1. Tales
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    Tales Member

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    Addressing elders

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Tales, Feb 21, 2009.

    Hi I am from an asian country and I noticed that people usually have honorifics.etc.... when they address people.

    But in english do they have these kinda things? I address Mummy, Daddy, Grandpa, Grandma needless to say but what about elder brothers or sister.etc
     
  2. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    In english there are several honorifics. The following five are typically used for parents, elders, or people in positions of authority (but they are often used to refer to generally anyone I remember adults calling me Mr. when I was seven).

    Mister (Mr.): A man.
    Sir: Pronoun for a man.
    Miss(Ms.): A woman, usually unmarried.
    Mistress(Mrs., pronounced in english as "Misses"): A married woman usually.
    Ma'am/Madam: Pronoun for a woman.

    There's also titles like Chairman, Doctor, military ranks, etc. We don't have a honorific for siblings though. In english we typically refer to our siblings by name (in America at least in my experience. I don't remember any honorifics from my brief years that I lived in Britain either though). I know in many parts of America we just don't use honorifics as much as we used to. Most kids refer to their parents as mom and dad, and grandparents as grandma and grandma. We only really use the honorifics when referring to individuals with authority like teachers or officials.
     
  3. Tales
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    Tales Member

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    thank you lord of the hats.... here's one for you

    [​IMG]
     
  4. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Awesome :p
     
  5. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    In my other language, Turkish, we address people, sometimes strangers, as Aunt, Elder Sister, Elder Brother etc to be polite--is that the sort of thing you mean? We don't really have this in formal English when we speak to strangers.

    For members of our family, yes, we use the first 4 things above, but in formal English not sister, brother, cousin etc. But this depends on the region and country you are from. E.g. in Britain we very rarely say 'grandpa John' or 'cousin Sara' but this seems common in some areas of the US.
     
  6. Leo
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    Leo Senior Member

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    I've never really though about it before, but in England we generally address people in generations above with family names eg. mum and dad, aunt and uncle, grandma and grandad. But in the same generation, or those below, ie. siblings, cousins, children, grandchildren, we use the first name.
     
  7. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, reagrdless of age, whether they are older or younger, in English there is no particular way of refering to syblings. Generally just the name will be fine, though occassionally you might run into people who use bro/sis, with or without big/little in front of it.

    What people call their parents/grandparents also varies depending on the person's personality, where they live, and cultural background. Except for young children, you won't find a lot of people calling their mother Mommy, but some girls will call their father Daddy. I called my mother's mother gramma because it suited her and her background was purely British/Irish. My fathers parents I call Buba (grandma) and Zayda (grandpa) because I'm Jewish and those are the Yiddish/Hebrew words for grandmother and grandfather.
     

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