are you the secretary?

Beth Shuster eoshuster at UCDAVIS.EDU
Mon Feb 26 16:59:05 EST 1996

On Mon, 26 Feb 1996 12:21:34 -0400, mcb10 at (Peggy Barr) wrote:

>This is one of my pet peeves, although I don't usually respond to it.  I
>have not one but two degrees (DVM and PhD) which entitle me to "Dr." as
>much as the next person, yet I am frequently called "Ms. Barr" or "Mrs.
>Barr" (I am married, but my husband's last name is Stuart).  I usually
>ignore it (or say please call me by my first name), unless the offense is
>committed by someone I will continue to see - it sounds a little absurd to
>say "excuse me but I'm DR. Barr...."  What do you think?  Should I
>continue to ignore it or call attention to the error?

  My favorite response to this is to politely say something like,
"Actually, it's Dr., but you can call me Beth".  Or:  "If you must use a
title, please call me Dr. or Ms., otherwise, call me Beth".  These
responses generally get the point across without insulting the other

  I am generally far less annoyed when people call me Ms. then when they
call me Mrs.  Although I've been married for almost 14 (gasp) years, I have
never liked the term (after all, men's titles don't change to reflect their
marital status, why should ours?).  That said, I try respect the wishes of
women who prefer Mrs.


Beth Shuster
Univ. of California, Davis
eoshuster at

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