Welcome all to segment numero dos of "This is the South". Today's commentary is brought to you by my roomie, Christa and the letter, M.
1. Sir Used as an honorific before the given name or the full name of baronets and knights.
2. Used as a form of polite address for a man: Don't forget your hat, sir.
Used as a salutation in a letter: Dear Sir or Madam.
Growing up in the South, there is no question that you are required to say “yes ma'am” and “no, ma'am” and “yes, sir” and “no, sir”. It is something we do out of respect, taught to us since birth. Frankly, it is just good manners!
The following people are eligible for this courtesy:
- Anyone your age or older or in a position of authority or anyone, really.
It is an easy concept... A "grown-up" asks you a question and instead of responding with a simple “yes” or in really bad cases...”yeah”, you respond yes ma'am or sir!(B- Even in situations where you want to be rude to someone, because of how they are speaking to you, you are still RESPECTFUL and respond accordingly.)
Now I know that most of you have no problem with this concept, because you grew up in the South!
Then there are Yankees… (Flashback) I had a friend in high school that grew up above the Mason-Dixon Line until she was in the 10th grade. We became friends shortly after she moved down here and let me tell you, some of our customs were very strange to her and her family, but none more than the above mentioned civilities. Not only did her parents find it strange, they found it offensive.
(B- I had a similar experience in New York at the hotel, where I was staying, when I used "Yes, ma'am". The attendant asked me a question and when I responded with "Yes, ma'am," she grabbed my arm and told me very forcefully that she was not a "ma'am" yet. And since I'm from the South, I politely apologized.)
Yes, that's right, people, Yankees find our Southern civilities offensive! They believe that you are somehow being sarcastic and disrespectful, when in reality we are trying to do just the opposite. Yankees are not shy voicing their opposition to our customs, ironically enough, becoming rude themselves. Now I should make a disclaimer here, not all Yankees view these responses as rude. Those people however are usually fortunate enough to have an immediate family member who was/is a Southerner.
I propose a simple solution to this problem. Yankees should adopt our fabulous custom. Wouldn't it make the world a better place?!? After they pick up this one, I'm sure I can suggest a few more! To those that already have...Congratulations! To those who refuse...I didn't want to know you anyway! Have a fabulous day!