French honorifics

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French honorifics include "Monsieur" (written M. for short) for a man, "Madame" (Mme) for a married woman and "Mademoiselle" (Mlle) for an unmarried woman. Feminist movements are pushing for "Madame" being used for all women, on the basis that it would be sexist to have only one word for men, whether they're married or not, but two for women. However, calling a young woman "Mademoiselle" is usually considered more polite due to their young age, and calling a middle-aged woman "Mademoiselle" can be a way to tell her that she looks like she's in her twenties and is therefore often considered flattering.

"Professeur" and "Docteur" are used for medical practitioners, the former for those in teaching positions. The holders of a doctorate other than medical are never referred to as Docteurs; Professors in academia used the style Monsieur le Professeur rather than the honorific plain Professeur.

"Maître" (literally, "Master") is used for law professions (solicitors, notaries, auctioneers, bailiffs), whereas judges are not called "Your Honour" but simply "Monsieur le Juge" or "Madame le Juge". This does not change regardless of the sex of the lawyer or judge.

Any other honorific is usually created by using "Monsieur" or "Madame" and then adding a title or profession. For instance, "Monsieur le Président" or "Monsieur le Ministre".

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