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Is this offensive to you? - Page 3

post #41 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3pink1blue View Post
see, i think the reason it bugs me is twofold. First, it implies familiarity, and I have kind of bizarre social standards. I don't like people who get too close or even act too close.

second, I am NOT a miss. I am a grown woman with a large and growing family. I feel like I deserve the respect of Ma'am. (I don't find it old or matronly at all, not in the least - I find it very respectful.)

As far as Miss Firstname - as a child I grew up as the only white kid in an African American neighborhood. All us kids called each other's parents by Mr and Miss Firstname. When we moved to the suburbs, no one called each other that. It might be a cultural thing as well as regional. I wouldn't mind one bit if a child called me Miss Rose. The kids at my daughter's school call me Mrs. Dd'sname.

But an adult calling another adult Miss just comes across rude to me.
I really don't care what someone calls me as long as it isn't done in a condescending fashion. I agree with a PP who said if an older woman calls me "sweeheart" in a nice way I'm ok with that.

To the OP - I noticed in your signature you identify as Quaker. I attend a Quaker meeting (not a member yet) and my understanding is that Quakers do not believe in titles of "respect" - as everyone is supposed to be completely equal and on the same level. In practice I think they use them as needed (i.e., in public school my son must call his teacher Mrs. Lastname) but otherwise everyone is/should be on a first name basis, even if you don't know them very well (i.e., someone you just met). I guess I have never asked what Quakers call others if they don't know their name. I'll have to ask someone next week at meeting.
post #42 of 101
I'm not irked by that, but I get irked when people make a nasty remark after calling them Ma'am. I was taught it is the respectful thing to do. When people complain about it, I often want to call them other terms that are well, inappropriate.
post #43 of 101
I'm getting to the age where I relish it when someone thinks I'm young enough to be "Miss"!

Seriously, I don't think it's offensive.
post #44 of 101
Sweetheart and maam bother the heck out of me!!!!!

If someone calls me Miss with my first or last name I am fine but just :::Miss::: would tick me off!

Sweetheart more than Maam because I am not your sweetheart if I do not know you and it sounds condinsending (I cannot spell)
post #45 of 101
I don't like "Miss" either. "Miss"is a young, unmarried woman. Since I am a married woman with two children I am no longer a "Miss."
post #46 of 101
I wouldn't mind being called "Miss". I can't stand when people call me "Mrs" ____. Assuming that I'm married. That bugs the heck out of me.
Even when I tell me (over and over again) that I'm not married, they still put a Mrs in front of my last name. grrr.
post #47 of 101
I don't mind "Miss" (but then I'm also of the age that it feels like a compliment to me!). In Russia, people call women they don't know "girl" (or when you get above 35 or so "woman"). Now THAT bugged me for a long time
post #48 of 101
I just remembered (I'm getting old you know) All female teachers were called Miss (no name after) and all male teachers were called Sir (no name after) when I was in school in Wales, no idea why, that's just how it was all the way through high school. I wonder if they still do that?
post #49 of 101
After reading this thread I think I'll just stick with "hey you" when I need to talk with someone and I don't know their name
post #50 of 101
doesn't bother me. i do it myself-what do you say when you need to get the attn of someone and you don't know their name? "hey, you lady!" lol!
post #51 of 101
nope. i live in the south & your either a miss or a mam. im too young to be a mam!
post #52 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by MomInCalifornia View Post
After reading this thread I think I'll just stick with "hey you" when I need to talk with someone and I don't know their name
No doubt!

I've lived all over the country, as far west as Hawaii, as far north as Rhode Island, and as far south as South Carolina.

Yes, I think that putting Miss or Mister before someone's first name is completely Southern. I never encountered it before moving to SC, and I thought it was a bizarre thing to do. That being said, I got used to it....and since we spent a total of nine years bouncing back and forth between VA and the Carolinas, and also knew a lot of Southerners at other duty stations, my kids called people Miss and Mister when they were younger.

Living up here in the Northeast, "miss" appears to be a term of respect towards a woman who is younger than you, and "ma'am" to a woman who is older than you. Unfortunately, people aren't always a good judge of other people's ages. As someone who works in the hospitality industry, I'm sure I've offended women from time to time by not calling them by what they consider to be the proper title. I also have been known to address groups of women as "girls," "gals," or "ladies."

I'm sorry, but this just sounds soooo petty to me. Maybe, if you (general you) don't want customer service workers to call you by an "offensive" title, you should introduce yourself to every cashier and waitperson you encounter. There doesn't seem to be any winning in this situation. (For some reason, it brings to mind the type of woman who gets irritated when she's out for drinks with friends, and you ask her friend for I.D. but don't ask her. Of course, if you had asked her for I.D., she'd grumble about getting it out or be mad because she left it in the car. Same sort of no-win situation.)

Service people interact with hundreds of people per week. Cut us some slack, already. I don't have time to check out all your hands to see who's married, inspect your faces for wrinkles, or figure out what part of the country you're from. As long as I'm polite to you, that's all that should matter.

/soapbox
post #53 of 101
My DH and I own a health food store. I often call customers miss or mam or sir, regardless of their age. I had no idea either of these could be considered offensive. For those of you who find it offensive, what would you prefer to be called? Assuming of course, I don't know your real name.
post #54 of 101
I think part of the reason it's a Southern thing is that there is no verbal distinction between miss, mrs. and ms in the South. So Miss Name (first or last) could really mean Mrs or Ms.

I'm too old now to be called just plain miss. I get Ma'am'd all the time. I see it as a polite form of address from someone who dosen't know me.
post #55 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3pink1blue View Post
I absolutely HATE when people call me 'Miss.' I hear it a lot, like leaving the grocery store - "Have a nice day, Miss," or at a restaurant - "Can I get you another water, Miss?"

I find it unbelievably disrespectful... but you know what, I can't figure out why.

Does it or would it bug you to be called 'Miss?'
No.
The situations described would not bother me or seem disrespectful. What should they say instead? Does it bother you to have people assume your gender or is it something else that makes you feel disrespected?

"Can I get you another water, Person Wearing A Red Sweater?"
"Have a nice day, Adult Human."

If someone does not know my name a respectfully said Miss would not bother me. I wouldn't like Sweetheart or Honey though.
post #56 of 101
I don't mind Miss or Ma'am. I dislike being called Mrs. because even though I am married I did not change my last name. So to me, Mrs. Mylastname is my Mom.

I work in academia and people sometimes call me Dr., which I'm totally not. If they are a person I know I won't ever see again, I sometimes won't correct them.
post #57 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post

"Have a nice day, Adult Human."
post #58 of 101
I never minded being called Miss, but now that I'm older, I'm not sure. I hated being called Ma'am when I was still a teen or in my early 20s. I liked being called Miss instead, and I took that to mean I looked younger and unmarried. My older daughter calls all her teachers Ms. Lastname and my younger daughter's teachers are Miss/Ms. Firstname. But the Ms. is pronounced the same as Miss, but my daughter always spells it Ms. and says either you're a Ms. or a Mr. I like that, actually.

I think Miss implies distance and formality, not familiarity, like how a servant might address the children of their employer.

What I think is odd when grocery store clerks look at my name from my credit card on the receipt, and then say have a nice day, Amy.
post #59 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post
No.
The situations described would not bother me or seem disrespectful. What should they say instead? Does it bother you to have people assume your gender or is it something else that makes you feel disrespected?

"Can I get you another water, Person Wearing A Red Sweater?"
"Have a nice day, Adult Human."


If someone does not know my name a respectfully said Miss would not bother me. I wouldn't like Sweetheart or Honey though.

love it.

I will forever more refer to strangers as "adult human"

thank you.

I do not care at all what a stranger calls me... miss, ma'am, honey, sweetie, little lady, sir, sweet thing, whatever. they are strangers and i cannot be bothered enough to get upset with random strangers

but I cannot stand being called "miss jen" by kids. I wouldnt do well in the south I guess.

I want kids to call me jen. Because that is my name. As in my identifying label. But I have all kinds of issues with teaching children to respect all adults.... it puts all adults into an automatic authority figure role and then sets them up to be manipulated or taken advantage of.... or Im just an angry woman. idk
.
post #60 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebecca View Post
I haven't read all the replies yet, but I LOVE to be called Miss, Hon, Dear, Sweetie, etc. It makes me feel young. I HATE to be called Ma'am. HATE HATE HATE it so much I always politely correct the teenage cashier who just doesn't know better, and tell him women prefer to be called 'miss' or not called anything at all. Ma'am is so matronly.
Well, some women prefer it. Not me, and I'm only 29 and look younger. I'd rather ma'am, especially from some random 17 year old, over miss any day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post
"Have a nice day, Adult Human."
I meant to go to bed like 15 minutes ago, but decided to stay up and read this thread instead. So glad I did! This is awesome, and I'd love to try it out at work.

Speaking of at work, everyone gets ma'am or sir from me if they are an adult. I avoid such titles if the person in question is a teenager.

Oh, and sweetie and other such terms of endearment drive me batty, although I can pretty much overlook it when it comes from someone elderly.
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