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Old 11-08-2014, 09:52 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
5,286 posts, read 4,157,131 times
Reputation: 4349

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NavySeal77 View Post
Yes, my fiancé from Virginia uses it sometimes and it makes me feel uncomfortable. It is not natural for me to hear someone working the counter at the local supermarket called ma'am. Not saying you can't be nice but ma'am is just way too formal.

Example: you are at the DMV and they ask you a yes or no question. . . and the response is 'yes ma'am.'

The gal at subway isn't my priest...she isn't a judge...I was in the military. The only person I call sir is a superior officer. If you say it to someone below you it puts you in a weaker position...but like I said, the local's love it when you say it because it makes them feel important. You can be just as nice to someone by treating them with respect...the sir ma'am thing is way too much IMHO and doesn't indicate you are being respectful.
For most southerners it is completely second nature and is seen as nothing more than common courtesy. You're reading way too much into it.
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Old 11-08-2014, 10:41 AM
Status: "could've~would've~should've used 'have', not 'of'" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
10,467 posts, read 14,312,551 times
Reputation: 23243
Quote:
Originally Posted by mega man View Post
For most southerners it is completely second nature and is seen as nothing more than common courtesy. You're reading way too much into it.
Lol, agree.

Quote:
If you say it to someone below you it puts you in a weaker position...but like I said, the local's love it when you say it because it makes them feel important.
This speaks volumes.
It not done because the locals 'like to feel important'. And what's with the people 'below' you? In civilian life how do you determine those below you? Love to see you tell that face to face to some old grand dame, pretty sure she'd put you in your place PDQ.
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Old 11-08-2014, 11:18 AM
 
13,225 posts, read 17,771,271 times
Reputation: 19889
Quote:
Originally Posted by NavySeal77 View Post
Yes, my fiancé from Virginia uses it sometimes and it makes me feel uncomfortable. It is not natural for me to hear someone working the counter at the local supermarket called ma'am. Not saying you can't be nice but ma'am is just way too formal.

Example: you are at the DMV and they ask you a yes or no question. . . and the response is 'yes ma'am.'

The gal at subway isn't my priest...she isn't a judge...I was in the military. The only person I call sir is a superior officer. If you say it to someone below you it puts you in a weaker position...but like I said, the local's love it when you say it because it makes them feel important. You can be just as nice to someone by treating them with respect...the sir ma'am thing is way too much IMHO and doesn't indicate you are being respectful.
Ma'am s there a term too respectful to addressing someone in a non-social environment who is working in the service sector?

Ma'am is formal.

Your nick and "was in the military". The gal at Subway is doing a job and deserves respect. What do you call her - "hey you" because she may or may not have been an officer in the US military?

Old joke about the greeter at WalMart getting a talking to about being tardy by his manager ... what would you have been told at your old job about been late again ... admiral how do you want your coffee". Well one of the greeters at my WM is Army :>)
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Old 11-09-2014, 12:22 AM
 
3,751 posts, read 3,716,353 times
Reputation: 3526
I hope so. I hope they're not all "dude" and "fer shure" these days!
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:47 AM
 
Location: southern california
55,659 posts, read 74,604,692 times
Reputation: 48166
Good comments here
Manners have deteriorated across the nation the south has not been spared
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Old 05-23-2018, 04:12 PM
 
Location: DFW
6,796 posts, read 11,767,775 times
Reputation: 5149
Lived in Michigan and California for decades since the 90s and I only noticed older people using sir and maam or when I'm at a fancy hotel, restaurant, or other establishment. Now in Texas, especially in places a bit out of the way, it seems every other person uses it. I don't use it since it's out of character with how I talk (just like how I don't use Y'all.) I don't hear it that much in cities like DFW though slightly more than what I normally hear in California or Michigan.
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Old 05-24-2018, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
6,060 posts, read 3,383,155 times
Reputation: 7704
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smtchll View Post
It's still common here in Memphis, unless the parents aren't from the South. It's not really that big of a deal if someone doesn't say it.

Even if the parents AREN'T from the South. I know tons of people from Texas whose parents were born in MEXICO and they still say "yes sir/yes ma'am." Peers influence your speech more often than parents. My parents didn't grow up in the US, but I speak full American English and they haven't influenced my speech at all.
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Old 05-24-2018, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
5,659 posts, read 3,642,101 times
Reputation: 16588
A couple of years ago, my son and I were flying from Baltimore to Charleston, SC; he was sitting in the window seat, I was in the middle, and an unrelated teenage boy was sitting next to me on the aisle. At one point, my son spilled his drink. Right away, the boy next to me said "Excuse me, sir, but you can use my napkin if you'd like."


This culture of respect and courtesy is one of the things I really love about the South. I hope it never fades away.
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Old 05-25-2018, 04:51 PM
 
17,669 posts, read 4,062,179 times
Reputation: 5591
I say yes sir and yes mam sometimes and i live in Texas.i am a young adult
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Old 05-28-2018, 11:41 PM
 
Location: USA
2,753 posts, read 2,217,387 times
Reputation: 2135
They do in rural areas more frequently than urban ones, from what I noticed.
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