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When I was in high school, it was a common gesture of respect to refer to a female teacher as ‘Miss.’ And when I was in the final year or so, it felt all the more appropriate because by then, the teachers were not much older than we were.
They were in their early twenties and fresh from college. But nowadays, when one is in another social setting and you just want to be polite to someone without offending her, and you are not certain of her age, do you say Miss or Ma’am.
Because Ma’am might seem rather offensive if the person you are addressing does not consider herself old enough to be labelled with such an endearment. What if she does not have too many grey hairs on her head or does not seem mature enough for you to refer to her as Ma’am.
Some persons might take it lightly and merrily go their way, while others might sit and wonder if indeed, they do like a Ma’am. And if they take it seriously enough, such women might want to take a look into the closest mirror they can find, engage in a massive makeover, or pay a visit to the nearest make up counter.
Some young women in our midst do not take too well to the Ma’am reference, especially if they do not think they are old enough to be greeted by it
So what’s a person to do? To be on the safe side, using the Miss reference will bring a smile to any woman, any day. It’s less offensive than using Ma’am, especially if you are uncertain of the age of the woman you are about to address.
Peace and unity begin with all of us- Judy Ramsook