Miss vs Ms
Miss and Ms are titles used to address women. Miss is used to refer to a female who is not married whereas Ms is used to refer to a female who is either single or married.
It is interesting to note that if you want to correspond with a female and if you are not sure whether she is married or single then you can simply address her as Ms. This is because of the fact that Ms covers both a single woman and a married woman. On the other hand Miss refers only to an unmarried woman.
It is quite important to note that Miss and Ms are mere contractions of the term, ‘Mistress’. Sometimes women tend to keep their surnames after marriage. They may not go by their husbands’ last name. Some women would link their names with their husbands’ name. As a matter of fact Ms is pronounced ‘mizz’.
Ms was once the working woman’s choice of address. It is important to note that till the 1970s the title Mrs was used to denote the wife of the person that was addressed Mr in the sense of a relationship that binds them through marriage. As the years passed by the usage of Mrs gradually changed to Ms and it referred to the woman that got married. In other words Mr. John Smith and Mrs. John Smith were husband and wife that gradually became addressed as Mr. John Smith and Ms. Jasmine Smith or simply Ms. Jasmine.
There is a difference of opinion among the linguists regarding the transformation of Mrs into Ms. Many would feel that the usage of Mrs simply died out. They feel that married women can be addressed with the title Ms and not by any other title. A spinster on the other hand could be addressed with the title Miss. This is because of the fact that a spinster is an unmarried woman.