Friday, February 01, 2008


Is it rude or impolite to answer an adult "yes, Ma'am or yes, Sir?" I had lunch yesterday with a woman who moved here about 18 months ago from the Atlanta area. She has four kids. Her 10 year old daughter was scolded in front of her whole class by her teacher when she answered her teacher with a "yes, Ma'am." The teacher told her she wasn't old and she shouldn't say that. The class laughed at the girl and the girl cried.

Now, if that were MY daughter, I would have been at that school the very next morning to have a chat with that teacher. What do you think? I know in the South, it is considered polite and respectful to answer an adult that way.


Cheryl Wray said...

Oh my gracious...I would have been up at that school RIGHT THEN and given that teacher a little lesson in Southern hospitality. I just cannot imagine!!!!!! Down South, it's the get in trouble if you don't say it!! (Although I have to say it still takes me aback a little bit when people call me "Ma'am," I guess because I don't feel that old. But, it's totally a sign of respect!!!) Tell your friend that we from the South are proud that she raised her daughter to be polite (and to go give that teacher a major talkin-to!).

Auburn Kat said...

Well, seeing as I grew up in the Northeast and have lived in the South, I have noticed that EVERYONE here says "sir" and "Ma'am". There are very few people in the Northeast that say that a lot as they can take it to mean that they are old, it's seen as something very formal. When people call me Ma'am I do feel old, HOWEVER I would keep my mouth shut about it!!! That is absurd that the teacher made the little girl cry, especially over the little girl just trying to be polite!!!

Char said...

Even in South Africa that isn't considered rude! Weird teacher that. I would have been right at that school's front door waiting the following morning. With you. And a bone cruncher. Just kidding!