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Re: "Madam"/"Madame" Chair/man/person (was: Umlauts)

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Thursday, October 30, 2003, 20:10
En réponse à Mark J. Reed :

>To take this a bit further off-topic (sorry) - what's with the ><Madam>/<Madame> spelling difference? > >I was taught that a "madam" (or several "madams") ran a whorehouse, >while "Madame" (or several "Mesdames") was the title form. But it >seems that "Madam" is used all the time in titles, including that >of Madeleine Albright's book, _Madam_Secretary_. > >So what's the straight dope? :)
The opposite! I've always seen "Madame" (obviously from French, and stressed on the last syllable) for the female boss of a brothel, and "Madam" (stressed on the first syllable, and easily becoming "Ma'am") for titles. I think you got your facts inversed somehow, or at least the person who taught you that got their facts incorrectly. And think about it: French is quite commonly associated with sex in the English language (French kiss, French letter, etc...), so it makes more sense to have "Madame" for the boss of a brothel :) . For once that English is consistent in something :)) . Christophe Grandsire. You need a straight mind to invent a twisted conlang.


John Cowan <jcowan@...>