Whenever I go home to Georgia, I'm always pleasantly pleased to hear "Yes ma'am, no ma'am, please, and thank you" everywhere I go. Of course, most Southerners were taught from birth to use these kind words.
I remember as a little girl, answering my Mama with "Yes." She would always ask "Yes, what?" Then I would remember to be polite and say "Yes ma'am!"
I think everyone will agree that "Please" and "Thank you" are kind words. In the South, "Ma'am" and "Sir" are kind words used as a sign of respect. But, not everyone is comfortable being addressed as "Ma'am" or "Sir." I'm always shocked to hear some people are downright insulted to hear them or say them.
We all remember when Brig. General Michael Walsh addressed California Senator Barbara Boxer as "Ma'am." She politely asked him not to address her as "Ma'am," but as "Senator." That got the public in a tizzy. Today, some school teachers don't even want to be addressed as "Ma'am" or "Sir."
Do you teach your children to address adults as "Ma'am" or "Sir?"
Are you insulted as an adult to be addressed as "Ma'am" or "Sir?"
I find myself saying "Yes ma'am" to all ladies...those who are young and those of a mature age.