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Is Calling a Woman Ma'am Offensive?

How Do You Feel About Being Called Ma'am?

About once a week, when I head to Jamba Juice, the guy behind the counter — without fail — will call me ma'am. While I realize the word, which is derived from the French "madame," is meant to be respectful and friendly, I can't help but feel anything but ancient whenever the words are uttered.

"Miss" is a more youthful term, and the shift from being called "miss" to "ma'am" is a subtle sign that I'm no longer 18. It's not a huge deal, and yet it needles me. How about you? How do you — or would you — feel about being called ma'am?

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