officers are called 'sir'

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by magarity, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. magarity

    magarity Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    When Trip first meets his new captain on the Columbia he actually called her ma'am. No, no, no. Senior officers are called sir regardless of gender. Wasn't there even a scene in Voyager's first episode or so where this was explained for everyone who didn't already know?
     
  2. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    JANEWAY: Gentlemen, welcome aboard Voyager.
    KIM: Thank you, sir.
    JANEWAY: Mister Kim, at ease before you sprain something. Ensign, despite Starfleet protocol, I don't like being addressed as sir.
    KIM: I'm sorry, ma'am.
    JANEWAY: Ma'am is acceptable in a crunch, but I prefer Captain.

    Voy, Caretaker
     
  3. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Maybe it's just his southern charm?

    That was something that annoyed me with Janeway, not wanting to be called "sir". When she was a rank grade lower, did she insist on being addressed as Commandher or Cowomander, so as to offset the 'man' in the title?

    It's protocol dear, just accept it, get over yourself and move on.
     
  4. IndyJones

    IndyJones Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There's no reason why the protocol couldn't change over the 150+ years between Enterprise and Voyager.
     
  5. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Claiming that something cannot be said in Trek because it runs counter to military tradition is just plain crazy.
    I would never call anybody Sir by the way, it is a stupid word from aristocratic times and deserves to die out.
     
  6. Shatinator

    Shatinator Commander Red Shirt

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    You clearly don't live anywhere near the South (US). Most people despite of age use "Sir" and "Ma'am" as a sign of respect. Nothing 'crazy' 'bout it, just being courteous.

    :p
     
  7. Rhaven

    Rhaven Captain Captain

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    I disagree.
    The use of sir, ma'am or miss is just a way of addressing someone you're speaking with.
     
  8. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    First: Earth Starfleet is not the same organization as the Federation Starfleet. The latter is military; the former is not. So protocol is likely to be different.

    Second: Of course Janeway doesn't like to be called 'Sir'. Janeway is female! Sir is a male term. You want to talk to a female superior officer, call her "ma'am", because it bloody well makes logical sense. People outside the military use the word "ma'am", so why shouldn't they use it IN the military?

    Third: 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. :guffaw:
     
  9. Middleman

    Middleman Captain Captain

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    Keep in mind that the Enterprise Era is about 200 years before Voyager.
     
  10. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    It's a stupid word from aristocratic times. Strange that you guys in the US who got rid off monarchies earlier than European on average cherish such non-egalitarian language.

    Furthermore what you said is simply wrong, sir is often used as formal way to address somebody and doesn't imply any respect.
     
  11. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This says far more about you than it does about the current meaning behind the term's usage.
     
  12. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  13. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Sir is still commonly used,
     
  14. Wereghost

    Wereghost Part-time poltergeist Rear Admiral

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    The usage of "sir" for female military superiors in Trek (and BSG) is grating, arguably misogynistic and (as far as I know) possibly Ron Moore's idea as it turned up in TNG once or twice.

    Apparently, though, senior naval officers have traditionally referred to juniors using "mister" regardless of gender, so the cringeworthy use of "Mister Saavik" in whichever movie Saavik first appeared in might not be incorrect.
     
  15. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Referring to a female officer as "sir," is (iirc) the current practice in the United States Coast Guard.

    I very commonly refer to people as sir (or ma'am), it's how I was raised. I use it just about daily with my male friends. Saying something like "Sir, you are wrong," just rolls off the tongue.

    It is even more widely used in Latin America countries, not referring to someone (especially if they are older) as Señor or Señora is very disrespectful.

    Using terms like sir shows that you are bem cultivado (well cultured).

    One of the reasons America separated from Britain was that we didn't feel that we were being treated with respect by Britain, why would we dispense with important societal practice like sir?

    Like it or not, Starfleet is the armed forces of the Federation, they possess a military hierarchy, and military customs and courtesies.

    :)
     
  16. Jimi_James

    Jimi_James Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    If you're uncertain or uncomfortable with using sir or ma'am, you can always address a person by their rank or title. In most cases, unless told to do otherwise, saying "Yes Captain," works just as well as saying "Yes Sir" or "Yes Ma'am."
     
  17. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    I don't speak Spanish but as far as I know these terms mean mister and lady. Nothing wrong with that but sir has more to do with knights and a medieval worldview than with an egalitarian democratic worldview in which equal citizens meet each other eye to eye.

    I referred to the first post, Star Trek is inspired by yet not subject to stupid real-word military customs.
    This is not a trivial matter because the beauty of Starfleet is that it is neither a club of scientists with flat hierarchies nor a contemporary military with all its obscene rituals and relations to violence. Something like Abu Ghraib is not the exception but the truth of the military. Back to Trek if we include Section 31 we have to claim of course that the obscene dark side hasn't vanished but merely been externalized.
    Starfleet sans Section 31 is an organization with steep hierarchies that values discipline yet not brainless obedience and above all it takes its own rules seriously.
     
  18. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Señor can mean Mister or Sir. It never means "Knight."

    They're still subject to the important military customs and courtesies. One example, they still brace to the position of attention, in the very first episode as Picard was touring engineering a crewman very obviously did this, Picard once verbally dress Worf down for not coming to his feet fast enough. When Admiral Necheyev felt it necessary (in Descent) to remind Picard of his professional duty, Picard came to his feet, assumed the position of attention and and responded "Yes Sir."

    That's because there is a military hierarchy. Picard out ranks Worf. Necheyev out ranks Picard.

    You talking about Starfleet, right? When the Federation needs to employ violence (break things and hurt people), they don't tell Starfleet to move to the back, while a separate organization comes out of the wings. Starfleet is the organization who fight the Federation's wars, patrol the boarders, confront the barbarians at the gates.

    Sorry, but yes that was the exception. That why soldiers went to prison, were removed from service and a General lost her rank.

    Just like that present say military.

    :)
     
  19. magarity

    magarity Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    The use of "Mister" to Saavik was completely correct and thus far from cringeworthy. The purpose is to be the exact opposite of misogynic because to refer to all officers with the same term is a psycological reinforcement of equality.

    I must have completely misremembered that Voyager bit if the transcript above is correct.
     
  20. The Borg Queen

    The Borg Queen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Does it matter?
    Why not just say "Yes sir, ma'am." when addressing a female officer?