Friday, July 07, 2017

Friday Reads

Obituary: While not a household name, Sheila Michaels, 78, did something that was used by women all over country. She is the person who is credited with popularizing the honorific "Ms." for women. Of course, the new honorific became the title of a well-known feminist magazine which began publication in 1971.

Michaels came up with using in 1969:

Ms. Michaels first encountered the term in the early 1960s. She was living in Manhattan, sharing an apartment with another civil-rights worker, Mari Hamilton. One day, collecting the mail, she happened to glance at the address on Ms. Hamilton’s copy of News & Letters, a Marxist publication.

It read: “Ms. Mari Hamilton.”

Thinking the word was a typographical error, she showed it to Ms. Hamilton. No, Ms. Hamilton told her: It was no typo. The Marxists, at least, appeared to have had a handle on “Ms.” and its historical meaning.

Michaels died June 22 of leukemia.

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