Yes Ma'am No Sir


Opa-wan Chickenobi
12 Years
May 11, 2008
Howell Michigan
Yes Ma'am I know that some women take offense and being called ma'am. They claim that it's for "old" ladies and calling them ma'am is disrespectful. I however, wish that yes sir and no ma'am were heard more often. Both Sir and Ma'am are a polite form of address. I even find the usage of Mister Sam or Miz Hope by those younger than us to be refreshing. Hearing a someone younger using any of those terms to me indicates that they have had some good influence exerted over them at home.

Ma'am and Sir are also used to show respect and nothing should be offensive about someone showing respect to others. I even use both myself when addressing my customers; most whom are much younger than I. Curtesy needn't be expected only from the young.
I believe that ma'am and sir should be used much more. I think it's polite for younger children and even some adults to call their elders ma'am and sir unless, of course, the person being called ma'am or sir does NOT want to be called that.
It's very common down here and I don't mind being called ma'am at all, it's a gesture of respect and I appreciate it. My kids say sir and ma'am whenever they address adults.

And down here, not holding the door for the person behind you is considered the height of rudeness.

I couldn't live anywhere but the South.
Just be careful of using it over the phone with people you don't know. I used to work one cubicle over from a woman who smoked - a lot - and had a deep voice because of it. She operated the switchboard and I would hear her often yelling over the phone, "This is not a SIR! I am a woman!!!"


When I'm called ma'am sometimes it's surprising because I just don't hear it around much anymore but I find it VERY polite.
Opa, I couldn't agree more.
I, like you, was taught that this is a simple show of respect/manners.
I'm no kid and yet I still call folks older than me ma'am and sir. If someone younger than me wants to call me ma'am or Miss Sheila, I'm good with that.
Not sure why people feel like this is reserved for the Deep South-manners and respect should be universal.
I think in many places, the omission of sir or maam is not considered rude. It may be a cultural thing - I mean no disrespect to southerners. It is just widely known that they are old-fashioned in some ways.

And if I ever go to the south I assure you, I will be walking on eggshells. lol!
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