[Ads-l] unisex "Sir"

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Wed Nov 11 11:54:21 UTC 2015


I suspect the usage is more widespread among screenwriters. I'm not so sure about the general population. You wouldn't dare call a female officer "sir" in the US military, for instance.

The first time I heard it was in the 1982 movie "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan," when several crew members address Lt. Saavik, played by Kirstie Alley, as "sir." The usage became rife in the Star Trek verse following this. Although, there is an episode of "Star Trek: Voyager" where Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) objects to being addressed as "sir," despite it being Star Fleet protocol to do so. (She doesn't like to be called "ma'am" either.) 



-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Jonathan Lighter
Sent: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 10:40 PM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: unisex "Sir"

Supergirl, of course, takes place now, rather than in a sci-fi future.

So I suspect the usage is more widespread.

JL

On Tue, Nov 10, 2015 at 10:19 PM, W Brewer <brewerwa at gmail.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       W Brewer <brewerwa at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: unisex "Sir"
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> ---------
>
> Strange how we still pass out Master's degrees to the ladies. 
> Something should be done about that.
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



--
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


More information about the Ads-l mailing list