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Old September 24 2012, 09:18 PM   #12
Re: officers are called 'sir'

Hardly as there is no equivalent of Sir in my native tongue.
If somebody wants to interview a powerful person from politics or business he will call him sir even if he totally dislikes the interviewee. If I were a journalist and would be able to get an interview with Dick Cheney I would call him sir while believing that he is a dick.

This is hardly surprising, all formal forms of courtesy are basically empty and serve mainly one purpose, to create a necessary distance between people. The best example is when you run into somebody else. You retreat and apologize because you invaded his private space, you recreate the distance, you don't warmly embrace him or her.
Back to sir, I have been called sir once precisely in order to signal the increase of personal distance. We got along well but now I want a slighter cooler relationship.
The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer. - former US Secretary of State and unconvicted war criminal Henry Kissinger
horatio83 is offline   Reply With Quote