kis·met \ˈkiz-ˌmet, -mət\ - noun; often capitalized
1. fate.
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"We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language.
That may be the measure of our lives." - Toni Morrison

"Growing up Southern is a privilege, really. It's more than where you're born; it's an idea and state of mind that seems imparted at birth. It's more than loving fried chicken, sweet tea, football, and country music. It’s being hospitable, devoted to front porches, magnolias, moon pies, coca-cola... and each other. We don't become Southern - we're born that way." - Unknown

09 January 2010

mind your manners

Having now successfully completed the first week of classes for the semester, I feel a sense of semi-relief; these classes are going to turn out alright. I also made some interesting observations.

While I'm aware that Southerners are known for their politeness and manners when speaking to their elders/superiors, etc, the lack of respect from student to professor seen this week really astounded me. Isn't it common courtesy to at least say "yes" to someone who is an authority figure, or does the rest of the country and world just not care about respecting your elders? I heard so many "yeahs" "mh-hmhs" and "uh-huhs" this week where there should have been "yes ma'ams" and "yes sirs". It baffles me. If I dared {which i never did} say anything other than the latter two in school when I was growing up, I would have been in some seriously big trouble. I say 'yes ma'am' and 'yes sir' to my professors and they tell me how much they're impressed by it, and how much they appreciate the respect and politeness.

Why hasn't the rest of the country caught on to this? Where is their sense of respect? Do they even have one?

4 comments:

Mrs. Davis @ The Carolina Housewife said...

Well, for one, you go to school in Utah, not down South. So that explains some of it. Most likely these same people saying, "uh huhhh" to their professors have a lack of respect problem in general. I also say "yes sir" and "yes ma'am," especially to elders, teachers, professors, and doctors.

People just don't act like that around here. And if they do, they get a stern look from an elder. I'm sure you know the look I'm referring to. :-P

lotusgirl said...

Well, some of my western friends, esp. the ones from CA, see using "yes, sir" etc. as disrespectful. It's the sort of thing they would say sarcastically. When I heard that I thought it was so wild. It means opposite things from one end of the country to the other.

Karen said...

When I was growing up if you said yes ma'am or yes sir you could be accused of being a smart mouth. However, it was customary to say "yes" as opposed to uh huh. So I guess it really does depend on where you live.

Brittany said...

I agree! I was never allowed to say anything less then sir or ma'am. Why do you think the military enforces people to say it? It is the best way to show respect. I have a friend from Cali that has never used either term in his life. I about fell over when he told me. I couldn't believe it!