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Saying yes sir and yes ma’am

Old 10-22-19, 10:33 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
Stopped for gas and some coffee and said yes ma’am to the clerk. She looked at me like she seen a ghost! I thought I offended her and felt bad.
You did offend her. In California, land of youth obsession, "ma'am" is the equivalent of "old woman".

I remember the first time a waiter called my wife "ma'am". It took her weeks to get over the insult.
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Old 10-22-19, 10:38 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
You did offend her. In California, land of youth obsession, "ma'am" is the equivalent of "old woman".

I remember the first time a waiter called my wife "ma'am". It took her weeks to get over the insult.
She was old. She wrote down my license plate number then CHIPS pulled me over and officer Panchorelly he looked like Eric Estrada gave me a ticket for saying yes ma’am
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Old 10-22-19, 11:04 AM
  #28  
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I remember way back in my mid 20's thinking that by the time you got called maam or sir you were considered old. That hasn't changed much in the 35 years since then, but I have gotten used to it
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Old 10-22-19, 12:02 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
Dude.
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Old 10-22-19, 12:43 PM
  #30  
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Both my children learned the concept of saying 'yes sir' and 'yes mam', when they took karate.
I guess it was part of the whole mental discipline of the training.
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Old 10-22-19, 12:57 PM
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In Idaho I had to get use to the phrase you bet ya... and in Pennsylvania for sure... or in Montana that L work.... or
the universal stoner duuuuuuuuuuude huhuhuhuhuhu… I need to go for a bike ride..
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Old 10-22-19, 01:44 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by skijor View Post
Some of the ma'am and sir usage comes from military (active, retired, vets) too...especially marines. It is engrained in boot camp..
That's usually my thought when I hear a 'yes sir' that seems oddly out of place.

It wasn't part of my upbringing though, so I could never say it authentically/sincerely -- except to cops.
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Old 10-22-19, 02:54 PM
  #33  
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I went to La Jolla once and went too a pastry shop and the girl just looked at me when I talked like I was an alien. She was pretty though.
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Old 10-22-19, 03:32 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Not being from USA, "yes sir" and "yes ma'am" sound really strange to me. I don't think of myself as a "ma'am" and don't particularly like being addressed that way. It makes me feel old.

Thankfully, where I've lived, that's just not done. We're polite without it ... and without making a person feel old.

Its not designed to make you feel old, its designed to make you feel special. Its also a sign of respect. Imagine being a middle or elementary school teacher and having your students look at you as a peer rather than someone of authority. That designation helps them remember that.

In any event, I understand you're perspective having heard this from other women but never once from men regardless of age. Having worked many years in the service industry it was a requirement, unless directed by the patron to address them otherwise. That only occurred a few times.

Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
I view the use of "yes sir" etc to be demeaning /to the person who uses it/; and if you demand or require it's use, you're trying to assert your perception of authority or class hierarchy onto others.

My worldview incorporates and applies equality to everyone, and so the deferential use of "sir" doesn't apply to anyone. It's not disrespectful. It's more respectful to everyone, including yourself.

Culturally and historically, it is an interesting topic, the use and meaning of language over time.
How should a 10 year old address someone 45 years old? Do you see them as equals?
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Old 10-22-19, 03:34 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
That's usually my thought when I hear a 'yes sir' that seems oddly out of place.

It wasn't part of my upbringing though, so I could never say it authentically/sincerely -- except to cops.
The drunker, the more sincere.
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Old 10-22-19, 03:47 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
...
How should a 10 year old address someone 45 years old? Do you see them as equals?
All else (other than age) being equal... yes, they are equals. They have the same natural rights. Why is that such a difficult concept for so many to grasp?

Two things: first, achieving the age of 45 years (and certainly much more) is no longer something that is special or noteworthy or in any way deserving respect in and of itself (thanks to modern medicine, clean water, indoor plumbing, etc); second, children are not less of a person or less worthy of respect, than anyone else.
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Old 10-22-19, 03:56 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
All else (other than age) being equal... yes, they are equals. They have the same natural rights. Why is that such a difficult concept for so many to grasp?

Two things: first, achieving the age of 45 years (and certainly much more) is no longer something that is special or noteworthy or in any way deserving respect in and of itself (thanks to modern medicine, clean water, indoor plumbing, etc); second, children are not less of a person or less worthy of respect, than anyone else.
You are kidding correct? Or else trolling.There is better medicine and housing now but you still have to make good decisions on what you do to your body.
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Old 10-22-19, 04:06 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
All else (other than age) being equal... yes, they are equals. They have the same natural rights. Why is that such a difficult concept for so many to grasp?

Two things: first, achieving the age of 45 years (and certainly much more) is no longer something that is special or noteworthy or in any way deserving respect in and of itself (thanks to modern medicine, clean water, indoor plumbing, etc); second, children are not less of a person or less worthy of respect, than anyone else.
You're a very special guy. My apologies if that seems like I'm offering any special attention or insulting anyone else for not being as special. I guess we're all special, but then that would mean none of us were special, right?

Just like Lake Woebegone where all the children are above average.
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Old 10-22-19, 04:14 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
All else (other than age) being equal... yes, they are equals. They have the same natural rights. Why is that such a difficult concept for so many to grasp?

Two things: first, achieving the age of 45 years (and certainly much more) is no longer something that is special or noteworthy or in any way deserving respect in and of itself (thanks to modern medicine, clean water, indoor plumbing, etc); second, children are not less of a person or less worthy of respect, than anyone else.
Do you look to a 10 year old for advice? For knowledge? For wisdom? For experience? For decision making? Would you trust a 10 year old doctor with your heath, to manage your business or to handle your finances?

I'm not talking about equal human beings (I guess I shouldn't take anything for granted around here). Rather, in judgement, decision making and responsibility.

A minor can make mistakes and have it overlooked because he's not old enough to know any better. An adult, on the other hand, is held responsible for the decisions and mistakes they make. I hope the difference between the two I'm referring to is clear now?

Last edited by KraneXL; 10-22-19 at 04:39 PM. Reason: word correct
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Old 10-22-19, 04:20 PM
  #40  
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I seriously don't understand the complaint "these words make me feel old". Well, you are old. What are you gonna do about it? What is wrong about being old? We all gonna get old. It is no crime. On the contrary, it should be celebrated. What a lame excuse that is. When i refer to my elders as "sir" or m'am, i do that with a great deal of respect to them. I do not think or feel "oh those old farts". And i hope to be referred with the same respect someday. What is wrong about being old, seriously? Being old means being experienced in life. And experience is something that no youngster out there can obtain, even with all the money in the world. Young people should respect that experience and try to learn something from it. It is really very important. The lack of connection between old and young people is wreaking havoc in many "modern" societies all over the world. We see 50 year old people acting like 15 year olds. That is why i do not really subscribe to liberal policies. They even try to change the centuries old pronouns. How crazy is that.
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Old 10-22-19, 05:51 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Do you look to a 10 year old for advice? For knowledge? For wisdom? For experience? For decision making? Would you trust a 10 year old doctor with your heath, to manage your business or to handle your finances?

I'm not talking about equal human beings (I guess I shouldn't take anything for granted around here). Rather, in judgement, decision making and responsibility.

A minor can make mistakes and have it overlooked because he's not old enough to know any better. An adult, on the other hand, is held responsible for the decisions and mistakes they make. I hope the difference between the two I'm referring to is clear now?
If it's about technology, I bet most people over 50 do.
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Old 10-22-19, 06:30 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Not being from USA, "yes sir" and "yes ma'am" sound really strange to me. I don't think of myself as a "ma'am" and don't particularly like being addressed that way. It makes me feel old.

Thankfully, where I've lived, that's just not done. We're polite without it ... and without making a person feel old.
Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
I view the use of "yes sir" etc to be demeaning /to the person who uses it/; and if you demand or require it's use, you're trying to assert your perception of authority or class hierarchy onto others.

My worldview incorporates and applies equality to everyone, and so the deferential use of "sir" doesn't apply to anyone. It's not disrespectful. It's more respectful to everyone, including yourself.

Culturally and historically, it is an interesting topic, the use and meaning of language over time.
And yet, I find young waitresses and clerks respond rather well to being nicely addressed.

No doubt if you say it with a smarmy attitude, that aspect is probably quickly noticed.
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Old 10-23-19, 01:55 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Its not designed to make you feel old, its designed to make you feel special. Its also a sign of respect. Imagine being a middle or elementary school teacher and having your students look at you as a peer rather than someone of authority. That designation helps them remember that.

In any event, I understand you're perspective having heard this from other women but never once from men regardless of age. Having worked many years in the service industry it was a requirement, unless directed by the patron to address them otherwise. That only occurred a few times.


How should a 10 year old address someone 45 years old? Do you see them as equals?
Speaking as a teacher ... yes, I acquired my Bachelor of Education in 2009 and worked in schools in both Canada and Australia ...

Students referred to me as Ms. LastName ... but definitely NOT ma'am.
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Old 10-23-19, 02:00 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
And yet, I find young waitresses and clerks respond rather well to being nicely addressed.

No doubt if you say it with a smarmy attitude, that aspect is probably quickly noticed.
Yes, they do ... but addressing young waitresses and clerks as "ma'am" isn't nice.

Saying "please" and "thank you" is nice.
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Old 10-23-19, 04:52 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Yes, they do ... but addressing young waitresses and clerks as "ma'am" isn't nice.

Saying "please" and "thank you" is nice.
"Would you like coffee..."

An enthusiastic... "Yes ma'am."

Followed by a smile and "Thank you."

You're saying that is wrong?
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Old 10-23-19, 05:46 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Yes, they do ... but addressing young waitresses and clerks as "ma'am" isn't nice.

Saying "please" and "thank you" is nice.
Can you please tell us how you address waiters or waitresses that you don't know? We all say thank you and please, that is not how you address one another. What word do you use to call the attention of a waiter/waitress?
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Old 10-23-19, 05:48 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Newspaper_Nick View Post
Can you please tell us how you address waiters or waitresses that you don't know? We all say thank you and please, that is not how you address one another. What word do you use to call the attention of a waiter/waitress?
"Hi" or "Hello". Works every time.
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Old 10-23-19, 06:05 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
"Would you like coffee..."

An enthusiastic... "Yes ma'am."

Followed by a smile and "Thank you."

You're saying that is wrong?
Well, it's certainly NOT how I would address a person! Unless maybe I was kind of kidding around.



Originally Posted by Newspaper_Nick View Post
Can you please tell us how you address waiters or waitresses that you don't know? We all say thank you and please, that is not how you address one another. What word do you use to call the attention of a waiter/waitress?

"Excuse me?" or "Pardon me?" followed by "Hi! Just wondering if we might be able to get some water for the table?" "Oh, the bottles and glasses are over there?" "Thank you very much".


Or in the coffee scenario above, I would say, "Yes, we'd like to order one ham and cheese toastie, one cheese and tomato toastie, and two cups of coffee. One will be a long black and the other a flat white with two sugars". The person would write it down and some time later it would arrive. "Thank you!"

Trying to think of an occasion when a waiter or waitress would ask me if I wanted coffee ... the first thing that springs to mind is at the end of a nice meal when we're ordering dessert ...

"Excuse me?" or "Pardon me?" followed by "Hi! We wondered if we might see the dessert menu?" ... a few minutes later ... "Yes, we'd like one sticky date pudding and one pavlova, thank you."

Waiter/Waitress: "Would you like coffee or tea with your dessert?"

Me: "No thank you" (chances are it's too late in the evening for it) or if I did want some then ... "Yes please, I will have a long black and my husband will have a flat white with two sugars"


Sometimes, if the waiter/waitress has a name tag we might refer to the person by name.


There's not a time when "ma'am" or "sir" would need to come into it.

Last edited by Machka; 10-23-19 at 06:09 AM.
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Old 10-23-19, 06:13 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
"Hi" or "Hello". Works every time.
Ok, despite the fact that English is not my mother tongue, i know that these are words used for greetings and they are not how you address someone. You either address someone with his/her name, or if you don't know their name, you address them with another "noun" of your/their choice, depending on the degree of intimacy that you have. Words like "sweetie, kid, my man, honey, dude, etc" are some examples that i have heard. What we have been taught throughout our education was that "sir and madam" are the right nouns to use for addressing people (especially elders) that we don't know. And now i am reading in this thread that it is wrong. So i am asking, if it is wrong, what is the right way?
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Old 10-23-19, 06:25 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
"Excuse me?" or "Pardon me?" followed by "Hi! Just wondering if we might be able to get some water for the table?" "Oh, the bottles and glasses are over there?" "Thank you very much".
There's not a time when "ma'am" or "sir" would need to come into it.
Again, with my limited English knowledge, "excuse me" or "pardon" are interjections.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interjection

Now, correct me if i am wrong but, an interjection is not a word that can replace the person's name. Interjections are not nouns. An interjection can be used to call the attention of a person, yes, shouting "excuse me" or "hey" would probably get me a waiter. But, still, these are not answering my question. You still haven't given me a noun that can replace the name of the person that i am interacting with. You don't like sir or madam, i get that, but what other nouns can i use?
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