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I've noticed articles in the NYTimes are using the convention of referring to people as Mr. / Ms. [last name] instead of just by last name. (Ie, whole article referring to Mr Biden throughout, or another article using Ms Wambach each time.) I thought this was an outdated construction. Is it being slipped back in as a way to emphasize/affirm people's gender identities? Am I wrong, has it been in use all along? Does anyone have any insight on this?

I've noticed articles in the NYTimes are using the convention of referring to people as Mr. / Ms. [last name] instead of just by last name. (Ie, whole article referring to Mr Biden throughout, or another article using Ms Wambach each time.) I thought this was an outdated construction. Is it being slipped back in as a way to emphasize/affirm people's gender identities? Am I wrong, has it been in use all along? Does anyone have any insight on this?

11 comments

[–] Tesserae_Tali 13 points (+13|-0)

I'm a longtime NYT reader, and as far as I can remember, this has been their policy since before the gender craze.

I’ll have to look at some older articles, because I just noticed it and found it jarring. It’d be funny if I was just tuning it out the whole time!

[–] lucretiamott 3 points (+3|-0)

Yeah I've been reading the NYT since the 90s, they've been doing it at least that far back.

[–] ALoudMeow 2 points (+2|-0)

The Times has always done that.

I see that now. It just really jumped out at me recently! I guess all this foregrounding of gender is getting to me.

Why aren't they calling him President Biden?

[–] vulvapeople 2 points (+2|-0)

The standard is usually to call a public official by title at first reference and then Mr./Ms. thereafter.

Whoops! Really? I never noticed. lolololol. Talk about oblivious.

[–] vulvapeople 3 points (+3|-0)

If it makes you feel better, I know this because I used to work as a copyeditor. As a casual reader, I only notice style choices if they're really far off AP standards or if it's clear a piece was badly edited.