(Closed) Yes Ma'am- No Ma'am. What's your take?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: What's your stance on this silly question?
    I say ma'am/sir on a regular basis and it's a habit for me! : (94 votes)
    39 %
    I do not say ma'am/ sir.. But it doesn't bother me if people use it. : (99 votes)
    41 %
    I do not say ma'am/sir and I dislike when people use it-- I'm not 80! : (37 votes)
    15 %
    I have never heard of this nor do I care : (2 votes)
    1 %
    Other option around the ma'am/sir phenom : (11 votes)
    5 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    1446 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    Yep…I say it too. I would hope no one finds it offensive!! But around here, it’s just the polite thing to do.

    Post # 4
    Member
    2065 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: December 2011

    I say it, it was drilled into me as a kid. Yay Southern things! :p I don’t find it offensive when people call me that and I’m not implying people are old when I say it to others. I call people my own age and younger ma’am and sir. It just comes out of my mouth.

    Post # 5
    Member
    3624 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    I don’t use it but I also don’t find it offensive. I have used when writing letters to people in my job, but I’ve never said it. If I do need to talk to someone on the phone I usually just refer to them as Mr./Mrs.

    Did someone take offense to it? 

    Post # 6
    Member
    1736 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    If I am speaking to someone that is clearly my elder, I always use ma’am and sir. I refrain from using it within my own generation (that just comes across as awkward). Some people say that it makes them feel old, but for me, it was just taught to me as a sign of respect!!

    Post # 7
    Member
    945 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    If someone calls me ma’am, they are risking a punch in the face. I am 26. I look about 21. I am far from a ma’am.

    I’m from the north, if that helps your stats at all 🙂

    Post # 8
    Member
    5096 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    No, I would never find it offensive, but I don’t use it myself – it’s not really done in MA.

    My story of the ma’am/no ma’am cultural divide: I was born in the north, where no one ever used it, and then moved to Texas when I was 7. I have SUCH a clear memory of being publicly scolded by a neighbor for not calling her ma’am. I was a very polite, eager-to-please child, and I felt absolutely humiliated by this woman that I barely knew reprimanding me for not using something I’d never been taught to use.

    Post # 9
    Member
    2281 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    I’ve always been stumped by how it’s offensive or disrespectful to address someone as ma’am or sir. It’s not an indication of age, at all. It’s just a polite address until you’re invited to be on a first name basis. 

    But, then, I’m Southern, so it feels natural to me.

    Post # 10
    Member
    1963 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: January 2013

    I use it really occasionally when I am sure that it is age appropriate an I am dealing with someone who is very angry or inebriated, as I find that helps tomake theinteraction more polite.  I HATE it when people call me ma’am I am so not old enough forthat !

    Post # 12
    Member
    4869 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2018

    I say it all the time! I didn’t even know it was considered “sassy” or anything but respectful until a couple years ago. 

    Post # 13
    Member
    3964 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2018

    I don’t mind but it’s not all that common with me so I’d probably do a double take… hate being called “petal” or “lovely” though…

    Post # 14
    Member
    704 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2012

    I live in the south so we “Sir” and “Ma’am” all over the place.

    I actually didn’t know til recently that some women are offended by the use of Ma’am because it insinuates that they’re being called old.

    When I waited tables every day, I made sure to be a little careful of my ma’am usage if we had Northern tourists but other than that, I didn’t care if you were 80, 18, or 8 years old, I addressed you as Sir or Ma’am.

    Post # 16
    Member
    3368 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: March 2011

    Another Southern vote~ it’s just polite where I’m from.  Even so, I was a bit surprised when it was said to me for the first few times.  It did make me feel old, but I had to realize that 29 seems old to someone in high school… and when I hear someone use it, I get a sense that they were “raised right”.

    eta:  My parents are from the North, and raised us to say it to them and others…

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