March 31, 2021 7:11 pm at 7:11 pm #1961563
Is being knighted “sir” only a British thing?
If so what is the American version?March 31, 2021 8:14 pm at 8:14 pm #1961646
In America every man is a Sir.March 31, 2021 8:15 pm at 8:15 pm #1961650DovidBTParticipant
The American version is having a lot of money.March 31, 2021 8:15 pm at 8:15 pm #1961649akupermaParticipant
The US equivalents were abolished in 1776. The United States is a republic (small “r”, and proud of it).
The only title of address is for a male is “Mister” (even “Mister President”). Attempts to have something more Brit-like fizzled out by the 1790’s (exception: calling judges “Your Honor”, calling elected officials “the honorable”, and lawyers using “esq” after their names).April 1, 2021 8:03 am at 8:03 am #1961734
On Fifties TV shows children address their fathers as “sir”. I was stunned as I did not nor did anyone I know. In the South it is common. Similarly, formal letters are often addressed “Dear Sir”.April 1, 2021 8:07 am at 8:07 am #1961745
Ah right all seems a bit weird tho how du call trump after his presidency!April 1, 2021 9:06 am at 9:06 am #1961766
America is an am rek, lack of respect, common to call everyone with one’s first name.April 1, 2021 9:16 am at 9:16 am #1961770
Trump does not deserve any respect because he runs after it.April 1, 2021 10:14 am at 10:14 am #1961773
Yt, in order to call Trump you have to get his phone number.April 1, 2021 10:15 am at 10:15 am #1961777
For most former government officials (especially elected and senate confirmed positions) we use the honorific “honorable” and sometimes the title. Some former bureaucrats cling to their titles and its silly. Also silly are those so insecure that they insist on using their doctoral degree (non-medical) so you have no clue if you are meeting an historian or proctologist.April 1, 2021 10:23 am at 10:23 am #1961775
Eliezer, not only Americans. I have noticed that British interviewers also address interviewees by their first names even if they have titles such as Doctor, Professor, or Rabbi (Rabbi Sacks zatzal was addressed by an interviewer as “Jonathan”).April 1, 2021 11:07 am at 11:07 am #1961795
Germans are notorious for insisting on use of their titles (including non-medical doctorates.)April 1, 2021 2:38 pm at 2:38 pm #1961823
UJM: The yekkeshe obsession with titles can go from the silly to the absurd. In the German system it is not uncommon to list all honorifics, so something like Prof Dr. Dr. Dr. Deutchkopf would be someone with a single professorship and 3 doctorates. Sometimes you would see that as Prof DDDr. Deutchkopf. If the herr honorable Dr.Dr.DRDeutckopf got a fourth doctorate, I imagine the honorific would change to Prof. Dr. mult. Deutchkopf.April 1, 2021 2:43 pm at 2:43 pm #1961824
In fairness though, frum yidden have their own hierarchy of honorifics for our gadolim which is sometimes confusing in terms of which honorifics, in what sequence are applicable to which rabbonim…aka Ha’rav, Hagoen, etc. etc.April 1, 2021 6:00 pm at 6:00 pm #1961898Always_Ask_QuestionsParticipant
>> yekkeshe obsession
As in early days of Israel 2 yakkes working in construction – please pass the brich, Herr Porfessor; here it is, Herr Porofessor.
>> frum yidden have their own hierarchy of honorific
R Kamenetsky’s son writes in the preface to his book: I am putting R in front of the names, and you feel free to read as you wish: Reb, Rav, Rebbe, Rav HaTzadik, etcApril 1, 2021 6:01 pm at 6:01 pm #1961891DaMosheParticipant
In the US Military, “Sir” is used when addressing a superior officer.April 1, 2021 6:01 pm at 6:01 pm #1961876
The formalized title is, indeed, a British thing. However, it’s common usage is not. I use “sir” with just about anyone outside my immediate circle of family and friends (and sometime even within… I’ve been known to say “Thank you, sir” to my sons when they do something for me). I even use it for kids, saying “Thank you, sir,” when they hold the door open for me or something else.
The WolfApril 1, 2021 7:25 pm at 7:25 pm #1961933
Wolf that’s quite amusingApril 1, 2021 7:25 pm at 7:25 pm #1961932lakewhutParticipant
Biden and Obama killed whatever respectability America has.April 2, 2021 12:07 am at 12:07 am #1961954
Wolf, do you speak to your daughters and wife with “Thank you, ma’am”, in similar circumstances?April 4, 2021 9:06 pm at 9:06 pm #1962200
I know someone whose wife sent a check to some tzedaka organization. She received a computerized acknowledgment addressed to הרב. She said that she was insulted that they didn’t write הרב הגאון. On the other hand, some say that a gaon is someone who never heard of Rashi or Tosafot. There is also ה”ה (ha’adon hanichbad) Some say that there is also ה”ה”ה”ה
(הבל הבלים הכל הבל).April 6, 2021 9:02 pm at 9:02 pm #1962865RobertParticipant
“Sir” in English is a form of personal address, more respectful than “hey, what’s-your-name”. Being knighted by a monarch also conveys it as an honorific (mistakenly called a “prefix” to a name) like Mister, Miss, Doctor… eg. “Sir James”
In the military, it’s also a form of address to a commissioned officer but when asked as a question “Sir?” it is a respectful way of expressing confusion about an order given by or statement made by a superior officer or it can be a subtle but nominally respectful way of disagreement with a superior officer through feigning confusion, sort of an implied “Sir, have you really thought this through?”April 6, 2021 9:21 pm at 9:21 pm #1962871
The RMA in the first teshuva writes in the title according to everyone’s level of respect. לפי מדריגתוApril 7, 2021 1:58 am at 1:58 am #1962901
Wolf, I know people who said “Sir” and “Madame” to their kids sarcastically.
Robert, in NYC they say “Hey Mac”. The response is “hay is for horses”.April 7, 2021 2:14 am at 2:14 am #1962904
On the other hand, if a person is a Spanish speaker he might mean “there is” or “there are”.April 7, 2021 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm #1963083dalia12Participant
news flash: in britain, even if someone is knighted, thats only a formal title most ppl dont address them as sir. idk abt in america but i do know that in england in boys skls they have to address male teachers as sir or rabbi (in some cases)April 12, 2021 10:37 am at 10:37 am #1964201
Wolf, I know people who said “Sir” and “Madame” to their kids sarcastically.
I never use the term sarcastically.
The WolfApril 12, 2021 1:56 pm at 1:56 pm #1964226
Wolf, as I asked you above, do you utilize “ma’am” with your female immediate family as you do “sir” with your male immediate family?April 13, 2021 12:25 am at 12:25 am #1964286
Wolf, as I asked you above, do you utilize “ma’am” with your female immediate family as you do “sir” with your male immediate family?
Interesting question. No, I can’t say that I do.
The WolfApril 13, 2021 11:10 am at 11:10 am #1964463
Wolf, perhaps you should start doing so.April 13, 2021 2:45 pm at 2:45 pm #1964512
Just to note I was being rhetorical. I’m only trying to understand the logic. Explaining the differences between using one but not the other might address the subconscious motivation.April 13, 2021 7:02 pm at 7:02 pm #1964609Shmili_OOngarParticipant
Actually, this might be a weird thing, but in my yeshiva we call all of the English teachers “Sir”, as in “Sir, what’s the assignment today?”. It’s actually a lot easier than calling them by Mr. and then their full last nameApril 13, 2021 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm #1964654Always_Ask_QuestionsParticipant
ujm >> do you utilize “ma’am” with your female immediate family as you do “sir” with your male immediate family
good question, maybe this: Torah imeha v’musar aviha and kibed et …? Musar may be more associated with discipline and hierarchy, so “sir” would be appropriate. Our attitude towards mothers is different, so maam may be less appropriate.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.