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Posted by marti8a
Thu, May 8, 14 at 10:22
|How do you feel when a young man you don't know calls you a young lady? As in a clerk at a store who says "Hello young lady" or a salesman or even a greeter at church.|
|Take it for some odd lack of manners. They think it is cute, but didn't get the memo. I would be embarrassed for them. When they started per cent off for over 55, I asked one of the clerks why they never mention it. She said because more than once they have been wrong and better safe than wrong.|
|It doesn't bother me at all. Guys say that to women of all ages. I don't see it as being bad manners.|
|Doesn't really bother me (I'm 72) - there isn't any malicious intent in the comment. What DOES get to me is being called a "guy" as in "What can I get you guys to drink" or "Can I bring you guys anything else?" Guys? Really???? Why not simply omit the word - doesn't change the meaning one iota.|
|It's old school gallantry, I'm fine with it. Sometimes I hear 'little lady' as well. (I'm not little). |
But when you look behind what they say, they are making an effort to say something nice, and I think that should be encouraged.
At least it is not one of the youngsters with a cell phone glued to his ear that doesn't even recognize one's existence let alone give any kind of greeting.
|It doesn't bother me. I'd much prefer than to "honey", "babe", "sweetheart". I got all three the other day from a man in one conversation. I hate that. |
|Better than "ma'am" any day.|
|Thanks all. You crack me up too. Boy do I hate "honey" even when it comes from another woman. |
I don't know why my original phrase bothered me, but it did, and does, but I'll try to get over it. My mom's handy man calls her young lady (mom is 83) and then he said it to me too. He says it in a way that is more like he is making a joke. But then the 16+ kid at CVS said it, I thought gee whiz, do I look that old?
|I usually just laugh and take the opportunity to say something about my 8 grandchildren.|
|I'm not quite 50 yet, but I HATE being called "honey", and it frequently comes from sales people much younger that me. It REALLY urks me. |
I consider "maam" good old southern hospitality and don't mind it at all.
|"M'am" is extremely common where I live and work! I do not take offense at all. I don't know if I've ever heard "young lady" here. Maybe it is a regional thing. |
"Honey" or "sweetie" I do not like. I am not your honey or sweetie.
|I'd rather miss than ma'am. |
I don't mind being called young lady.
I do refer to people, men and women as hon or sweetie because I often can't recall their name right away, so it's easier.
I don't mind being referred to as guys as I presume that's gender neutral...I seldom hear guys and gals which would technically be more inclusive.
I do bristle a little at being referred to as girl since I am over 18....
I try not to take offense and try to work from the presumption that people are well intended, and that everyone fights battles daily and needs someone to give them a break, esp about innocent things they say especially if their intention is friendly.
|'Ma'am' is just another way of being polite in the south and is very common. I guess it's what you are used to, so I don't take offense to it at all. I don't hear 'young lady' much, but I do take offense to 'babe' or 'sweetheart', and honey. |
I walked out of a car dealership (and I had intended to purchase) several years ago after about 5 of those from the sales person. Yes, it was a man. He called me later and asked me why I wasn't going to buy the car. I told him. Always wondered if he changed his habits of addressing female customers after that. Doubt it.
|None of it bothers me as it's not intentionally malicious. Dear, honey, sweetie, ma'am, whatever! I don't care. Better than being ignored.|
|I agree with technicolor, I'm embarrassed for them. They think they're being charming and/or witty and they're wrong. To me it's saying "I think you're old and I think I can flatter you by calling you a young lady." |
I much prefer ma'am. If I feel someone is calling me honey or sweetie as a derogatory term - like outsideplaying's ex salesman - then I will answer in kind, but mostly it doesn't phase me (ie. from a waitress, or someone like Annie who doesn't know or can't remember my name).
|I'm not over 50 but wanted to comment on the reference to being referred to as "you guys." To me, that is a colloquial term that was always commonly used when I was growing up as a gender neutral term that means the same thing as "y'all"in the south or "youse" (or is it yous') that my relatives in Ohio always say. |
I don't use that term when speaking with people I don't know but I hear it often in my peer group in conversation like "What are you guys doing for Memorial Day weekend?" which really is asking, what are my family and I or my husband and I doing? I know wait staff often ask that when taking orders but it's not meant to ignore the fact that a woman is part of the group. Kind of like....the students here at the Naval Academy are all called midshipmen, regardless of gender. Women have only been attending the Academy since the late 70s but they don't take offense to the term.
Pomona, I get what you are saying about just omitting the word "guys" but it isn't that easy when it's a phrase you grew up saying, just like someone who says y'all or youse. It's not a conscious thought just a habit.
|I have only been called young lady by men much older than I. I can't imagine any young men I know using that term. |
Speech is very regional!
|Where I'm from, "you guys" is totally age- and gender-neutral, though casual. A waiter could use the phrase in a casual restaurant, but not in a 'tablecloth' place. |
"Young lady" sounds patronizing to me unless the speaker is 20 years older than I am. I'd greatly prefer "Ma'am" or "Miss" or nothing at all. For a group, "Girls" is OK only if spoken by another woman, but not for a man - and particularly not if he's in a superior position. I'd prefer "Ladies" or "Folks" for a mixed-gender group --
|There's a woman at work who calls everyone "hon". It's fine, I know she doesn't mean it in a flirtatious way, although I wouldn't call someone other than my husband "sweetheart", "babe", etc. But like the salesman mentioned above, I do not like that. To me, that was said more flirtatious, or swarmy (LOL I love that word). |
There's an older man at work who calls me "girl"! It doesn't bother me, because I know him and how he is, and frankly, I guess I'm glad he considers me girlish!
|I don't mind being called young lady, and I'm way over 50. I think it's just being friendly. |
DH calls waitresses "dear." I don't like it but I've never told him. (Not jealous, I just think it's an endearing term and not appropriate for strangers.)
|tina I think you meant smarmy but I got where you were going! |
None of the words or phrases bother me really as long as there is no intention to indicate familiarity when there is none. Intention is the subjective factor here but most of the time it's not an issue. I have a totally different list that gets my undies in a bunch - ma'am, miss, honey etc just isn't a deal breaker for me.
|I'm 71 and pretty laid back, but I hate having anyone call me young lady. I agree with Sweeby that it's unbelievably patronizing. How dare you treat me as if I'm so old and out-of-it that I'll be flattered by an obvious lie. Call me Ma'am---that's what I am. Can you tell you hit a nerve?|
|Maybe I have a "don't mess with me" look about me but I don't get called anything. Could also be regional.|
|Wow, you touched a nerve. I HATE being called young lady. Its like calling a fat person Skinny or a big person Tiny. The intent is the opposite of what the person says -- they are drawing attention to the fact that you are old. I once heard someone call an old man who was all bent, had severe age spots and wrinkles galore as Handsome. Excuse me? Do you want to purposely draw attention to his decrepitude? |
I don't mind ma'am in the right situation. It sure was a shock the first time someone called me that.
|That's it exactly dedtired. When that young clerk said that to me, I fumed about it the rest of the day.|
|Speaking of regional speech patterns, did anyone take this quiz on the New York Times? You answer questions about how you say certain things and it pinpoints where you are from (like y'll, youse and you guys" |
It got me, my husband, my dad & my mother in law all correct:
Fun dialect quiz:
|I don't think it's appropriate for a younger person to call someone older than them, "young lady/man". If someone older does, it's fine. |
I don't really let too many names bother me if the tone is right, though I do NOT want to be called Ms. I hate that. It sounds down right rude to me. I'll take Ma'am, anyday over Ms.
Another thing that bothers me are forms that ask your race. You don't see it anymore, but I used to check "other" and added "human" on the line.
|There's a nice young man at Lowe's that calls all the women 'm'lady' with a British accent. Not offensive at all, and I am over 60.|
|In Tx you're Ma'am no matter what your age~I find it very respectful coming from young people. In Ca, you were lucky if you even got a thank you from a young clerk, sometimes older ones also. I'm old school and appreciate manners. Youn lady works just fine.|
|I agree with Pamona: I hate 'you guys'. ( I also do not say youse or youse guys and I am from Ohio.) |
Saying that, I concur with Annie D. Everyone is just trying to get along with everyone and we shouldn't get our feathers ruffled over something that may not offend the next person.
Call me any pleasantry you want. It's better than being called, "You old b***h."
|Aw, that reminds me of my dad. He always used to say that to women (yes, he was way older than they were). Betting he called Ded that at the Gladwyne library at some point. ;)|
|If the tone of voice is pleasant, I couldn't care less what I'm called. |
It's when a young person offers me their seat on a bus or train that bothers this old broad. 58 yrs and fit.
|I feel a tad miffed to be called young lady, since it's apparent that I'm not a young lady, am I supposed to find it funny and giggle..... ? |
I don't say anything and my blood pressure doesn't move a bit , but if I never heard it again, I'd be really happy.
it's a bit condescending when you think about it.
|beaglesdoitbetter - did the quiz and yep got me. Well, the Canadian side of the pertinent area.|
|beagles, I've taken those quizzes before that were spot on, but this one put me in Alabama instead of Texas. Hmmm, don't know which questions it could have been, as in Ben Franklin.|
|Aw, I hope he did, Cyn. I loved the older retired guys who came into the library when I actually was a young lady. They were always sweet. |
Like all good Philadelphians, I say you guys.
|Not in my 50s yet, but not too far off. I've heard all the above terms and the only one that really bothers me is "babe". I'm sorry but to me that is a very impolite thing to call anything and has no endearing qualities to me at all. May have to do with that I'm in a male dominated field and have many male friends and have more heard that term as a "that is a hot woman" and not in an endearing way. |
I've been called m'am since I moved to Texas in my early 20's so don't think much of that one.
|Beagles, that test is amazing! It nailed me down to the city I lived in longest as an adult.|
|Wow, that's a fun quiz Beagles. I liked watching where each answer put me.|
|If a young man called me young lady I'd think his sense of humor was not on the same page as mine but would just ignore. |
The only thing that really bothers me is when young cashiers call me by my first name as on my grocery points card. Being well over 50 I grew up in the era when adults one did not know were never called by their first names. However, I do recognize that times have changed and they are likely told to do it so it's best ignored. For my own peace of mind I ignore a lot!
I was quite surprised recently when the older mechanic checking my tires recently called me Lady as it's not a northern term. Since I've dealt with him before and he's always friendly and helpful I took it as being well-meant.
|We went to a restaurant with DH's aunt, a very proper sort. |
She was called 'Hon' by the waiter who was probably about 20.
She stood up from her chair and turned to face him.
She said, "What is your name, young man?"
He said. "...Jim...?"
She said, "Jim, my name is Mrs. Thomas, and I am 78 years old. It is not appropriate for you to call me or any other female 'Hon' unless she is your girlfriend or your wife."
He quickly apologized.
It was a little awkward, but I think it might be a good thing for him to remember.
I know that I don't like being called 'Hon' either, by anyone. So patronizing!
|If someone calls me "young lady", I think he is clumsily trying to flatter me. And I'm thinking, like hhireno, that he thinks I'm old and he's going to make my day by calling me that. When really I'm thinking- guess what, I'm fine with my age, and I don't need the likes of you to try to make me feel better by pretending you think I'm young-looking!|
|Nancybee summed up my thoughts perfectly. |
Melsouth, tell your husband's aunt to avoid Baltimore, because calling women Hon is part of the lexicon there. They even have a festival.
|Nancybee nailed it and I love Melsouth's DH's Aunt's response-I bet he never forgets that!|
|I dislike all the diminutives strangers call each other. It's obnoxious and patronizing IMO, regardless of the speaker's intent. People cannot address me like that with the impunity they apparently expect for being a friendly buffoon. |
Gosh, maybe that is how I should respond to questions like, "and where does the young lady want to sit"?
Oh, anywhere is fine, friendly buffoon. or
I'll let the happy ignoramus seat me at the end, thank you.
|Oh and yes, you guys...another Philadelphian phrase that I still use-like the football team-the Iggles. :)|
|Hey you guys! I thought of you today. I went to our local market for some take out food (Cyn, it used to be The Delaware Market House), and the young kid at the checkout was about to walk away when he saw me and said "let me help this young lady first." I shoulda clocked him.|
|I was once at the deli counter and a young man behind the counter said to his coworker, "how come you get all the good looking customers." I got a kick out of it. |
I don't like honey or sweety, terms of endearment are just not appropriate.
|There is a male cashier (probably in his 30s) at the small cafeteria at work who will say "young lady" to women who are older than him. He's an absolute sweetheart, so it's difficult to take it personally. I give him a pass. |
As a former Marylander, I have no problem with "Hon."
|I've been calling my kids/grands honey for years and it's just natural that' it would be carried over and used on anyone, and everyone. Calling young men honey has gotten me a smile or two, as though I could be flirting, but I still do it. I *do* try not to call older women honey, since it can seem condescending, especially if she's low on self esteem to begin with. I don't have self confidence issues, and I don't particularly like having another woman my age refer to me as honey or sweetie, either. Two of my DD's are following suite~like mother, like daugher. Older men eat it up! lol|
|I don't care if a woman calls me Hon. It just seems friendly to me. All the female checkers at my supermarket call me Hon. However, it strikes me as demeaning when a man of any age calls me Hon.|
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