[Sca-cooks] OT ... respectful address. longish and meandering.

Georgia Foster jo_foster81 at hotmail.com
Fri Aug 15 05:53:19 PDT 2008

Celia offered (in part):  I have to ask them to be patient and to understand that it's very hard for me, since the words "yes" and "no" don't actually exist in my vocabulary... only the words, ....
I completely LOVE this explaination.  May I borrow it please?  I have struggled with explaining to others that I have extreme difficulty with seperating the words Yes and Yessir.  Often ... folks dont 'get' it.
I was raised from age 18 months to age 6 years by elderly grandparents.  Add that to the fact that I myself am becoming quite geriatric and it is easy to understand that things were very different back then.  Lessons taught but that remained unlearned were re-taught with an accompaning thump to the back of the head followed by the word "Savvy?".  Most lessons so taught did not NEED another re-teaching.  Early on we learned 'yes sir, yes ma'am, no sir, no ma'am.  Thereafter we were expected to use them.  We did.
We were also taught that children were to be seen and not heard, that when someone older than we entered a room we were to stand so that our elders might sit, and a whole host of expected behaviors that indicate respect for those older than we.
We were also taught that any woman who was either married or had a child was addressed as Miss (Given Name).  Further, any woman who was older than we  was similarly addressed, because one just never knows.  (This has been a source of entertainment to some of my older female friends).
Later in life, as I entered military service, those respectful forms of address stood me well.  I never had to learn them as they were following well-grooved trails through my head.  It was very useful during that period of my past.
Now, when someone responds to respectful address, "Don't call me SIR ... I WORK for a living!" I use the phrase "Military Manners have served me well all my life."  I like your explaination better. 
My own children have been taught from the age that they were old enough to form the words the polite forms of respectful address.  The idea has spread through our new neighborhood with all the younger boys with whom my youngest plays refering to the women on our block as "Miss Libby", "Miss Erika", etc.  They don't call me "Miss Jo" because they call me "Miss Thorn's Mom".
ArtemisiaJo (Georgia L.) Foster Never knock on Death's door.Ring the doorbell and run ... he hates that. I don't want to set the world on fire, I'm just trying to light a candle.

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