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Old September 28 2012, 01:54 PM   #58
teya
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Re: officers are called 'sir'

iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
You are right, language changes and evolves.

Maybe it's really a matter of language internalization. As foreign speakers, we look at words from a slightly different perspective. Having learned the meaning and origin of the word before getting accustomed to use it, all meanings are present to me at the same time, without any specific order of precedence: the common form of courtesy, and the aristocratic title. For native speakers, who started using the word before they learned the specific etymology, the use as common form of courtesy is overwhelmingly dominant, and you don't ever think about the aristocratic title when adopting it.

All in all, a very interesting discussion about the use of languages, and different perspectives on it.
Good point. I'd also add that in the States, where the class system is more fluid (no hereditary titles), we don't even think about social rank when using "sir" or "ma'am."
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