers as "Albright" in the
context of a famously Czech-born female politician.

My point, which nobody except AF and, interestingly, the person who
set me off on this in the first place (bless yer, Katy), seems to have
cottoned onto is that "Ms Albright" is socially -- and even
equal-opportunitiesly -- an utterly pointless contrivance.

So, I maintain my original point: It should be either Mrs Albright or
-- if she doesn't want people to be aware of her marital status, which
is obviously not the case, given her persistence in using hubby's
surname on the one hand and the celebrity of her marriage into the
Fellowship Family on the other -- "Ms. Czech-Surname". Playing mix and
match willy-nilly isn't going to get anybody anywhere.

Ross Howard

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
On Fri, 23 Apr 1999 10:21:04 -0400, "nancy g." <nan...@tiac.net>
wrote:

>> Inadvertently (or perhaps not), AF has put his finger on the whole
>> question -- Using "Ms" before an optionally maintained married surname
>> is inconsistent.

>I don't think so at all. Regardless of whether a woman chooses to
>use the surname that she was born with, one she invented, or one that
>her husband was born with, her choice is entirely independent of whether
>or not she wishes to advertise her marital status to the world at large.

Any Czech woman calling herself "Albright" is already advertising her
marital status loud and clear. Papering it over with "Ms" is in this
case (and in that of Nancy Reagan and all the other examples I've
quoted that have all been roundly ignored, perhaps because they're
inconvenient) a futile exercise that smacks of nothing but knee-jerk
PC-ery.

>> Since women now have the option -- an option millions now choose
>> to use -- of not changing their surnames after they get married,
>> this, combined with the use of "Ms" to offer no clues as to their
>> marital status, achieves the desired equilibrium. But those women
>> who persist in using their husband's surname have opted out of that.
>
>I completely disagree. You act as if it's a package deal -- that if
>you choose to use your husband's surname, you also choose to give up
>the right to use "Ms." as your title. It doesn't work that way.

It does if everyone knows that you're a Czech woman who has chosen to
adopt hubby's power surname.

>Sorry, but that assumption was incorrect. Choosing to use one's
>husband's name is not the same thing as choosing to publicize one's
>marital status, unless the public is aware that (a) the woman's name
>used to be different;

How many Czechs are named Albright from birth? Of course the public is
aware that she is or was married!

>(b) she is currently involved in a relationship
>with a man; and (c) the man in the relationship has the same name as
>the one she is now using.

I'm with you on that but it's quite irrelevant here. The U.S.
Secretary of State is known as "Albright" because she married a man
called Albright and has chosen to use his surname ever since. It
doesn't mattter whether they're still together or whether she's a
wife, a widow or a divorcee -- by still calling herself Albright she's
publicly acknowledging that marriage, which means that the appropriate
form of addressing her is with "Mrs".

[snip well-argued stuff I can't argue with, but which has nothing at
all to do with why Czech women are known by Ivy League surnames, which
is what this is all about]

Ross Howard

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
On Fri, 23 Apr 1999 10:38:18 -0400, "nancy g." <nan...@tiac.net>
wrote:


>Speaking of regional differences, is there a reason why you do not
>use the period after "Ms." and "Mrs."? Do you use one after "Mr."?

Very common, if not yet completely standard British/Irish (and
Australian?) style. Probably one of the few times when usage has
followed rather than flown in the face of Fowler -- if the last letter
of an abbreviation is also the last letter of the full word, there's
no need for a full stop. So, "Rev." and "Hon.", but "Mr", "Mrs", "Ms",
and "Dr". Makes sense, sort of. (Although I admit that "Rt Hon." and
"High St., St Albans" look rather forced.)

Cheryl L Perkins

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
nancy g. (nan...@tiac.net) wrote:
: A. Farrell wrote:

: > Here follows a commonplace, but I'll say it anyway: a married woman
: > is "Mrs Joe Bloggs" *always*, until the death of her husband, when she
: > becomes "Mrs Cynthia Bloggs".

: This has *never* been correct, even in those days before there was
: any such option as "Ms."

: In the good old days, a woman who married became "Mrs. Joe Bloggs"
: forever, until the day she died, even if that day came AFTER the death
: of her husband. The only time she could ever become "Mrs. Cynthia Bloggs"
: would be in the extremely rare event that she divorced the esteemed
: Mr. Bloggs, usually due to some outrageous action on his part such as
: desertion or adultery.

<snip>
This was a strongly-held belief. My mother was once scolded for signing
her name as, in this example, Mrs. Cynthia Bloggs. She'd been doing it for
years and during all of this period was happily married to my father, but
she was told that she should be writing her name 'Mrs. Joe Bloggs'.

I think the only solution is to ask what a person likes to be called. If
you don't know, use 'Ms.' or 'Mr.'. If you are speaking to the person, you
can use 'Ma'am' or 'Sir', although I've heard that the British prefer to
save Ma'am for the Queen.


<snip>
: Speaking of regional differences, is there a reason why you do not

: use the period after "Ms." and "Mrs."? Do you use one after "Mr."?

I do. Some people don't.
--
Cheryl Perkins
cper...@stemnet.nf.ca

Drgnwng

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to

>>Sorry, but that assumption was incorrect. Choosing to use one's
>>husband's name is not the same thing as choosing to publicize one's
>>marital status, unless the public is aware that (a) the woman's name
>>used to be different;
>
>How many Czechs are named Albright from birth? Of course the public is
>aware that she is or was married!

>[snip well-argued stuff I can't argue with, but which has nothing at


>all to do with why Czech women are known by Ivy League surnames, which
>is what this is all about]

Interesting point of view. For me, the statement that this is "what this is all
about" is completely false. The origin of her original name (or her current
surname, for that matter) is as completely irrelevant to me as her marital
status. I care about what she does, not about stereotypes and assumptions based
on the origin of her name.

You obviously dislike Ms. Albright, which is your right. But that doesn't
change the fact that, by common usage and dictionary definition (and you have
given me no other basis for deciding the correct usage beyond your personal
beliefs), she is completely correct in calling herself Ms. Albright.


tas

Donna Richoux

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
Ross Howard <rho...@mx3.redestb.es> wrote:

> Any Czech woman calling herself "Albright" is already advertising her
> marital status loud and clear. Papering it over with "Ms" is in this
> case (and in that of Nancy Reagan and all the other examples I've
> quoted that have all been roundly ignored, perhaps because they're
> inconvenient) a futile exercise that smacks of nothing but knee-jerk
> PC-ery.

All right, Ross, now we've moved beyond concerns about "Ms." to other
matters that verge on racism. One is that, in the US at least, someone
who has been a resident since 1948 and without the slightest doubt
acquired American citizenship during that time, is not called a "Czech
woman." She is called an American woman. It is insulting by American
standards to refuse to do so.

Second, I dug out that article. Some basic facts, as I can extract them.

Born in Prague in the late 1930s.
Spent early years in London.
Moved to the US in 1948, age 10? 11?.
1955 - won a scholarship to Wellesley
1959 - married Joseph Albright after graduation
1982 - they were divorced

> >> Since women now have the option -- an option millions now choose
> >> to use -- of not changing their surnames after they get married,
> >> this, combined with the use of "Ms" to offer no clues as to their
> >> marital status, achieves the desired equilibrium. But those women
> >> who persist in using their husband's surname have opted out of that.
> >
> >I completely disagree. You act as if it's a package deal -- that if
> >you choose to use your husband's surname, you also choose to give up
> >the right to use "Ms." as your title. It doesn't work that way.
>
> It does if everyone knows that you're a Czech woman who has chosen to
> adopt hubby's power surname.

Power surname?? Just how the hell many people in the US have the
slightest association with Albright? Besides *her*. It's not like it's
Rockefeller or Ford. The article says that Joseph Albright's
great-grandfather, named Medill, owned the Chicago Tribune and had been
mayor of Chicago. That's nice, there have been a lot of mayors of
Chicago. I don't know who told you that Albright is a famous name, but
you should question the source.

Oh, yes, Madeleine's surname before she was married was Korbel.

>
> >Sorry, but that assumption was incorrect. Choosing to use one's
> >husband's name is not the same thing as choosing to publicize one's
> >marital status, unless the public is aware that (a) the woman's name
> >used to be different;
>
> How many Czechs are named Albright from birth? Of course the public is
> aware that she is or was married!

But... But... splutter... the only sense I can make out of that is that
you think everyone knows she is Czech by birth! She has no foreign
accent, Ross! The default assumption is that she is American-born! How
many people know that she *wasn't*?


>
> >(b) she is currently involved in a relationship
> >with a man; and (c) the man in the relationship has the same name as
> >the one she is now using.
>
> I'm with you on that but it's quite irrelevant here. The U.S.
> Secretary of State is known as "Albright" because she married a man
> called Albright and has chosen to use his surname ever since. It
> doesn't mattter whether they're still together or whether she's a
> wife, a widow or a divorcee -- by still calling herself Albright she's
> publicly acknowledging that marriage, which means that the appropriate
> form of addressing her is with "Mrs".

That's how you see it. Americans don't work that way.

>
> [snip well-argued stuff I can't argue with, but which has nothing at
> all to do with why Czech women are known by Ivy League surnames, which
> is what this is all about]

She chose the name she wanted to be called. That's it. Anything beyond
that is malicious speculation.

Ross Howard

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
On Fri, 23 Apr 1999 16:10:43 +0200, tr...@euronet.nl (Donna Richoux)
wrote:

>Ross Howard <rho...@mx3.redestb.es> wrote:


>>
>> Ah, but men, upon marriage, don't change their surnames to those of
>> their wives. Nor do they, as Ms Albright does, persist in using them
>> in an age when doing so is no longer socially necessary.
>
>Madeleine Albright is -- well, not elderly, but right on the edge of
>*old.* Surely she changed her name back in the days when it was (nearly)
>unquestioned that women did so. I can think of no one who changed their
>name *back* except on the occasion of divorce. So why jump on her for
>using the name that she has for many decades?

I don't jump on her. It's not the "Albright" part that bothers me;
it's that "Ms", which still seems to me to be misused in this context.



>>That's why we
>> have "Ms Nancy Davis" but "Mrs Nancy Reagan", and "Ms Margaret
>> Roberts" but "Mrs Margaret Thatcher" -- and that's why "Ms Clinton"
>> invariably refers to Chelsea, rather than to Hillary (who could be "Ms
>> Rodham" or "Mrs Clinton"; for some reason, the latter form appears to
>> be the preferred one).
>
>I haven't seen the same consistency of usage that you have. Different
>journalistic standards, probably. Maybe someone who owns the Chicago
>Manual of Style will tell us what their current recommendations are
>about Ms.

Does anyone -- perhaps Bob Lieblich -- have any access to how she's
addressed within the State Department itself?

And as for journalistic style, did any major US paper ever really
print "Ms. Thatcher" (in reference to Maggie rather than Carol)?

>>Since the lady/woman/person in question has
>> gone to some effort to disguise her disturbingly Captain Bobbish
>> origins
>
>I don't know what that means, and I'm not sure I want to know.

Captain Bob was the nickname used in *Private Eye* to refer to the
late, unlamented Robert Maxwell. He was a first-generation immigrant
to the UK from, you guessed it, Czechoslovakia. He was a notorious
social climber, changing his surname in order to boost his chances
with the Establishment. (Draw any parallels you wish from that!)

>There was
>a biography of her in a recent New Yorker, I can look up some facts if
>you think they are murky.

No, I'm sure they're not murky. I'm also sure that to Get Where She Is
Today she's taken every advantage of that married-into surname.

>
>>by marrying one of those fellowship fellows and take advantage
>> of the free all-American surname that came with him,
>
>Good Lord, you have reason to believe she married her husband for
>nefarious reasons instead of the usual fall-in-love-and-start-a-family
>stuff?

No, none at all. I meant "take advantage of" as I've used it above:
"not waste an opportunity", not "calculatedly and cynically exploit",
although I know very little about her. I can't believe that she has
never, even in her early days, exploited her status as Wife Of. Even
Thatcher, remember, got her leg up in politics by being the wife of a
high-powered oil executive. Both have gone on to overshadow their
husbands' achievements, but I suspect both got their start by taking
every advantage of the connections provided by their marriages. Even
Hillary Clinton has followed a similar career path; if she'd married a
plumber instead of a Rhodes scholar, would we ever have heard of her?
If she'd divorced him in disgust before his first term as Governor of
Arkansas, would we ever have heard of her? (Of course, all this says a
lot more about the miserable state of opportunities for women than it
does about the rights or wrongs of the ambition of Mesdames Albright,
Thatcher and Clinton -- but that, in a way, is my whole point).

Skitt

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to

Donna Richoux <tr...@euronet.nl> wrote in message
news:1dqq6ik.cg6...@p130.hlm.euronet.nl...

> Oh, yes, Madeleine's surname before she was married was Korbel.

Now _that_ is a famous name, among the California champagne crowd, at
least. The advertisers hope, of course, that it is just a famous
nationwide.

ObCzech: I had a Czech buddy whose last name was Fiedler. Good table
tennis player he. We entered tournaments together.

Manny Olds

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
R J Valentine <r...@clark.net> wrote:

> Wherever all the married women are using "Mrs.", the secret is out about
> all those people using "Ms." Stop by a school and check the faculty list
> in the main lobby.

Your arguments assume that all married women are checking the "Mrs." box.
That is not necessarily so logically. And my experience tells me that it
is almost never the case in practice.

And I wonder now what you think use of "Dr." reveals.

--
Manny Olds <old...@clark.net> Riverdale Park, Maryland, USA

"Legal" is not the same as "right".
"Acceptable" is not the same as "appropriate".
"Tolerance" is not the same as "approval".
"Possible" is not the same as "wise".
"Open-minded" is not the same as "empty-headed".
"Flexible" is not the same as "spineless".

Mike Barnes

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
In alt.usage.english, Ross Howard <rho...@mx3.redestb.es> wrote

>How many Czechs are named Albright from birth? Of course the public is
>aware that she is or was married!

Hang on, there. I'm a member of the public, and before this thread I
had no idea whether Ms Albright was married, and I had no idea whether
she was a native American. I didn't care then and I don't care now.
So, as a member of the public, I see nothing wrong with "Ms Albright".

As a matter of interest, is her not being a native American relevant to
the usage problem that started this thread ("step down" and "back
down")? Is she not a native speaker?

--
-- Mike Barnes, Stockport, England.
-- If you post a response to Usenet, please *don't* send me a copy by e-mail.

K. Edgcombe

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
In article <19990423122152...@ngol07.aol.com>,

Drgnwng <drg...@aol.comtas> wrote:
>
>You obviously dislike Ms. Albright, which is your right. But that doesn't
>change the fact that, by common usage and dictionary definition (and you have
>given me no other basis for deciding the correct usage beyond your personal
>beliefs), she is completely correct in calling herself Ms. Albright.

Do we, however, have any evidence that she does so call herself?

This whole discussion started when I referred to her as "Ms Albright", for
reasons I have explained in another posting. I have no idea how she refers to
herself or what she prefers others to call her, and I don't think
anyone has adduced any evidence either way.

Katy

Ross Howard

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
On Fri, 23 Apr 1999 18:20:38 +0200, tr...@euronet.nl (Donna Richoux)
wrote:

>Ross Howard <rho...@mx3.redestb.es> wrote:
>
>> Any Czech woman calling herself "Albright" is already advertising her
>> marital status loud and clear. Papering it over with "Ms" is in this
>> case (and in that of Nancy Reagan and all the other examples I've
>> quoted that have all been roundly ignored, perhaps because they're
>> inconvenient) a futile exercise that smacks of nothing but knee-jerk
>> PC-ery.
>
>All right, Ross, now we've moved beyond concerns about "Ms." to other
>matters that verge on racism. One is that, in the US at least, someone
>who has been a resident since 1948 and without the slightest doubt
>acquired American citizenship during that time, is not called a "Czech
>woman." She is called an American woman. It is insulting by American
>standards to refuse to do so.

At least I didn't say she was Jewish.

Joke! Joke!

Seriously though, sorry but I'm not American. In Britain it's not
insulting to call, say, Tom Stoppard "a Czech man", regardless of his
presumed naturalised-Brit status. But, if it makes you happier, del.
"Czech" and ins. "Czech-born".

>> >You act as if it's a package deal -- that if
>> >you choose to use your husband's surname, you also choose to give up
>> >the right to use "Ms." as your title. It doesn't work that way.
>>
>> It does if everyone knows that you're a Czech woman who has chosen to
>> adopt hubby's power surname.
>
>Power surname?? Just how the hell many people in the US have the
>slightest association with Albright? Besides *her*. It's not like it's
>Rockefeller or Ford. The article says that Joseph Albright's
>great-grandfather, named Medill, owned the Chicago Tribune and had been
>mayor of Chicago. That's nice, there have been a lot of mayors of
>Chicago. I don't know who told you that Albright is a famous name, but
>you should question the source.

I was, quite brilliantly, confusing it with "Fulbright". Foot duly
bleeding from gunshot wound. That admitted, though, my original point
about the name drawing attention to her marital status still holds
fast.

>She chose the name she wanted to be called. That's it.

I've no problem whatsoever with her maintaining her married name --
although by 1982 when she divorced she could have changed it back to
Korbel with no social stigma whatsoever. Indeed, I wonder why she
didn't.

>Anything beyond
>that is malicious speculation.

First "verg[ing] on racism", now "malicious". Donna, please do us a
favour and save "malicious" for the kind of people whose incompetence
and pig-headedness embroils the Western world in wars that nobody
wants, directly or indirectly causing the deaths of tens of thousands
and the desperate misery of many hundreds of thousands more, will you.


This thread, rather like the Balkan "situation" that its protagonist
is almost single-handledly responsible for, is escalating out of
control.

Someone please name the toothbrush-tashed Austrian guy quick.

Manny Olds

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
Ross Howard <rho...@mx3.redestb.es> wrote:

> Any Czech woman calling herself "Albright" is already advertising her
> marital status loud and clear. Papering it over with "Ms" is in this
> case (and in that of Nancy Reagan and all the other examples I've
> quoted that have all been roundly ignored, perhaps because they're
> inconvenient) a futile exercise that smacks of nothing but knee-jerk
> PC-ery.

[...]

> Czech woman ... hubby's power surname... Czechs ... Czech women ... Ivy
League surnames

I'm having trouble deciding if you are primarily sexist, jingoistic, or a
snob. You are *certainly* burdened by some powerful obsession(s). Perhaps
a fear that your precious bodily fluids will be contaminated?


--
Manny Olds <old...@clark.net> of Riverdale Park, Maryland, USA

The Coyote could stop anytime -- IF he were not a fanatic. "A fanatic
is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim"
-- George Santayana.

Cheryl L Perkins

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
Mimi Kahn (nj...@spamfree.cornell.edu) wrote:
: On 23 Apr 1999 08:03:52 GMT, cper...@stemnet.nf.ca (Cheryl L Perkins)
: wrote:

: >I've never seen "Miss" used to refer to a woman of unspecified marital


: >status. It always is used for an unmarried woman (or young girl).
: >
: >Ms. doesn't imply anything about the marital status of the lady. A Miss is
: >unmarried, and a Mrs. is or was at one time married.

: I've seen celebrities addressed as "Miss" -- such as the
: aforementioned Miss Nicole Kidman aka Mrs. Tom Cruise. "Miss" is used
: to precede professional or stage names and "Mrs." for the same woman's
: private life.

Yes, I'd forgotten the tradition of using 'Miss' for female stars. I don't
know if it's observed much any more, but it was a common practice.

Cheryl

Cheryl Perkins
cper...@stemnet.nf.ca

Skitt

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to

Mimi Kahn <nj...@spamfree.cornell.edu> wrote in message
news:37279d28...@news.mindspring.com...
> On Fri, 23 Apr 1999 15:18:08 GMT, rho...@mx3.redestb.es (Ross Howard)

> wrote:
>
> >How many Czechs are named Albright from birth? Of course the public
is
> >aware that she is or was married!
>
> Her original name wasn't Madeline, either.
>

It was and still is "Madeleine". Find out more (if you can read Czech)
on:
http://www.energo.cz/newslet/albright/albright.htm

Keep in mind that Czech grammar inflects nouns, even proper names.

Ross Howard

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
On Fri, 23 Apr 1999 16:55:17 GMT, Manny Olds <old...@clark.net> wrote:

>Ross Howard <rho...@mx3.redestb.es> wrote:
>
>> Any Czech woman calling herself "Albright" is already advertising her
>> marital status loud and clear. Papering it over with "Ms" is in this
>> case (and in that of Nancy Reagan and all the other examples I've
>> quoted that have all been roundly ignored, perhaps because they're
>> inconvenient) a futile exercise that smacks of nothing but knee-jerk
>> PC-ery.
>[...]
>
>> Czech woman ... hubby's power surname... Czechs ... Czech women ... Ivy
>League surnames
>
>I'm having trouble deciding if you are primarily sexist, jingoistic, or a
>snob.

Primarily I am -- in this thread alone -- none of the three, but
rather a shameless troll. (It got a bit out of control towards the
end, but I'll fix that by e-mail.)

Hey, you have to try everything once.

Anyway, here are the results: Truly gets the cigar for spotting it
from the get-go. And the runner-up -- for her good-tempered
no-big-deal-anyway response to the direct provocation that set the
whole thing rolling -- is Katy.

OK, so that's it, then. The new news server seems to be working. The
rejoin troll (devised largely to test its propagation and speed) has
duly been dangled with moderate success. Now let's get back to all
things ovine.

(P.S. No, I don't, as it happens, much care for M(r)s Albright, but
not for any reasons remotely related to her origins or preferred form
of address.)

Richard Fontana

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to

On Fri, 23 Apr 1999, Ross Howard wrote:

(snip)


> [snip well-argued stuff I can't argue with, but which has nothing at
> all to do with why Czech women are known by Ivy League surnames, which
> is what this is all about]

Why do you call "Allbright" an "Ivy League surname"?

RF


Drgnwng

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
In article <3728a011...@news.mindspring.com>, nj...@spamfree.cornell.edu
wrote:

>I've seen celebrities addressed as "Miss" -- such as the
>aforementioned Miss Nicole Kidman aka Mrs. Tom Cruise. "Miss" is used
>to precede professional or stage names and "Mrs." for the same woman's
>private life.

I agree that the theatrical world has its own usage. I suspect that,
historically, that usage comes from (1) a belief in some prior centuries that
no reputable woman would be in the theater, and therefore any woman in the
theater must not be married, (2) an attempt to perpetuate an image of
youthfulness by actresses in the movies, which historically have valued young
women (and roles for young women) much more highly than roles for older women,
(3) a belief that fans would lose interest in a woman who was married and
therefore no longer "available", and (4) an attempt to separate the
professional life (role) of the woman from her personal life (and to maintain
use of the name under which she most likely created her professional
reputation). Now it is simply an entrenched theatrical tradition which (like
many things in the world of theater) has little to do with the "real world".

And before anyone jumps on me about this: I am using the word "theater" in its
broadest meaning, including legitimate theater, movies, TV, etc.

tas

khann

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
Mimi Kahn wrote:
>
> [...] Perhaps she didn't want to have her towels re-monogrammed.
[...]

That's it! I knew there was a good reason.

Bun Mui

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
"Ms." usually are spinsters.

Comments?

Bun Mui

Drgnwng

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to

>Primarily I am -- in this thread alone -- none of the three, but
>rather a shameless troll.

And here I thought I'd found a place where people were interested in discussing
the use and nuances of the English language. Silly me. I'll confess that I'm
relatively new to newsgroups, so forgive me for not understanding that it's all
just a big game.

What I have learned from this little experience is that (1) I cannot believe
anything you say, (2) by extension, I really can't believe anything anyone else
says, and (3) people on newsgroups are just here to play mind games, create
dissension for the fun of it, and make fun of others.

Have I learned that lesson correctly?

tas

Michael Cargal

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
drg...@aol.comtas (Drgnwng) wrote:

Yes but not perfectly. Some people troll, some respond to trolls with
nonsense, and some have no idea what they are talking about. On the
other hand, some do know what they are talking about, do not troll,
and ignore trolls. Some do one but not the other. The problem is in
discerning which is which (or who is who), which comes only with
following the group for some time.

Hint: Even people who can normally be trusted might not be trusted
when responding to a known troll such as Bun Mui.
--
Michael Cargal car...@cts.com

Skitt

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to

Drgnwng <drg...@aol.comtas> wrote in message
news:19990423143540...@ngol01.aol.com...

> In article <3720aa23...@news.sisna.com>, rho...@mx3.redestb.es
wrote:
>
> >Primarily I am -- in this thread alone -- none of the three, but
> >rather a shameless troll.
>
> And here I thought I'd found a place where people were interested in
discussing
> the use and nuances of the English language. Silly me. I'll confess
that I'm
> relatively new to newsgroups, so forgive me for not understanding that
it's all
> just a big game.
>
> What I have learned from this little experience is that (1) I cannot
believe
> anything you say, (2) by extension, I really can't believe anything
anyone else
> says, and (3) people on newsgroups are just here to play mind games,
create
> dissension for the fun of it, and make fun of others.
>
> Have I learned that lesson correctly?

Close. Some here are fairly reliable, and I try to be, but observe my
disclaimer below.

Message has been deleted

Markus Laker

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
"Skitt" <sk...@i.am> wrote:

[Madeleine Albright's first name]

> It was and still is "Madeleine".

Indeed. Today's _Times_ prints a picture purporting to show Madeleine
Albright and Robin Cook, but which to the untrained eye looks more like
Robin Cook and Madeleine Albright. Cook's the one in the tie and the
face fluff -- I'm sure of it.

> Find out more (if you can read Czech)

Babelfish doesn't -- so neither do I.

Markus

--
Delete the 'delete this bit' bit of my address to reply

Ross Howard

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
On 23 Apr 1999 18:35:40 GMT, drg...@aol.comtas (Drgnwng) wrote:

>In article <3720aa23...@news.sisna.com>, rho...@mx3.redestb.es wrote:
>
>>Primarily I am -- in this thread alone -- none of the three, but
>>rather a shameless troll.
>
>And here I thought I'd found a place where people were interested in discussing
>the use and nuances of the English language. Silly me. I'll confess that I'm
>relatively new to newsgroups, so forgive me for not understanding that it's all
>just a big game.

No, it's not all a big game. This is the first time that I have
trolled this or any other group (well, consciously -- sometimes I get
these funny moods, but that's another story). It was great fun, and
served its particular purpose admirably (explained elsewhere), but I
shan't do it again. Trolling is rather like Orinoco ant-relish; it's a
shame not to try it just the once, but once it's done, it's done.

That doesn't mean though, that I waive my right to very occasionally
answer a "I can't be bothered to look it up, but. . . " question with
a load of exquisitely contrived utter rubbish. That's not trolling;
that's smug AUE-regular condescension -- fully FAQ-sanctioned -- but
that's yet another story.

>What I have learned from this little experience is that (1) I cannot believe
>anything you say,

Yes, you can.

>(2) by extension, I really can't believe anything anyone else
>says,

Yes, you can.

>and (3) people on newsgroups are just here to play mind games, create
>dissension for the fun of it, and make fun of others.

Well, I also reserve the right to make fun of "Barking" Maddy
Albright, but that's another yet-another-story.

>
>Have I learned that lesson correctly?

No.

Do keep trying, though.

ObAUE: Excellent use of the splendid word "dissension" there, Hebrew
Dragonwing, if I may call you that.

Perchprism

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
Drgnwng wrote:
>From: drg...@aol.comtas (Drgnwng)
>Date: 4/23/99 2:35 PM Eastern Daylight Time
>Message-id: <19990423143540...@ngol01.aol.com>

>
>In article <3720aa23...@news.sisna.com>, rho...@mx3.redestb.es wrote:
>
>>Primarily I am -- in this thread alone -- none of the three, but
>>rather a shameless troll.
>
>And here I thought I'd found a place where people were interested in
>discussing
>the use and nuances of the English language. Silly me. I'll confess that I'm
>relatively new to newsgroups, so forgive me for not understanding that it's
>all
>just a big game.
>
>What I have learned from this little experience is that (1) I cannot believe
>anything you say, (2) by extension, I really can't believe anything anyone
>else
>says, and (3) people on newsgroups are just here to play mind games, create

>dissension for the fun of it, and make fun of others.
>
>Have I learned that lesson correctly?

Now you have (4) say what you think about (1), (2) and (3), and you'll get a
level response.

Think of us as a group of people in the club car on a train across Siberia. You
get all kinds, and you're stuck with all of them for a good long time.

obaue: ". . . use and nuances of . . ." Is that "of" really strong enough to do
double duty here? Something doesn't seem quite right. "Use" seems to resent
being separated from its "of." It's only a poor little verb-noun, and it can't
hold its own against the full-fledged noun "nuances" in the tug-o'-war for that
"of." Or something.

P.S. -- I've till recently carelessly read your name as "Drowndog."
"Dragonwing" sounds a bit eldritch, though. Why that?

Perchprism
(Southern New Jersey, near Philadelphia, USA)

Drgnwng

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to

>>What I have learned from this little experience is that (1) I cannot believe
>>anything you say,

>Yes, you can.

Uh huh. Sure. I believed you before and discovered you were not being truthful.
Trust broken is hard to restore.

>>Have I learned that lesson correctly?

>No.
>Do keep trying, though.

And the reason I would do so would be...?

>ObAUE: Excellent use of the splendid word "dissension" there, Hebrew
>Dragonwing, if I may call you that.

<sigh> I'm going to kick myself for this, I know, but I am curious: why "Hebrew
Dragonwing"? "Dragonwing" is the correct expansion of "drgnwng", but why the
"Hebrew"? To the best of my knowledge, I am in no way connected to anything
Hebrew.

tas
living in the Denver, Colorado (USA), metro area, where trust in general has
been brutally assaulted by this week's events


tas

Drgnwng

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
In article <19990423172438...@ng-fs1.aol.com>, perch...@aol.com
wrote:

>P.S. -- I've till recently carelessly read your name as "Drowndog."
>"Dragonwing" sounds a bit eldritch, though. Why that?

I may be eccentric, but I don't consider myself particularly elvish, weird, or
eerie. :-)

"Dragonwing" is the name of my very tiny, sideline, photography business. My
photography is the wings on which my soul soars, while my more prosaic "real"
life is anchored firmly (and unfortunately) to the ground. If you're curious
about them, you can see some of my photographs at
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Atrium/5185.

Also at that site is the beginnings of a web page related to resources for
writers. It's definitely a work in progress.

tas

tas

Reinhold (Rey) Aman

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99
to
Ross Howard wrote:

> On Fri, 23 Apr 1999 18:20:38 +0200, tr...@euronet.nl (Donna Richoux)
> wrote:

> >Ross Howard <rho...@mx3.redestb.es> wrote:
> >
> >> Any Czech woman calling herself "Albright" is already advertising her
> >> marital status loud and clear. Papering it over with "Ms" is in this
> >> case (and in that of Nancy Reagan and all the other examples I've
> >> quoted that have all been roundly ignored, perhaps because they're
> >> inconvenient) a futile exercise that smacks of nothing but knee-jerk
> >> PC-ery.

> >All right, Ross, now we've moved beyond concerns about "Ms." to other


> >matters that verge on racism.

Mrs. Donna "Best Wishes" Richoux does not know what "racism" means,
otherwise she would not make such a *stupid* and hysterical remark.
What exactly is "racist" about describing a Czech woman as a "Czech
woman"?

I love those p.c. creeps who scream about "racists" and "sexists"
and all sorts of "-ists" but who are no better than those they accuse.
Hypocrites.

> >One is that, in the US at least, someone
> >who has been a resident since 1948 and without the slightest doubt
> >acquired American citizenship during that time, is not called a "Czech
> >woman." She is called an American woman. It is insulting by American
> >standards to refuse to do so.

Bullshit! And what "American standards"? Fact is that Mrs.
Albright is a "Czech-English-American Jewess" or a "Jewish
Czech-American."



> At least I didn't say she was Jewish.
>
> Joke! Joke!

No joke. Albright née Korbel (actually "Körbel," which means
"small woven basket" in Southern German) was born and raised Jewish in
Bohemia (part of the former Czechoslovakia), then brought up by Jewish
relatives in England. For whatever reasons, she *denied* her Jewishness
for some 50 years, but suddenly remembered being a Jewess after a
respectable newspaper revealed her ethnic/racial/religious background at
the time of her appointment.

You won't find these facts on the Czech-language site mentioned by
Skitt, but a Jewish author recently confirmed what I've stated above in
his essay on hawkish "Non-Jews" in the Clinton administration. I'll
quote a short excerpt from Barry Chamish in Israel:  

"Madeleine Albright: Secretary of State. Her story is absolutely
surreal. Born and raised Jewish in Czechoslovakia, she escaped the
Holocaust and was cared for by Jewish relatives in London. Yet, over the
years, she forgot her entire childhood and adolescence, claiming she's
always been a Christian. Her memory was jarred only when the 'Washington
Post' printed her true biography during the very week she was appointed
Secretary of State. The woman did not simply disavow her Jewish roots;
for fifty years, she pretended they didn't exist."

[snip]



> >Anything beyond that is malicious speculation.

The characterization "malicious" is what I describe as "feminist
hysteria." Or, it could be that Mrs. Donna "Best Wishes" Richoux does
not know what "malicious" means.

> First "verg[ing] on racism", now "malicious". Donna, please do us a
> favour and save "malicious" for the kind of people whose incompetence
> and pig-headedness embroils the Western world in wars that nobody
> wants, directly or indirectly causing the deaths of tens of thousands
> and the desperate misery of many hundreds of thousands more, will you.

> Someone please name the toothbrush-tashed Austrian guy quick.

Three days ago was mine Führer's 110th birthday. Gut enuff, ja?

--
Reinhold (Rey) Aman
Editor & Publisher, MALEDICTA
Santa Rosa, CA 95402, USA
http://www.sonic.net/maledicta/

Ross Howard

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Apr 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/23/99