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Old 06-13-2009, 06:20 AM
LLN
 
Location: Upstairs closet
5,183 posts, read 9,395,298 times
Reputation: 6889

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MzMiss123 View Post
- Does anyone think it sounds subservient.....and/or has racial undertones (from the days of slavery)?
Another example of a peetiful Yankee, bless your heart, Dawhlin'.

lln
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:51 PM
 
889 posts, read 2,927,738 times
Reputation: 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdljr View Post
I was born in AZ, raised in Northern CA since the age of 2. I left California a little over 3 years ago and moved to Johnson City, TN and now live in Boone. I'm 40 years old now. I was not raised to use "ma'am" and "sir" when addressing people. Doesn't mean I'm not polite, you can be polite without using those words. Doesn't mean I'm disrespectful. It just means living out in California I was not around "ma'am" and "sir".

A couple years ago I had a job as a customer service rep at a customer service center in the Tri Cities area. I noticed all my co-workers around me used "ma'am" and "sir" when addressing people on the phone. I never did. It sounded funny to hear myself say it, I was not used to saying it and had no intention of starting. Still have no intention of starting. I've always hoped that others around me have never thought I was rude or disrespectful for not using "ma'am" and "sir". I'm very polite and courteous, really I am! I've had people address me as "sir" at work, even people older than me. I know it's from their upbringing. If they didn't address me as "sir", I wouldn't be offended or feel disrespected.

Funny thing is, though, I rarely address people using their names anyway. At work, when picking up the phone after having someone on hold, I'll say "Thank you for holding, I'm sorry to keep you waiting" and go on from there.

Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
Oh yes, so true!
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:52 AM
 
Location: St. Joseph Area
6,236 posts, read 8,807,485 times
Reputation: 3122
I'm from Michigan (moving down soon) and I really like the "ma'am/sir" thing. It's just one of those charming idiosyncracies that makes the south interesting.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:48 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,949 times
Reputation: 10
There seems to be a consensus here that a woman would want to be called ma'am as a sign of respect. I recall a quote: "Sir is a term of respect; ma'am is for old ladies with cats." Personally, I would prefer not to be called ma'am. and I do not address women as ma'am. Yes, I am in the south (NC,) but did not grow up here.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:12 AM
 
159 posts, read 213,001 times
Reputation: 243
Folks just over think things sometimes.

I'd suggest that saying sir/ma'am is simply just a more respectful than saying "hey you". Sure, we can find examples where sir/ma'am is said disrespectfully and we find examples were folks who don't say either are respectful. But, on the whole, it's just a little bit nicer to be a bit more formal.

It's sort of like kids who refer to adults by their first name. Is it a bad thing for a kid to call an adult Joe or Jane (or whatever) - no, probably not. However, adding in a Mr./Ms./Mrs. on the whole is just a bit more respectful. A bit more formality and speaking a bit more respectfully is just a nice thing.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:41 AM
 
Location: The 12th State
22,974 posts, read 60,704,291 times
Reputation: 15002
Those who are offended being called ma'am are insecure with their age.

Whether you are five, 40, 90 I will always say no ma'am. If I need un known person attention I will say Ma'am (can you come up here.
When its a professional relationship I will use Mr or Mrs last name.

Its polite and like others said out of respect.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:09 PM
 
5,150 posts, read 6,993,299 times
Reputation: 1439
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyKayak View Post
Those who are offended being called ma'am are insecure with their age.

Whether you are five, 40, 90 I will always say no ma'am. If I need un known person attention I will say Ma'am (can you come up here.
When its a professional relationship I will use Mr or Mrs last name.

Its polite and like others said out of respect.
Not offended but it's burn into my memories the first time the pizza guy called me sir and worse when the pharmacist did.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,519 posts, read 20,558,242 times
Reputation: 11588
Quote:
Originally Posted by parkman View Post
Folks just over think things sometimes.

I'd suggest that saying sir/ma'am is simply just a more respectful than saying "hey you". Sure, we can find examples where sir/ma'am is said disrespectfully and we find examples were folks who don't say either are respectful. But, on the whole, it's just a little bit nicer to be a bit more formal.[\quote]

Yes; it boggles my mind that people actually take offense to someone just being polite.

It's sort of like kids who refer to adults by their first name. Is it a bad thing for a kid to call an adult Joe or Jane (or whatever) - no, probably not. However, adding in a Mr./Ms./Mrs. on the whole is just a bit more respectful. A bit more formality and speaking a bit more respectfully is just a nice thing.
Actually, if you grew up in the South, this usually is a bad thing, unless they are REALLY close friends in the almost-family category.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:58 PM
 
5,150 posts, read 6,993,299 times
Reputation: 1439
Quote:
Originally Posted by Francois View Post
Actually, if you grew up in the South, this usually is a bad thing, unless they are REALLY close friends in the almost-family category.
Not sure what your experience was but when I was growing up my best friends would get a beating if they didn't use mam and sir.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:50 PM
 
Location: NC High Country
4,065 posts, read 7,303,596 times
Reputation: 4116
I agree it's simply a sign of respect. I'd MUCH rather be called ma'am than a "guy." Ugh!
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