In an article “provided by Ohio University” on Phys.org, appears the following:
The field team included several of his [Dr. Hesham Sallam’s] students, many of whom—Ms. Iman El-Dawoudi, Ms. Sanaa El-Sayed, and Mrs. Sara Saber—also participated in the study of the new dinosaur.
I’m all for the use of honorifics in public writing, but, please, let’s get them right.
Miss, Mrs., and Ms. are all abbreviations of Mistress, which, of course, applies equally to married and unmarried women. For some reason, in the Seventeenth Century (so Wikipedia tells us), we began to use Miss for unmarried women, while preserving Mistress (usually pronounced “missus” or “mizziz”, and written “Mrs.”) for married women.
In some English-speaking cultures, Miss is also used in addressing women, regardless of marital status, particularly in combination with the given name, and especially when the woman is much younger or much older than the speaker. In the American South, for example, it was once quite common for social inferiors (including all men, except family members) to address a lady with whom they were familiar as, e.g., “Miss Ann” or “Miss Connie”. This often had to do with marital status, but not always: if one would have been on a first-name basis with the lady, except that her social rank required an honorific, one might call her “Miss Ann”, rather than “Mrs. Jones”. (Never “Mrs. Ann”, as far as I’m aware, though back when one pronounced Mistress as “Mistress”, one might have said, “Mistress Ann”. Mrs. Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor is many times called “Mistress Ann”, but never “Miss Ann”—I don’t think Miss had been invented yet—and often “Mistress Page”. Mistress Ford and Mistress Quickly are never called by their given names, as far as I can recall.)
Of course, these days, we’re all on a first-name basis with everybody, just as in kindergarten, and we’re required to pretend that even our bosses, whom we must obey, and who can punish or fire us, are our pals. But I digress.
Anyway, in the modern business world (and there’s very little left in our lives that isn’t part of the business world) it should make absolutely no difference whether a woman is married or not. (One could argue that, for business purposes, it should make no difference whether a person is a woman or not, but I don’t believe our broader society is ready for that step yet. It’ll come, though.)
It seems to me that we should call all women Mistress (that is, “Missus”), and write “Mrs.” whenever we want an honorific for a woman. They’re doing the equivalent in Holland (Vrouw for all women, instead of Vrouw for the married and Juffrouw for the unmarried); and it’s what a lady judge I used to know in Norfolk always did. On the other hand, Ms. has long been available, and by many people preferred, as an alternative. I use it myself, mainly because Mrs. still implies marriage to most people.
I have the impression, however, that Ms. is increasingly regarded as an abbreviation for Miss (as if that abbreviation needed a further abbreviation), and applied exclusively to unmarried women, as seems to be the case in the extract quoted above. That rather defeats the purpose of Ms., and one wonders what is stimulating the trend—if that’s what it is.
Let me add, as a post-script (because I can’t figure out how to fit it into the foregoing), that in the South, in informal speech at least, “Miss”, “Mistress”, and “Ms.” are all frequently pronounced the same. Ms. Eudora Welty indicates that some people in Mississippi pronounce (or used to pronounce) Mistress as “Miz-riz”, at least some of the time; but I never heard that in Virginia.