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Quiz: Ice breaking strategies

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Introducing yourself and others
Die korrekte Anrede

Introductions are live events with no prompters standing in the wings to help you with the right words should you dry up. Added to that, if you are introducing a third person to someone you already know, you will have the added strain of remembering someone's full name (perhaps with a difficult or foreign pronunciation) and a lack of intuition about what is appropriate in that particular culture - first names? First and surnames? Titles?

If all nations followed the same conventions, this would obviously not be a problem. But even in the short distance between the UK and Germany, there are different ways of addressing business colleagues, professors and acquaintances and this can cause misunderstanding if you are not aware of the conventions.

Mr., Mrs., Miss or Ms.?

To a foreigner, it can be confusing that British English has four forms for addressing people. However, the confusion is all female! Although it is taken for granted that all men are addressed using one standard form, as is the case in most European cultures, the question that is often asked is why are there three forms for women? And more importantly, when do you use which? Originally, Ms. was conceived to replace both Miss and Mrs - as early as the 1970s it was not considered relevant in business culture whether a woman was married or not. However, the form Mrs. did not disappear and is still widely used by married women in all fields of industry. More surprisingly, Miss is also used (famously by Miss Ann Widdecombe, a Conservative party politician) but Ms. remains the address preferred by most younger generation women in business and commerce. As the Guardian newspaper guide recommends, use the address that the woman in question prefers (this might involve a little research to find out or a simple question, 'What do you prefer to be called?' When this is not possible, use Ms., the most neutral of the three terms.

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business letters - forms of address

Erstellt am: 04.02.2008 15:52, Letzte Änderung: 22.03.2021 17:32

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