Thanks to listener Christine for sending Molly and me a copy of the Hong Kong government's work visa form she recently filled out. The marital status choices are married, divorced, widowed, separated or....bachelor/spinster.Christine noted that the old version of the form merely asked for an applicant's marital title (Mr., Ms, etc.).
"This rankles especially since the Chinese on the form translates simply to 'unmarried', which I would not have been offended by at all," Christine writes.
Surely, the antiquated wording can be attributed to things getting lost in translation along the way. Also, with the gender ratio imbalance and the out-migration of young women from rural communities to find work, Chinese bachelors are more likely to be facing any sort of marital dilemma these days. And with marriage rates on the decline in general, maybe bachelor and spinster are about to supercede husbands and wives, spouses and partners as the new normal.