Nope, We Don’t Do It Much

vacation 2016

An honorific is a conventional word, title, or grammatical form that signals respect,politenessor social deference. The honorific is also known as a courtesy title or an address term. Compared to other countries we don’t use a lot of honorifics. Common ones are Mr., Mrs., Miss., Professor, Your Honor, Doctor, Ma’am, and Sir.

Interestingly enough, Ma’am and Sir are mostly used in the South, which is where I’m from. I’ve grown up hearing and using these particular titles.

And of course in our families we use titles to show respect and politeness and to signify the relationship between two people.

I always called my mother Mama and my father Daddy. My grandparents were Ma and Pa. Am I giving away my age with that last one? After I was married my children called my mother and father Grandma and Grandpa.

I only had one sister, and you might expect that my children might call my sister Aunt Anne, but they didn’t. They called her Anne. It was the same way when I was a child. I called my aunts and uncles by their name with no title. I didn’t have an Aunt Ruth. I just had Ruth. I have no idea if this is a typical way to do things or not, but it was the way we did it, and in the present day we still do.

In my family my kids call me Mom and my husband Dad, but everyone else, the daughters-in-law and the grandkids, call us Grandma and Grandpa. My husband sometimes calls me Grandma, and sometimes I call him Grandpa, and unless I’ve forgotten something this is all the titles that we use.

What about your family? Do you use titles or not?

The picture is of our family vacation in 2016.


About Elaine Cantrell

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She has a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America. Her first novel A New Leaf was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Press. When she isn't writing you can find Elaine playing with her dog or maybe collecting more vintage Christmas ornaments
This entry was posted in Elaine Cantrell, Family, Miscellaneous. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Nope, We Don’t Do It Much

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    We don’t say ma’am and sir much, except when we’re working with clients whose names we don’t know. And my generation was taught to always uses Mr. or Mrs. and the last name for people in generations above us, unless the person expressly gives permission to use the first name. Younger generations don’t adhere to that, though.


  2. Jeff Salter says:

    Funny thing about how to address aunts and uncles.
    Growing up we always addressed them as Aunt Luna and Uncle Edgar, and on down the line with the several other couples. Years later, when I was full-grown, mid-twenties, with wife and two kids, I was visiting Luna and Edgar at least once a month, because I had Air Force Reserve drill in their city.
    I started out that renewed relationship by addressing them as Luna and Edgar. One night after I’d gone to sleep, I overheard Luna in the living room complaining to Edgar about how I was addressing them.
    So, beginning the next morning, I reverted to Aunt Luna and Uncle Edgar… and stayed with that form of address from then on.
    I had meant no disrespect, whatsoever… actually thinking of it merely as me relating to them as an adult (instead of a child). But to Aunt Luna, it was evidently a title of respect… and deservedly so.


  3. Lovely picture!
    We never said “sir” or “ma’am” when we were growing up, and very few around us did, which is why when people say it’s going out of style or say it should be kept up, it leaves me stymied. I guess it just depends on where you were raised.
    You reminded me of more that I can add to my already rambling post for Friday.


  4. O says:

    Thank you for sharing!


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