Why Is Saying “Ma’am” Offensive?
Growing up in Virginia, my parents always made sure that I always said “yes ma’am, no ma’am, yes sir, no sir”. It was a given, it was a must. So, why is it that when I say “ma’am” today, it’s considered offensive?
I remember when I first moved to New Jersey. I walked into a grocery store in Collingswood, and a gentleman held the door for me. My immediate response was: “Thank You Sir”.
He turned around right away, with a look colder then the Phillies off-season. With a firm voice he said, “Don’t call me sir—ever”. I immediately apologized and he repeated the word “ever” to me, just in case I was too deaf from listening to Kid N Play at the highest volume.
It was my first culture shock in South Jersey. What do you think? Is saying the word “Ma’am” or “Sir” offensive?