Sir and/or Mam...

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Mem, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. Mem

    Mem
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    Yesterday I saw a person and did not know if it was male or female. I feel bad for service employees that are told to say "sir" or "mam" to a customer.

    Once on Mad About You they had a funny episode where the main character gave his seat on the bus to a pregnant lady. That's what he thought, but it was actually a man, :biggrin1:
     
  2. D_Tintagel_Demondong

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    Isn't it Ma'am?

    Sounds like you saw a 'Pat'.
     
  3. IntoxicatingToxin

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    I've been confused for a guy a couple times in my life... most commonly when I had my head shaved. I'm not very feminine, I don't dress real girly... so you shave my head, throw a baseball cap and an oversized hoodie on me, and yeah, I look like a guy. :tongue: Other than that, it hasn't happened since I was a little kid and went through a series of very boyish haircuts. lol. When I worked in the service industry, I always used "sir" and "ma'am" unless I wasn't sure about the sex of the person... in which case I refrained from using anything gender-specific, and was just extra polite to them instead so they'd forget about the lack of a proper title. :tongue:
     
  4. Mem

    Mem
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    One time I was working in a restaurant and a butch Lesbian was dining with a fem one.

    One of the employees there thought it was a guy. I guess him being straight it was hard for him to tell.
     
  5. cockoloco

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    LOL I remember that episode! haha

    but yes, it has happened to me that I don't know if its a man or a woman. I mean, I really don't care, but there were times where I had to say the word He, She or any other gender related words, but in the moment I just try to say the same thing otherwise.

    It has happened to me mostly with young people....
     
  6. IntoxicatingToxin

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    I don't think the waiter's sexuality had anything to do with his ability to tell whether it was a guy or girl.
     
  7. Mem

    Mem
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    I do. I think many str8 people just assume that if a person dresses or looks masculine that they are male. While a gay person is more likely to know what is going on. (plus we have better gaydar)
     
  8. B_Austin Blue

    B_Austin Blue New Member

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    People are people - gender is stupid anyway.
     
  9. flame boy

    flame boy Account Disabled

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    When I used to work in retail I was sometimes confused for a chick - I don't know what it was but occasionally I would confuse people.

    If I can't tell if it's a man or a woman, I just avoid gender specifics and go for the neautral.
     
  10. dong20

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    :confused: To worms and other hermaphrodites it's irrelevant, but Humans ...?

    First person neuter for a person?
     
    #10 dong20, Jul 3, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  11. ManlyBanisters

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    I think you might mean third person neuter, no?

    And anyway - 'gender' is a grammatical concept and I doubt worms give a shit - being male and being female is a question od 'sex', not 'gender' - strictly speaking. Unless the meaning of the word has changed since I was schooled.
     
  12. mista geechee

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    Male - possessor and producer of the mobile gamate. Can be an enite organism , or part of one (asexual).

    Female - possessor of the ova (eggs). but some can reproduce without a male (again , asexual) , some can do both.

    The meaning of these words go no farther than your role in reproduction. At least in their denotation.
     
  13. dong20

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    Well, yes and no (hence my edit) I guess I really meant the 2nd person. In the third person they could be referred to as 'the customer' or such like. When addressing them directly how would one address a person if Sir or Madam was precluded and a degree of formality was required - thank you 'esteemed customer'? I guess that works but ... Most (but not all) 'formal' titles in English are gender based. It could be easier to omit the title entirely of course but that ducks the issue raised by the OP when that wasn't an 'option'.

    Yes ... but I'd argue it also depends on how one defines and uses the term gender:


    Gender

    • noun 1 [SIZE=-1]Grammar[/SIZE] a class (usually masculine, feminine, common, or neuter) into which nouns and pronouns are placed in some languages. 2 the state of being male or female (with reference to social or cultural differences). 3 the members of one or other sex.

    [SIZE=-1]— DERIVATIVES[/SIZE] gendered [SIZE=-1]adjective[/SIZE].

    [SIZE=-1]— USAGE[/SIZE] The words gender and sex both have the sense ‘the state of being male or female’, but they are typically used in slightly different ways: sex tends to refer to biological differences, while gender tends to refer to cultural or social ones.

    [SIZE=-1]— ORIGIN[/SIZE] Old French gendre, from Latin genus ‘birth, family, nation’.


    OED

    I was using it in a primarily sexual context, that in the absence of gender, 'sex' has a somewhat different meaning for worms than humans. It was a throwaway comment really. :smile:
     
    #13 dong20, Jul 3, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  14. Mem

    Mem
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    Do you mean odd sex? :biggrin1:
     
  15. Viking_UK

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    I've occasionally been mistaken for a woman, which I find a bit strange, given that I'm 6'2" with stubble, but I suppose a lot of people see long blond hair and make assumptions.
     
  16. Northland

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    I hadn't thought of it as stupid-however you did reach into my mental thought connective tissues: Male/Female Labeling I still tend to see it as discriminatory, which, when I think about it, is stupidity at its ultimate low. As soon as a tag-whether it be gender or race-is attached, elements of seperation move in.
     
  17. Mr. Snakey

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    This has happened to me more than a few times over the years. Thinking the person was a man and they were a woman. A honest mistake.
     
  18. D_Bob_Crotchitch

    D_Bob_Crotchitch New Member

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    Very wise there Meg.
     
  19. D_Bob_Crotchitch

    D_Bob_Crotchitch New Member

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    Please refrain from using the term neuter on a site full of men. haha
     
  20. D_Bob_Crotchitch

    D_Bob_Crotchitch New Member

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    Maybe it was because they had a big bulge. :wink:
     
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