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Old September 26 2012, 09:08 AM   #29
teacake
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Re: officers are called 'sir'

MacLeod wrote: View Post
scotpens wrote: View Post
Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
. . . Strange as it may seem, there are - or were, I don't know if this shit still goes on - some extremely radical feminist groups who make up words like "womyn" and "herstory" because they don't like any word with "man" or "his" in it.
In civilian life, "sir" is just a polite way of addressing a male who's a stranger to you. It's certainly more courteous than "Hey, dude!"
Agreed, you'll sometimes go into a shop and if an assitant approaches you they might say "Can I help you, sir?" or if female madam might be used. Sure you could use mister or miss instead but to me those terms don't sound as polite.
You only get that in shops that fancy themselves posh here.

The only people I've ever addressed as sir were very old men, as in "excuse me sir" when you want push past them on the escalator. I don't think anyone has ever called me Ma'am.
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