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Please get my title right!
02 April 2007 ~ 11:05Over the last couple of years, I have noticed that it has become increasingly common for call centre workers, or any kind of customer-oriented workers, to refer to me as 'Mam.' My mother has experienced this too. Only this morning at the train station, a ticket inspector said to me 'Thank you Mam' after I showed him my ticket.
This is really beginning to tick me off.
The correct polite form of address for a woman in Britain is and has always been 'Madam.' In America it is 'Ma'am.' But this 'Mam' is something that seems to have originated with Indian call centres and now many service industry workers of Asian extract use this term.
The word 'Mam' is actually used in the North of England instead of 'Mum' to refer to one's mother. I actually find it rather insulting to be refered to in this way. I wonder - who on earth tells these employees that this is the way to address British women? Whoever it is clearly has no idea what they are talking about.
It's beginning to annoy me so much that I think I'm going to start correcting these employees. After all, if nobody tells them they may never realise that they have got their etiquette totally screwed up.