Student or Learner
Is true that calling a married woman, madam is considered impudent? I was told by a friend of mine. If so, how should address a married woman, besides mrs?
In North America, where I have spent two years in the last six, mature women are addressed as ma'am (pronounced 'mam').
I call them that here in the UK. None of them seem to mind.
If it refers to a mature woman, 'a madam' is someone who manages prostitutes.
If it refers to a young girl it means that she is bossy - 'She's a bit of a madam.'
The point of "Madam" is that it can/could be used to address any woman, regardless of age or marital status and even if you don't know her name at all. You would never say "Hello, missus" on its own to someone you don't know. We do use it, but we use it to people we know and in a jocular fashion.
In some places, a woman might be addressed as "Madam" by staff. A waiter at a restaurant might say "Let me show you to your table, Madam" or "Can I take your order now, Madam?"
A member of check-in staff at an airline desk might say "Hello Madam" as a woman approaches the desk and "Thank you Madam. Have a good flight" as the woman walks away.
My entirely personal opinion is that I dislike it. I do not wish to be addressed as "Madam" in any situation. I see no need for any kind of address by someone I don't know. I am quite happy for my waiter or check-in attendant to say "Hi" or "Hello" or "Good evening" and leave it at that. However, I'm well aware that some people would consider that rude.
I do use Sir and Madam for strangers- there may be no need for it, but at least it is showing a desire to be polite.
Well, if I were emsr2d2 and male, I would be deeply offended.