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Old 09-02-2010, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
7,041 posts, read 13,112,395 times
Reputation: 2323

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Francois, I suggest you re-read my post that you even copied. I said that I don't mind the use of sir and/or ma'am, but, my MOTHER (now deceased) was the one that was insulted. For the record, she only lived in NC for about a year before she moved (again) to FL. In other posts, I said that my RELATIVES IN CHICAGO are insulted with the terms, therefore, I don't use them there.

I understand both sides. I understand the reason that people are insulted, but, I also understand that many people think that it is polite. So, I am pretty much ambivalent about the whole thing.

I would appreciate your reading a post carefully before making snide comments. Thank you!
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:39 PM
 
12,429 posts, read 7,472,986 times
Reputation: 23291
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagocubs View Post
Funny thing, on a recent episode of "My Boys" one of my favourite sitcoms, the lead character, P.J. was interviewing a NASCAR driver. (the show is set in Chicago and P.J. is a sports writer) The NASCAR driver called P.J. ma'am on several occasions. there was a scene at each mention that she looks at her boyfriend and whispers... "He called me MA'AM!" There is also a reference to how old she is feeling. I am guessing that nobody but a Chicagoan would understand that piece and giggle.
It must be a Midwestern thing. I'm originally from St. Louis and when I first moved here my boyfriend would tease me about being ma'amed. He always would say that they thought he was dating an older woman. I've since gotten used to it, so I don't cringe (as much) every time someone calls me ma'am.
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Old 09-03-2010, 07:00 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,059,012 times
Reputation: 22371
Folks who have been in the military typically don't find it odd. NC is full of military folks - including retirees.

I don't care who doesn't like it, frankly. My son was raised to address others as "sir" and "ma'am" as a way of being polite and mannerly. Too many people in this country lack good manners, so why anyone would find it insulting to show respect is puzzling to me.

In a world where being rude is too often the norm, I find any small way of spreading some civility is a good thing. To those who don't - who cares. . . I certainly am not going to change my behavior to accommodate someone else's hangups.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:20 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
21,903 posts, read 27,179,065 times
Reputation: 8966
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Folks who have been in the military typically don't find it odd. NC is full of military folks - including retirees.

I don't care who doesn't like it, frankly. My son was raised to address others as "sir" and "ma'am" as a way of being polite and mannerly. Too many people in this country lack good manners, so why anyone would find it insulting to show respect is puzzling to me.

In a world where being rude is too often the norm, I find any small way of spreading some civility is a good thing. To those who don't - who cares. . . I certainly am not going to change my behavior to accommodate someone else's hangups.
I remember when you addressed unmarried women as Miss & married women as Ma'am. As more & more women joined the workforce it got too confusing so very young women became Miss & by the mid-twenties you became Ma'am.

Also the first name thing, in the business place, was not the norm in the north until well into the 70's. I can't speak for here. That had nothing to do with manners. I remember going into shops & stores where saleswomen wore tags identifying them as Miss Smith or Mrs. Jones. Well, that's fine if you are actually a Smith or Jones, but a lot of surnames, particularly in the north are ethnic, & some families came out of the immigration process with unique spellings. Over a period of time, first names were allowed, but it was not overnight & some companies did it grudgingly. In the Philadelphia area, most of this change occured after a couple of cases where women with unfortunately unique surnames were molested by nutcases who got their surnames from their place of employment.

First names in private life was strictly an occasional, case by case thing. I remember one women, where I lived, in the '50s, in Michigan who wanted to be called Helen. We did not know her surname or her marital status, so we called her Miss Helen. (But we did Ma'am her, & she never corrected that)

Last edited by southbound_295; 09-03-2010 at 08:34 AM..
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Charlotte. Or Detroit.
1,455 posts, read 3,646,287 times
Reputation: 3264
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
Folks who have been in the military typically don't find it odd. NC is full of military folks - including retirees.

I don't care who doesn't like it, frankly. My son was raised to address others as "sir" and "ma'am" as a way of being polite and mannerly. Too many people in this country lack good manners, so why anyone would find it insulting to show respect is puzzling to me.

In a world where being rude is too often the norm, I find any small way of spreading some civility is a good thing. To those who don't - who cares. . . I certainly am not going to change my behavior to accommodate someone else's hangups.
I see where you're coming from, and agree with a lot of what you're saying -- I'm on team ma'am myself. But I'm a little puzzled by the idea of not caring who doesn't like it. If someone were to tell me that being called ma'am bothered them, I would certainly care and immediately stop (or at least try to - old habits die hard!). To do otherwise is no longer showing respect. It reminds me of sports teams whose nicknames "honor" Native Americans or other groups. If they don't find it to be an honor, then it isn't. So while I think in general, yes it is polite and mannerly to address others as "sir" and "ma'am", if someone tells me it makes them feel old or for whatever reason insults them, it would no longer be polite and mannerly to address them as such, regardless of whether or not I found their viewpoint silly.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Texas
43,478 posts, read 52,497,423 times
Reputation: 70581
You can never be too polite. Stick with ma'am and sir.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:32 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
21,903 posts, read 27,179,065 times
Reputation: 8966
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timm View Post
I see where you're coming from, and agree with a lot of what you're saying -- I'm on team ma'am myself. But I'm a little puzzled by the idea of not caring who doesn't like it. If someone were to tell me that being called ma'am bothered them, I would certainly care and immediately stop (or at least try to - old habits die hard!). To do otherwise is no longer showing respect. It reminds me of sports teams whose nicknames "honor" Native Americans or other groups. If they don't find it to be an honor, then it isn't. So while I think in general, yes it is polite and mannerly to address others as "sir" and "ma'am", if someone tells me it makes them feel old or for whatever reason insults them, it would no longer be polite and mannerly to address them as such, regardless of whether or not I found their viewpoint silly.
I didn't take what Ani said as calling someone sir or ma'am in spite of a protest. I took it as she would use it unless an individual protested. I am not attempting to speak for her, but that's how I took it.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Charlotte. Or Detroit.
1,455 posts, read 3,646,287 times
Reputation: 3264
^Oh, you may well be right. I just found the last statement about certainly not changing her behavior to accomodate someone else's hangups a bit odd. Seems an odd stance when the stated idea is to be mannerly and polite and respectful.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Texas
43,478 posts, read 52,497,423 times
Reputation: 70581
If someone is going to get bent out of shape because they don't like how polite you're trying to be, there's no point in trying to please them - they'll never get it.

It's like going to a different country and being offended that people are bowing...
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Cornelius
407 posts, read 727,397 times
Reputation: 254
I hope being polite, showing others respect, and good manners are not a North vs South thing. Should just be common sense and part of everyones upbringing.
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