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Is It Ever Wrong To Call Someone Sir?


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#1 Brokenbad

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 03:41 PM

Besides the obvious misuse of calling a woman sir, is it ever offensive to call male sir?

I ask this because a customer became upset today when my coworker routinely answered his question with sir at the end. The customer specifically said that he didnt play the disrespectful "sir" game.

Why would anyone be upset by being called sir?

#2 thefuzz

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 03:59 PM

Many folks from the north say it makes them feel old.

I apologize, and let them know it's a respect thing that my grandfather and father taught me.

They rarely say anything else about it.

#3 g5jamz

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:02 PM

I make my kids say it to any adult male/authority figure. Maam for any adult female/authority figure.

I use it too to provide an example. I've never had anyone get upset at my use of it. I'd take it as a sign of ignorance of someone that got upset about it and just let it go.

#4 CatofWar

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:03 PM

I use sir and mam during every interaction I have regardless of who they are. The young kids at mcdonalds look at me funny. Hard habit to break.

#5 mmmbeans

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:04 PM

in addition to what fuzz said, northerners think you're being sarcastic if you call them sir/maam.

#6 g5jamz

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:30 PM

What don't northerners get upset about.

#7 mmmbeans

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:47 PM

the civil war.

#8 PantherBase

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:56 PM

Besides the obvious misuse of calling a woman sir, is it ever offensive to call male sir?

I ask this because a customer became upset today when my coworker routinely answered his question with sir at the end. The customer specifically said that he didnt play the disrespectful "sir" game.

Why would anyone be upset by being called sir?

Not from where i come from
It's called being polite!

#9 g5jamz

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:06 PM

the civil war.


Good one.

#10 Wither

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:13 PM

It doesn't make sense to end every phrase with "mam" or "sir." If you use the terms correctly you add it in appropriately without thinking. You can always tell who doesn't use the words on a regular basis as they use it too much or in the wrong phrases.

I'm not sure what the "right" and "wrong" phrases are but it just sounds bad sometimes.

#11 CarolinaNCSU

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:17 PM

No sir

#12 nickzz

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:21 PM

if someone does get upset about it i think it's because they're either A) a woman or B) a prick

#13 Tarheel31

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:40 PM

I don't like being called sir, that's what you call my dad.

From the guys comment it sounds like he thought your coworker was being sarcastic.

A pointed "SIR" at the end of a sentence is the same as a "PAL" or a "CHIEF"

#14 Brokenbad

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 06:02 PM

I don't like being called sir, that's what you call my dad.

From the guys comment it sounds like he thought your coworker was being sarcastic.

A pointed "SIR" at the end of a sentence is the same as a "PAL" or a "CHIEF"


I did not notice the coworker overusing sir, but perhaps my judgement is clouded by how often I use sir/mam.

Both my coworker and I are veterans and that doesn't help.

#15 cavic7585

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 06:06 PM

I call most people sir and maam. Never really had anyone get mad at me about it but have heard the whole "northern makes me feel old" thing.


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