Sunday, March 2, 2014

We Say Yes Ma'am!




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.

26 comments:

MandySue said...

Honestly, when I moved home to Memphis and started getting it I was a bit insulted, I was 25 being called ma'am by teens and that made me feel old. I'm 29 now and embrace it and use it

Seersucker Sass said...

I stopped watching Tia & Tamera because one of the sisters freaked out about being called "ma'am" by a server!

Manners should always be appreciated :)

XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass

Miss Janice said...

Mandy Sue, It does have a sting when you first hear it...I totally remember the bag boy at Publix in Miami when I was young..."Ma'am, can I help you out"? 😳😳😳

Miss Janice said...

Well, there is certainly no reason to freak out. I only hope more people reading this will realize that it's a sign of respect!

Miss Janice said...

I always forget that I cannot use emojis everywhere! For the record, they were 5 eye rolls!

Gramspearls said...

Miss Janice,
When we moved to Ohio from Texas, one of the first days here, my husband said to the young girl taking our order at Panera, "Yes, Ma'am". She was so upset, I had to explain to her what he meant, and I still think she was insulted. I also can not get used to "you guys"! I will not secumb, is my moto.

Warmly, Kathleen

Southern Living: Preppy Style said...

Yes, Lolly says yes ma'am and yes sir. :-)

Kari said...

"Yes, Ma'am".
"Yes, Sir".
Absolutely!

Life as the Mrs. said...

Absolutely! I was raised to say "Yes ma'am," "No ma'am," "Yes sir," and "No sir." And, in fact, I still say it to my elders and I'm almost 27 years old! I think it's so polite and shows a sign of respect. I always enjoy hearing kids younger than me say it, and it doesn't bother me when they say it to me, either. I just think - and tell them - "Your mama raised you right!"

Lauren T said...

I have that very print hanging in my breakfast room! I bought it to remind my children of using polite words and good manners. It is sad to me that people get freaked out about being called "ma'm" or "sir". That's a respectful form of address.

AngelaV said...

Yes ma'am I do!

Laura said...

Yes, ma'am, I still say it, thank you, and please and I will continue to teach my eight year old Darling Diva to as well.

Alison Harriman said...

Only in the 21st century can good manners be taken as an insult. Honestly, what is the Planet coming to?

Ali

Lori said...

I am 55, gasp I know. I said Yes M'am to someone yesterday. I thought she might have been mad at me. Oh well....PLEASE excuse me, I will do it again.

Elizabeth H. said...

I am interested in your opinion. My parents are from the south, but I grew up in London and New York. I have never said yes ma'am to anyone, but I was noted as being a polite child. My daughter is four and she too is quite polite, but yes ma'am is not used in our area. Clearly, polite people exist in other regions and in other countries.

Miss Janice said...

Elizabeth,
If you or your family don't use these words, that's fine...I certainly don't mean to offend anyone when I use them. If someone were to ask me not to address them as "Ma'am" or "Sir," I would refrain from doing so.

Miss Janice said...

When I lived in California, very few people used "Ma'am." It was a big adjustment for me.

Miss Janice said...

Of course:)

Miss Janice said...

Absolutely!

Carolina Clover said...

I agree, Miss Janice! It is a sign of respect. We use it in the store daily as part of our customer service initiative, and our customers receive it well. It's not age-ism, it is respectful and reaches across all ages, races, genders, and orientations and highly regards them.

Mona said...

Yes ma'am. I say it. I live in the center of the USA. And thank you, I'm not offended by it. IMO, it's a polite way to address a person if you don't know their name. "Hey you!" (now That is rude) is the alternative to "Excuse me, Sir?". This country is lacking manners. It makes me sad.

Elizabeth H. said...

I don't find it offensive at all, but it is not a part of my repertoire. I was just talking to my husband about this. He was raised by a Texan and a New Yorker in Texas. He did not say yes ma'am and no sir, but he does use it from time to time now.

Rose Chandler Johnson said...

I still say "Yes, Ma'am", and I hear it a lot now too. Especially since my hair turned gray! :-)

Kathie Truitt said...

I ABSOLUTELY say 'ma'am' and 'sir'. But lately I am being called 'miss'. I hate that. I am 51 years old. Not a 'miss'. But I think everyone is so afraid of being politically incorrect.

dana coon said...

Unless I am obviously in my 80's do not call me ma'am. The Southerners THINK it's a term for respect, but if so many ladies hate it, when is it respecful to call someone something that they don't want to be called? Isn't that considered rude? I don't understand their persistence that we "lie down and take it because we're just being polite". There are many other polite ways to go about your business without name calling!! Just because it's used in the South does NOT make it right! You won't find me rushing out to buy a Confederate flag even though many people in the South have one. Quit being good little sheeples and think for yourself, not because someone told you it's proper. Manners are polite, unnecessary sexist, ageist titles are not.

Barry b said...

I live in the UK where sadly good manners are in decline.Sir and Madam should always be used as should please and thankyou.If someone says thankyou to me I respond "my pleasure sir/ madam"