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Old 03-30-2011, 03:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff Clavin View Post
Sure I agree. I'm the same way. Always "yes please", "no thank you" etc. The "ma'am" part just wouldn't pop off the tongue easily for me. I'd have to make a conscious effort to get it out.
"yes please" and "no thank you" are acceptable in the South. So in those cases, you would get away with not using "ma'am" and you wouldn't be seen as rude
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smtchll View Post
Just curious "ma'am" and "sir" are used in the North right? Who are they used towards? Really old people? Because every time I've used it in the North, I've gotten a similar response as in the story above "Oh, don't call me 'Ma'am. It makes me feel so old." So is it actually used towards old people, or not used at all? I've noticed that cashiers & people in restaurants often use it towards their customers, but never vice versa, like you'd see in the South
Down South it's much more of a general honorific, but it's always used by children speaking to adults. It was weird at first for us but, over time, I've actually come to enjoy it. It's pretty refreshing to not be told, "Uh huh" by some 12-year-old.
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
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I hear adults say "Yes/no sir/ma'am" all the time, but very rarely children. Most kids I encounter just say things like "Yeah" "Huh?" "Do what?" and "Uh uh". I very, very rarely hear children saying "Yes sir" or similar here in middle TN.
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:09 PM
 
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I was born and raised to always say: " Yes Ma'am" and "No Sir" along with Misses and Mister and so on. I remember my Mom used to always ask me what I was supposed to say to such and such visitor if they asked me a question. She would ask: " Now, what do we say?... Yes sir!".

Anyway, I never thought about it until I moved to MA and later CA. People gave me really funny looks. A few women got mad. I don't say it anymore. Its sort of antiquated outside of the Southern region.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:43 PM
 
Location: NE TN~ TriCities
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canudigit View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smtchll View Post
I know so many people here in TN who were born in Michigan, used to live there, or have parents from there. They aren't recent transplants either (as Memphis doesn't have many transplants in general), it seems that most of them left Michigan awhile ago. Most of these people are very Southern now.
My ears are burning...
I've met quite a few other MI transplants in Memphis too.



Cool, I didn't know that. We're everywhere, come join us in our discussion of Vernor's, on the east TN forum
. East TN reminds me of the upper part of the lower peninsula, minus most of the snow. People aren't all that different either, at least the small towns here remind me a lot of the small towns there, for the most part. I don't really think you'd stick out like a sore thumb here, except for the accent and some of the funny words of course.
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:56 AM
 
5,211 posts, read 8,890,185 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smtchll View Post
Just curious "ma'am" and "sir" are used in the North right? Who are they used towards? Really old people? Because every time I've used it in the North, I've gotten a similar response as in the story above "Oh, don't call me 'Ma'am. It makes me feel so old." So is it actually used towards old people, or not used at all? I've noticed that cashiers & people in restaurants often use it towards their customers, but never vice versa, like you'd see in the South
I hadn't really thought of this too much, but I'd say that here in the Boston area people use "sir," "ma'am," or "miss" for a younger woman with some frequency if they are at work in service jobs and are addressing customers they're waiting on. It's probably most often used to get the attention of someone whose name you don't know if you need to talk to the person. Say you're out in public in a city, and you want to ask directions: "Excuse me, sir/ma'am/miss?" Around here it's definitely not a form of address used in casual conversation with someone you know.

************************************************** ********************

Sometimes there's the unfortunate possibility that individuals' actions may be taken as representative of a group. Last year my nephew graduated from a college in the South. While the family was there for commencement, we visited several times with some moderately distant relatives who live in the general area where the college is located. One evening one of the men in the relatives' local family, my brother-in-law, and I were out. We wanted to stop for fast food, and found that the place had just closed a couple of minutes before. The place was obviously closed. The door was locked, there was not a single car in the parking lot but ours, and there was an employee outside sweeping the lot. But my BIL looked inside and saw that the employees had not yet shut down the equipment. He insisted that we knock on the door and try to be aggressive about getting them to serve us one last order for the night. He pounded on the door. They came to the door and said they were closed and couldn't serve us, and that was the end of it.

No big deal, really, and no one made a big deal out of it, or even mentioned it later. The thing is, my BIL is quite pushy and self-centered, and tends to go a little far, in my opinion, with the idea that the squeky wheel gets the grease. Family bonds set aside for a moment, he's kind of an a.h., really. So this was a case of an individual who tends to be pushy just being his usual a.h. self, but I can see how it could have been taken to be the behavior of a rude, aggressive Yankee.

It's unfortunate when one person's rudeness, or any other negative behavior, is taken to represent a group, but I guess if Southerners do in fact see that kind of pushiness frequently from transplants then there could be some justification for taking a dim view of transplants in general. Can't really say how often it happens, though, as I don't travel south often enough to have had much chance to observe, and even if I had, I wouldn't have been seeing this kind of behavior from a local perspective.
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Walker, Louisiana (I miss the mountains)
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Something I just don't understand. I see the phrase "southern way of life" a lot here and there through-out this thread.

The life style of the north and south are not very different. Where it differs is in the state governments and major urban areas. But small town, rural America (as in, most of it)? There are no differences big enough to alter life styles.

Accents differ, cultural touches differ, but those are all very, very minor. Too many people assume the north is all city folk and left-wingers and rude inconsiderate jerks. Not true. People up north are just as kind and country as folks in the south (ever been to the mid-west?).

I think the reason people assume northerners are rude is because they are mistaking brutal honesty for it (or they think NYC culture is the entire north). Folks in the north are more likely to say it like it is, and that offends a lot of southerners. Southerners are quicker to bury the issue or flat out bottle it up, which is dreadfully unhealthy. If you spent a lot of time really getting to know folks up north, I think you'd find that with that brutal honesty comes loyal friendship.

On the flip side I don't like northerners assuming that the south is all racist, uneducated and filthy. Racism and lazy trailer trash hicks are all over the north as well, and that's a fact.

So in reality, even the most assumed differences are minor. The same sort of people and the same kind of life styles exist all around the country. Different ratios perhaps, but they are always there.

Most differences are just assumptions and not true. Or misunderstandings. You want to see a real lifestyle change? Step across national borders. Suddenly that guy from three states away won't seem so different anymore.
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
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New York, Philadelphia, and Boston.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:37 PM
 
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We moved from up north and have lived in the south for over 30 years. Through our experiences, southerners can be very nice. However, no matter how much you try, you will always be an outsider/foriegner. Period. You'll here the , "Dam Yankee" jokes and sarcasm before you know it. Also, brush up on the Civil War....it's like it happened yesterday and you will be reminded of it FOREVER.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:39 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,164 times
Reputation: 10
Default Also..

You better dam well be a conservative gun owner or else.
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