Below: A Workaround for Melissa Virus Victims who Use Our Software from Word 97

English Plus+ News, April 1999

When Mr. and Mrs. Is Not Enough

Is it OK to Say "Mr. and Dr."?

We received a query a few months ago about what to do about addressing letters to a family in which the wife is a doctor, and the husband is not. We may have an intuitive answer to that, but writing Mr. and Dr. seems awkward to some writers.

What Technology Has Done
First of all, we must acknowledge that in Western Society with its increased technology, women have entered more freely into areas that were traditionally male. While there are many factors, I believe the main cause is technology. Families used to have a more distinct division of labor. Because the woman gave birth and nursed, she was expected to work in the house. Except for families wealthy enough to afford servants, it has only been in the twentieth century that technology has made housework quicker and easier. There are other factors, too, but we see that in many non-Western countries the traditional roles are still followed. While some may blame a culture for this, we note that the common thread is not a particular culture or religion, but a certain level of poverty and technological deprivation.

The Changing Role and Titles of Women
Many of us still think of addressing a family as Mr. and Mrs. In most cases, that is all that is needed. We know, however, that women's roles are changing. In the United States women make up the majority of students in college and in many graduate schools, for example.

A high school teacher I had in the 1960's who shared that she wanted to marry a doctor. Her mother told her that Dr. and Mrs. was a prestigious title.

Today, a younger woman might just as easily react to that by saying that she could become a doctor, too. She might marry someone who does not have such a degree, so they would become Mr. & Dr. (By the way, that teacher did marry a doctor!)

Many Folks Do Not Insist on their Titles
In many cases both men and women do not insist on their titles. I know a number of males with doctorates who prefer to be called "Mr." They are not in medical or academic professions, so the title does not mean as much. In the computer business, the "Dr." title can actually be a hindrance in getting hired. Similarly, some women with a doctorate do not mind being called "Mrs." One acquaintance is an M.D. whose husband is a minister (yeah, they are "Rev. and Dr."). She is accustomed to being called "Mrs." at church and by her children's friends. However, her hospital workplace naturally requires that she be addressed as "Doctor".

Things to Consider
We want to be accurate, clear, and we do not want to upset anyone. Usually, the simplest thing to do is to find out how your correspondents want to be addressed. Many business forms have a place for a title both recipients. The family's correspondence may have a stamp, sticker, or stationery with a return address on it. That will indicate how they prefer to be addressed.

Consider your association with them. For example, if you represent a organization that deals with the woman on a professional basis, you may address her as "Dr.", "Rev.", or whatever her title is. If you are doing business with the same people as a home owning couple, you may find they prefer "Mr. and Mrs." for that. A polite, "How do you prefer to be addressed?" is usually sufficient, and most correspondents will be glad you took the time to find out.

If you are unsure, or if the correspondents are unavailable, you can always play it safe - and make it clear to other users - by using both first names: "Mr. John and Dr. Mary Smith."

This article was the result of a query by an English Plus+ product user. She replied: "Thank you for your reply. It appears that tradition may accommodate a successful female partner (big surprise!). I like your suggestion about 'Mr. John and Dr. Mary Smith.' "

2. A Work Around for Macro Users of Word 97 Victims of the Melissa Virus

When we began reading about Melissa, it sounded like a hurricane... ,p> In less than two weeks the Melissa virus swept thorough many computer systems and e-mail servers. Fortunately, it did not do any permanent damage to hard drives, but it sure cluttered up things. The people who unwittingly passed Melissa files on had one thing in common - they had Microsoft Word 97 macros. One way of disabling the effects of the virus is to disable Word 97 macro engine.

That is easy enough to do, but the problem for our English Plus+ customers is that they can no longer call our two reference programs Grammar Slammer and Grammar Slammer Deluxe from within Word 97 using the macro language. What can they do to make Grammar Slammer or Grammar Slammer Deluxe easy to access?

Probably the simplest thing to do is to automatically load the programs into the Windows 95/98/NT taskbar. This is not too difficult, but does require a few steps. This takes up very little memory. While it does add an icon to the taskbar, it is still easy to use. It will serve until the threat of Melissa and similar viruses goes away.

The basic idea is very simple. Create a shortcut to Grammar Slammer or Grammar Slammer Deluxe in your StartUp menu and run the help program minimized.

Here are the steps. I will be referring to Grammar Slammer. Those of you with Grammar Slammer Deluxe, follow the same steps; just replace Grammar Slammer Deluxe for Grammar Slammer, LANGVANQ.HLP for GRAMSLAM.HLP, and LANGVANQ.CNT for GRAMSLAM.CNT.

  1. You will need to open Windows Explorer and go the folder where your Grammar Slammer or Grammar Slammer Deluxe programs are found.

  2. After you have done that, right click your mouse on GRAMSLAM.HLP. This will give you a pop up menu. Choose "Create Shortcut." This will create a new icon in the folder called "Shortcut to Gramslam.hlp."

  3. Right click on the icon you just created and choose "Copy" or "Cut."

  4. Then find the "Startup" Folder, which is a subfolder of the "Windows" folder. Click or double-click (this will depend how your have configured Windows Explorer) on the "Windows" folder and then on the "Start Menu" subfolder. From there click or double click on the "Programs" folder. Then find the folder called "StartUp." In most cases it will be a subfolder of "Programs," but it may be in another location. (On my system, for example, it is a subfolder of the "Accessories" folder.)

    • If you named another folder as your StartUp folder, go to that one. That is a "power user" option. If you have done that, you are probably two steps ahead already.

  5. Then right click on the "StartUp" Folder icon. Choose "Paste." This will add the "Shortcut to Gramslam.hlp" icon into your "StartUp" folder. Unless you want Grammar Slammer open when you start Windows, you need to do one or two more things.

  6. Right click on the "Shortcut to Gramslam.hlp" icon and choose "Properties." On the "Properties" Dialog Box there is a List Box entitled "Run." Choose "Minimize" in this box, and then press the "Apply" button. Close the "Properties" Dialog Box. You are almost ready. You may even be ready.

  7. Go back to your original Grammar Slammer folder. If the file GRAMSLAM.CNT is in the folder, you need to either move it or rename it. If it is not there, you already done. GRAMSLAM.CNT is the Windows 95/98/NT "Contents" file which displays the little purple books. Unfortunately, the contents file cannot be minimized. Even if you have GRAMSLAM.HLP applied to run minimized, it won't unless it cannot read the .CNT file. You can either move the .CNT file to another folder (not a "Windows" folder or other folder that is on you path) or rename it. I renamed mine to GRAMSLAM.CNX. Either way, the help file won't be able to read it, so Grammar Slammer will show up minimized on your taskbar. You will not have the box with the purple books, but you can still do searches. The first page of Grammar Slammer has a short index, so you can work pretty well without the .CNT file. (If you have a copy dated before July 1998, you do not have the .CNT file, so you would not even miss it.) If you move or rename the file, make a note so you know where it is or what it is called when you can resume normal use.

  8. To resume normal use, just rename the .CNT file or move it back to the Grammar Slammer folder. Then you can just delete Grammar Slammer from the "StartUp" folder. (In Windows 98/NT5 just right click on the icon and choose "Delete." In Windows 95/NT "Settings," then "Start Menu," then click on the "Remove" button and find the "Shortcut to Gramslam.hlp" icon in the "StartUp" folder. Click OK, and the icon will be removed. You may have to reinstall the Grammar Slammer Macro into MS Word. If you do, follow the instructions in the GSW4W.TXT or GSMSWORD.TXT (or LVMSWORD.TXT) file.

  9. You are done. Now when you start Windows, Grammar Slammer will appear as an icon in the task bar. Simply click on the icon and Grammar Slammer will pop up.

It is not quite a smooth or unobtrusive as having it run from a Word macro, but it will work fine until you know you can use your Word macros again. We hear that the alleged author of Melissa has been arrested, so hopefully, this fix will be temporary.

For more about Melissa and similar viruses, see the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) web site at Many other computer publication and anti-virus software web sites have information on Melissa. One which outlined some fixes was Because MS Word users were hardest hit, Mirosoft has a lot on Melissa at

3. A Little Thanks

We at English Plus+ thank you for your suggestions and help. We appreciate your comments as we try to improve our web site and our products.

If you are a registered Grammar Slammer or Grammar Slammer Deluxe user and do not have the GRAMSLAM.CNT or LANGVANQ.CNT file, and you would like it; please let us know, and we will e-mail it to you. It can also be downloaded from one of these two links until the end of April 1999:

If you would like a demo copy of Grammar Slammer, you may download it from our download site at

We at English Plus thank you for your suggestions and help. We appreciate your comments as we try to improve our web site and our products.

May all your anguish be vanquished,
Your friends at English Plus+

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