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Old 05-13-2017, 04:49 PM
 
16 posts, read 17,096 times
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I've heard that some women see "ma'am" as a form of address that makes them sound old. To them, I ask two questions-1)What age would you be fine with/expect to be called "ma'am" (and how old would a woman look before you would use "ma'am" on her), and 2)How would you prefer to be addressed if not "ma'am," (and what degree of respect would you show to a woman too young for "ma'am")?
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Old 05-13-2017, 04:52 PM
 
6,643 posts, read 1,962,766 times
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I think it's okay anytime after, perhaps, 30.

I don't know what you mean by "degree of respect." Presumably you would treat her the same, whether you called her Ma'am or Miss.
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Old 05-13-2017, 06:08 PM
 
16 posts, read 17,096 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarallel View Post
I think it's okay anytime after, perhaps, 30.

I don't know what you mean by "degree of respect." Presumably you would treat her the same, whether you called her Ma'am or Miss.
By "degree of respect," I mean whether you'd call them "Miss." For some people, it's about not making the younger people seem old, while others may not feel as obligated to be respectful toward people younger than they are.
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Old 05-13-2017, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Colorado
1,022 posts, read 515,716 times
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I prefer "excuse me" b/c you need not address me with anything gender specific or addressing my marital status, if you're a stranger. I can't imagine I'll ever get used to hearing Ma'am, as it sounds like someone talking to an old lady & I still look & feel quite young, but I started hearing it in my 40's. I try never to call anyone Ma'am, but if I have to I usually save it for people in their 70's or 80's. I never use "Miss", as it just sounds weird & outdated to me, I look for a child when someone says "Miss". I don't like or use honorifics & I don't expect them, "excuse me" or "hello" work just fine for me.

I'm in my 50's now & I still look around for someone in their 80s when someone calls me Ma'am, however I live in a military town, so I've gotten more used to it b/c around here it's got nothing to do with age, all men are Sir & all women are Ma'am.
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Old 05-13-2017, 07:24 PM
 
1,613 posts, read 1,516,812 times
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I don't know why some women object to ma'am. I've never minded it. I would agree that 30-ish is about the right age for "ma'am" and "sir."
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Old 05-13-2017, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
43,139 posts, read 41,752,473 times
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Here in the south, it's not considered an offensive term at all.

Folks here use it all the time, for any woman they want to show respect. I love it; ma'am me all day and all night, for all I care.
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Old 05-13-2017, 07:28 PM
 
Location: So Cal
40,420 posts, read 39,942,794 times
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I'm not sure how to answer this. I don't know the exact cut off points but I'd imagine it's a woman that is well into adulthood, however that is defined, 30-ish, I don't know.

I don't use that term myself. I don't have a problem with it and to me it sound like it's trying to impart some respect. It just sounds dated to me.

It's like the first time I got the "sir" treatment from someone. I almost turned around and said, "hey, I'm a working man" don't call me sir.

I get it though, it's just a way to address a man you don't know or in a customer service situation.
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Old 05-13-2017, 07:41 PM
 
13,158 posts, read 20,772,581 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmsn4Life View Post
Here in the south, it's not considered an offensive term at all.

Folks here use it all the time, for any woman they want to show respect. I love it; ma'am me all day and all night, for all I care.
Me too.

And it is an indication of respect, not age. If you really want to venture down a slippery slope, try guessing a woman's age to see if she qualifies.

OP, this subject has been discussed in depth more than once on C-D.
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Old 05-13-2017, 08:00 PM
 
Location: So Cal
40,420 posts, read 39,942,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
Me too.

And it is an indication of respect, not age. If you really want to venture down a slippery slope, try guessing a woman's age to see if she qualifies.

OP, this subject has been discussed in depth more than once on C-D.
The carcass has been kicked, beatin, and set on fire here on CD.
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Old 05-13-2017, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Dallas TX
15,021 posts, read 21,719,486 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forum_browser View Post
I don't know why some women object to ma'am. I've never minded it. I would agree that 30-ish is about the right age for "ma'am" and "sir."
I hate it because it makes me feel old. I know people are doing it out of respect but it drives me crazy!! (And yes I used to all the time when I was younger!)

I think around my 30's I started hearing it all the time.
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