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  1. #1
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    Default How to address a woman

    Formally, I can address a man by "Sir" or "Mister". However whenever I have addressed women by "Ma'am" they seem offended and tell me not to address them this way. I don't know any other word by which to address women. Could you please tell me?

    Informally I can address a man by "fella", "buddy", or "dude". How do I address females informally? "Gal?"

    Thanks
    Last edited by stefan_kar; 17-May-2009 at 13:47.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to address a woman

    Just say "miss.." which is friendly and reasonably polite. I don't suggest "my darling."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How to address a woman

    Thank you.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How to address a woman

    When I say "Miss" should I also add her name, or is that not compulsory?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How to address a woman

    You don't have to have the name there.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How to address a woman

    Just to be clear...

    If you know the name, say a man is Mister X. His wife is Mrs. X, and his daughter is Miss X, unless she's married, in which case she would be Mrs. Y. It used to be that his son was Master X, but that is no longer the case. Today we also have a third term for some professional women whose marital status is unknown: call her Miz N.

    If you're on the street or in a place of business and wish to politely address a stranger, you know that men can be hailed as "Excuse me, Sir!" or "Excuse me, Mister!" If it is a woman, "Excuse me, Miss" would be appropriate for a younger woman or a woman in a service occupation (Miss, Misses. The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993), while "Ma'am" might be more suitable for an older woman. Some professional women might take offense at being called "Miss" if they feel you are demeaning their experience and abilities; you might try calling them "Miz" or "Madam". Please read about the term "madam" here: madam, ma'am, madame, mesdames. The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993. Depending on context, "Lady" might be appropriate: "Hey, Lady, you forgot your purse!" However, to some women the term "Lady" implies a particular status of refinement, nobility or wealth, and if they do not have that particular status can act as a statement of ridicule. You can say, "Yes, Miss" but not "Yes, Lady". If you wish to be romantic, old-fashioned and chivalrous you could address a woman as "milady", though depending on context again she may laugh at you or take offense. American culture generally avoids the issue by being quite informal and dropping such forms of polite address whenever possible.

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    Default Re: How to address a woman

    Good reply. And true, but still it's useful to point out that Ms. (mizz) was designed to sound like Miss and Mrs, a blurring of the boundaries... so if you call out "Miss" to a young woman, she like any human being will wonder "does he mean me, or someone else?" before wondering "Is he assuming I'm married, single, young, old or a feminist?"

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How to address a woman

    Thank you for the great reply nonsense.

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