"Miss" being the equivalent of "Sir"

(54 Posts)
heidihole Sat 22-Jun-13 15:11:56

I was reading this article today about the ball boys and girls of Wimbledon.

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2346256/Never-mind-Andy-Murray--ball-girls-boys-REALLY-hell-star-Wimbledon.html?ico=home^editors_choice

I was sad to see that they are all professionally and formally trained to say (for example holding open a door) "after you, Sir" or "after you, Miss"

AIBU to think that the equivalent of Sir is not Miss! It should be Madam or M'am.

quotes from the article:

From the minute they step in here, they’re under no illusions as to what is acceptable, down to tying shoelaces with two knots, addressing us all as “Miss” or “Sir” and opening doors,’ she says.

Goldson trains her ball boys and girls not to chat with the players. If spoken to or asked about a line call, they are instructed to say: ‘I don’t know, Sir/Miss’ — even if they do.

Their backs are straight, their hair is gleaming, their shirts are tucked in, they look you in the eye, smile sweetly and hold doors open with an ‘After you, Miss’.

If I was asked the equivalent of Miss I would say Mr. As in, "Excuse me, Mr, have you got the time please? Excuse me, Miss have you got the time please"

A small thing but irritating me none the less.

I think it probable comes from how teacher are addressed and Miss is easier to say than Mrs, it flows. Also Ma'am is American and being a Madam isn't a compliment.

heidihole Sat 22-Jun-13 15:47:43

Ma'am isn't American! Its the correct way to address the Queen for a start. It comes from the French

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madam

I wouldn't like to be called Miss if my DH was being called Sir.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sat 22-Jun-13 15:50:58

YANBU, and this makes me cross when schools do it, too.

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 22-Jun-13 15:52:00

I just think its part of the culture of the tournament. It's like dance. All dance teachers whether married or single are known as Miss first name

heidihole Sat 22-Jun-13 15:56:37

They may be.... but should they be pictures? smile

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 22-Jun-13 16:06:54

I don't know. My background is drama so I find it a bit strange. But dancers all insist on it so one assumes they like it.

I wouldn't address the Queen as ma'am, she that rich parasite in expensive hats.

Quejica Sat 22-Jun-13 16:16:29

Some male Judges are addressed as Sir, the female equivalent is Madam.

MooncupGoddess Sat 22-Jun-13 16:23:51

Agree, that's wrong. I assume that women teachers are traditionally called 'Miss' from the old days when married women rarely worked (or weren't allowed to!) so all teachers were Miss X - but in this day and age it's hardly a model to follow.

SconeRhymesWithGone Sat 22-Jun-13 16:28:11

I notice that in British crime dramas and fiction, women superiors are often addressed as "ma'am," so it appears to be used in that context.

The use of "ma'am" is not just American obviously, but it is the standard equivalent to "sir" in the US.

TheFallenMadonna Sat 22-Jun-13 16:33:46

Some schools use "Madam". I get the argument in theory, but in practice, for the children using the terms, I think they are equivalent.

kim147 Sat 22-Jun-13 17:17:28

Most schools I work at say Miss. As in Miss, miss.

But I worked at a secondary school where the pupils used Madam.

Beats nursery where the default is "teacher" for any adult in the classroom.

As an aside, it is interesting to hear Americans being interviewed as they commonly use "Maam or Sir" when talkng to interviewers unlike Brits.

Bue Sat 22-Jun-13 19:10:36

I hate that children in schools use Miss as the equivalent of Sir. It is Maam!

kim147 Sat 22-Jun-13 19:14:59

In younger primary, I don't think pupils would use "Sir" - normally it's Mr.

Then again, it's rare to see male teachers in younger primary.

I really don't like the whole sir or miss thing. When I was at school we just addressed all teachers as Mr/Mrs/Miss/Dr/whatever other title they used Surname at all times. We'd never have used sir or miss. It sounds really weird to me when DS1 talks about his teachers as sir or miss.

But I agree miss should not be the equivalent of sir.

olivo Sat 22-Jun-13 19:26:03

I taught at a school where they called us Ma'am, and the men, Sir. I thought the pupils were taking the mick when I first started. It was very normal locally. I was a state school, not private.

Bunnylion Sat 22-Jun-13 21:50:27

Side note - DM continues to call Nigella Lawson "miss Lawson" throughout the recent events in her life.

She's obviously married and has obviously kept her own name. All the newspapers manage to call her Ms except the DM.

Movingtimes Sat 22-Jun-13 21:53:19

I agree. As a teacher I think that being called Miss while male teachers are called Sir does subliminally affect pupils' view of our relative status. I would prefer Ma'am.

heidihole Sat 22-Jun-13 21:53:56

I'm married, and I'm still Miss Hole

Miss or Ms is a personal preference and I don't know that Nigella has ever publically declared which title she uses.

ChunkyPickle Sat 22-Jun-13 22:08:35

Juliet Bravo was always Ma'am (well.. Mum, which confused me for a long time when I was younger).

At my Girls school we were taught to use the teachers names (Mrs X or whatever), as yelling out 'MISSSSS' didn't have the right tone.

Personally I hate Miss too - it has overtures of unmarried spinster governesses trying to get by as opposed to Ma'am which actually has some respect in it. I could be overthinking that though.

megmagmog Sat 22-Jun-13 22:10:52

Agree not "Miss" but rofl at Ma'am! I just don't think there is a female equivalent to Sir, so Miss/Mrs/Ms Surname should be used.

SinisterSal Sat 22-Jun-13 22:18:05

Miss sounds young. It's very important for women to be young.
Sir sounds older and authoritative. Which is most suitable for men.

I really don't understand what's wrong with Mrs Brown, Mr Smith and Miss Jones (all of whom have chosen those titles). Do schools fear that children won't be able to remember their teacher's names?

Or teachers' names for that matter. grin

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