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Old 03-09-2017, 07:42 PM
 
16 posts, read 17,366 times
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Growing up in Upstate New York, I was taught the value of politeness, but while "please" and "thank you" were mandatory, "sir" and "ma'am" were not. However, I've started using them as an adult, and I've found they're well-received- I haven't even met any women who object to "ma'am,"- so I continue to use them as a way of showing respect to others.

As for hearing them, while I, as a man, appreciate hearing "sir" when a stranger or service employee addresses me, which I often hear when they're greeting me or trying to get my attention, I don't think less of anyone who doesn't, provided they're reasonably polite.

So what are your thoughts on "sir" and "ma'am?" Obligatory? Polite? Unnecessary? Inappropriate?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts, sir or ma'am.
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:06 PM
 
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I think you summed it up well. Generally, people are good about "please" and "thank you", but you will occasionally hear people say "sir" or "ma'am". I've heard it in the workplace and even where an older employee has said either to a younger employee/peer. So, it does occur.

BTW- I've occasionally used both as well and vice versa.
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Old 03-09-2017, 10:09 PM
 
16 posts, read 17,366 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
I think you summed it up well. Generally, people are good about "please" and "thank you", but you will occasionally hear people say "sir" or "ma'am". I've heard it in the workplace and even where an older employee has said either to a younger employee/peer. So, it does occur.

BTW- I've occasionally used both as well and vice versa.
I haven't heard it as much where I work, since people generally just use first names with their coworkers(my boss asked me to call her by her first name in our first conversation after I started the job). I suspect that part of the reason people use "sir" and "ma'am" around strangers is because there's no established sense of familiarity, and they need something respectful to call someone whose name they don't know.
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