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While I want to tell kids that it's unnecessary when they say it, I'm too amazed by their home-training to tell them to stop. They see it as being respectful.

I respect that.

I was rarely expected to ma'am growing up and it was never expected from my parents.

I felt that it's military and outmoded in the civilian world.

It was only as I had more and more friends from the boondocks that I realized that a lot of people title regularly.

Perhaps from their influence, I say it more now than I ever did, but not really as a term of respect. I usually use it like "pal."

I don't really have a title of respect in my vocab. Red Face

I think it's my lack of history with it and my co-optation that's made the term basically neutral for me.
Originally posted by ma'am:
While I want to tell kids that it's unnecessary when they say it, I'm too amazed by their home-training to tell them to stop. They see it as being respectful.

I respect that.

I was rarely expected to ma'am growing up and it was never expected from my parents.

I felt that it's military and outmoded in the civilian world.

It was only as I had more and more friends from the boondocks that I realized that a lot of people title regularly.

Perhaps from their influence, I say it more now than I ever did, but not really as a term of respect. I usually use it like "pal."

I don't really have a title of respect in my vocab. Red Face

I think it's my lack of history with it and my co-optation that's made the term basically neutral for me.

------------------

I was tryna remember that last time I was called or referred to as "Ma'am," and I believe it was from someone on the black voices message board). . .

. . .this poster referred to me as "Ma'am" and went on to explained that in the south they say "Ma'am."

Usually I hear "Miss," and I never gave it much thought.

Hey now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Obviously, I'm not gettin' the RESPECT I deserve.

LOL

just kidding. Smile
Calling someone ma'am or sir in my culture is the very least one can do or say to show respect to one's elder. In the Yoruba culture, respecting one's elders is not optional; it is expected.
At work, I do call others ma'am or sir and the reception varies from one of distaste to one of amazement. My usual response is that my parents would beat the hell of me if I dared called someone older than me by their first name....then the reception usually changes to that of a more accepting stance.
I'm from the South and I have a 20 month old daughter that I'm raising to RESPECT her elders. Yes, she says "Yes, Ma'am" or "Ma'am?" already (I'm still working on the sir part).

My grandmother is still living as well as my mom and dad's brothers and sisters so she will respect them if they call her name. She will refer to them as Aunt_____ or Uncle_____. If they call her name she will respond by sir or ma'am or at least a yes Aunt/Uncle____.

It's just an act of courtesy and that's one reason why kids today are outRAGEous b/c they don't have respect for anyone.

My mom was in the hospital last week, and one of the nurses there asked me her name and I told her. Upon leaving one of the other nurses called her name as we were walking down the hallway towards the elevator. My baby replied "Ma'am?" They thought it was too sweet. One even added that she has more sense than teenagers to be under 2 y/o.
quote:
Originally posted by folobatuyi:
Calling someone ma'am or sir in my culture is the very least one can do or say to show respect to one's elder. In the Yoruba culture, respecting one's elders is not optional; it is expected.
At work, I do call others ma'am or sir and the reception varies from one of distaste to one of amazement. My usual response is that my parents would beat the hell of me if I dared called someone older than me by their first name....then the reception usually changes to that of a more accepting stance.


Are people culturally expected to sir/ma'am people around their age and younger outside of such formal settings?

Like when talking to people in a store?
I was beat as a child, if I didn't say it immediately....

In my religious institution we say it regularly..

I grew up saying it and expecting to hear it my whole life.. my children say it...

in my social circle this is not seen as odd... it's seen as a sign of respect...

however, I also see how it can be irritating to other's who did not grow up having it required of them.... it can be seen as almost disrespectful...


I don't see it as either...

I see it as cultural...

thus, when in Rome...

Peace,
Virtue
quote:
Originally posted by ma'am:
quote:
Originally posted by folobatuyi:
Calling someone ma'am or sir in my culture is the very least one can do or say to show respect to one's elder. In the Yoruba culture, respecting one's elders is not optional; it is expected.
At work, I do call others ma'am or sir and the reception varies from one of distaste to one of amazement. My usual response is that my parents would beat the hell of me if I dared called someone older than me by their first name....then the reception usually changes to that of a more accepting stance.


Are people culturally expected to sir/ma'am people around their age and younger outside of such formal settings?

Like when talking to people in a store?


No, the younger ones are expected to pay the respect. People within the same age group usually don't call each other "auntie" and "brother".
quote:
Originally posted by Fabulous:
I was tryna remember that last time I was called or referred to as "Ma'am," and I believe it was from someone on the black voices message board). . .

. . .this poster referred to me as "Ma'am" and went on to explained that in the south they say "Ma'am."

Usually I hear "Miss," and I never gave it much thought.

Hey now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Obviously, I'm not gettin' the RESPECT I deserve.

LOL

just kidding. Smile


I suppose I do title. I use "Miss." I use that and Sister.

But, for whatever reason, it doesn't not feel as awkward coming out of my mouth as "Ma'am."
As a person raised in the deep south I can tell you that

yes ma'am
no ma'am
yes sir
no sir

Hello "auntee"
Hello "uncle"

"Miss Roberta"
"Mr. Clem"

and "Cousin Willie" (even if not related)
were required and seen as respecting someone's age, experience,and wisdom.

But adults observe these rituals too

church members were always called sister or brother or deacon davis, even if seen outside church.

Older women in the community were always called Mother Jones, even if they had no children.

But for some odd reason, "miss" can be used affectionately toward a young girl by friends and family.
as in

come here, "miss keshia", let me fix your hair

or that's a cute outfit u got on "miss lady"

or the infamous "miss thang" what are you up to?

But on the flip side:

I could see how all the formality of the ritual adds a degree of separation in a sense.

It takes a while to learn that your parents names are not momma, daddy, sir, and ma'am Big Grin
Being born and raised in California, I always thought "yes/no, ma'am" and "yes/no sir" were something from the previous century. I didn't know it was still taking place in this day and time.

Then I moved to Texas. Eek

For the first couple of years I was here, I found myself wanting to wring the necks of small children ... which I knew wasn't really a good thing ... because they were constantly calling me "ma'am"! Eek A lot of them were young relatives (cousins) and I knew I couldn't do bodily harm to kin folk and those that shared my blood! sck

It took some time, but, I finally learned to accept it. Then, I started using it myself as a term to respect my elders. My Dad still doesn't like it when I call him "sir." But, he deals with is just like I do! Smile
fro I rather be called "Ma'am" than "baby." I once told my husband [who insisted on calling me baby all the time-OMG!] I have babies....I was my mom's baby....now I'm a woman. So please call me honey, sweetheart, darling...BUT never baby! It was a losing battle. I was pulling out my hair until I read Dr. Cress' book on the psychological usage of the slave words baby, mama, boy and gal created specifically by massa to deliberately debase grown black men and women to keep their esteem low. So I calmed down. But under no circumstances will I allow strangers or youngsters to call me anything other than ma'am. It's a sign of RESPECT. I tell 'em in a New York minute [especially young black boys] ....it's Ma'am to you. And a brotha -especially the OGs types-better not step in my face calling me "baby or mama" cuz I'm neither. What I am is......a WOMAN. fro
quote:
Originally posted by negrospiritual:
As a person raised in the deep south I can tell you that

yes ma'am
no ma'am
yes sir
no sir

Hello "auntee"
Hello "uncle"

"Miss Roberta"
"Mr. Clem"

and "Cousin Willie" (even if not related)
were required and seen as respecting someone's age, experience,and wisdom.


Those are my experiences and expectations.

My daughter friends call me Mr Patrick and my daughter calls my best friends and his wife "Aunt" and "Uncle".

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