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Can "Messrs." include a female?

FLMountainMan

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Editing a novel I wrote a few years back and I am talking about two men and woman. Is it appropriate to say "Messrs. Jones, Smith, and Johnson?"

I'm thinking not, because it;s short for Messiuers, but google-fu hasn't revealed the exact answer.
 

Blackhood

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I've always believed it to be a masculine term, but I've never had any formal justification for this. Maybe check out the Oxford English Dictionary or EtymOnline (I find etymology often answers "proper usage" questions fairly well.
 

Blackhood

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Follow up, having looked at a couple of etymology books the following is a common answer:

The pl. Messrs. (1779) is an abbreviation of Fr. messieurs, pl. of monsieur, used in English to supply the pl. of Mr., which is lacking.
Plural of Mr, not a collective noun and therefore not applicable to a non-Mr.
 

FLMountainMan

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Originally Posted by Blackhood
Follow up, having looked at a couple of etymology books the following is a common answer:



Plural of Mr, not a collective noun and therefore not applicable to a non-Mr.


Thanks, appreciate it.
 

odoreater

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Originally Posted by JohnGalt
Messrs. Jones, Smith and Mme. Johnson

I would use Messrs. Jones, Smith and Ms. Johnson. But that's just me.
 

FLMountainMan

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Originally Posted by JohnGalt
Messrs. Jones, Smith and Mme. Johnson

Originally Posted by odoreater
I would use Messrs. Jones, Smith and Ms. Johnson. But that's just me.

Thanks guys, appreciate the help. I'm going to go with this one.

I appreciate all the input, ya'll!
 

Sherman90

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Related question: when spoken aloud, is Messrs. PRONOUNCED "Messers" or "Misters" - i.e. "Messers Smith and White" vs. "Misters Smith and White"?
 

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