Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,508
# 1 Use of the term "Sir"
12-24-2012, 10:22 AM
So this is a general question.

I have always believed that referring to a Senior Officer as "Sir" is the proper address for both males and females in most military situations.

However, an increasing number of comments I get on Foundry missions run the gamut of "My character isn't a male. Dont call me Sir" , "Not all characters are men. be more gender neutral", "Sir" isn't how I would refer to my female officer" , etc etc etc

So what is it ?

I believe that addressing a senior officer as "Sir" is in fact , gender neutral.

Other opinions ?
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 128
# 2
12-24-2012, 10:25 AM
From what I've heard, it's more proper to call a female officer 'Ma'am'.
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,005
# 3
12-24-2012, 10:28 AM
"Sir" is highly context dependent these days. It's appropriate to address women as "sir" in armed services and sometimes even political positions, but not in civilian or private sector.

Since the vast majority of players come from a civilian life, they see "Sir" a little differently than someone in the military might.

Considering how much traction it's gaining as a gender-neutral honorific in English, though, I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes almost entirely gender-neutral in a couple hundred years.
Career Officer
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 294
# 4
12-24-2012, 10:30 AM
im a navy vet, female officers in the navy are referred to as ma'am. However, this wasn't always so. All officers were addressed as Sir before a big PC move hit the US Military. I *think* some foreign military still address female officers as Sir... i'm a little fuzzy on the details but this goes back to the middle age where knights were/are addressed as Sir. I think Star Trek just rolled with the Sir thing because at the time of TNG, calling an officer ma'am wasn't a requirement... I dunno, may be wrong about that but it sounds about right.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,508
# 5
12-24-2012, 10:30 AM

Star Trek II

Spock : "Very Well, MISTER Saavik. you may Clear all moorings"

"Take her out MISTER Saavik"

From Military Website :

However, recruits of the United States Marine Corps and United States Coast Guard address both male and female commissioned and non-commissioned officers as "sir" in basic training, especially drill instructors (USMC) and company commanders (USCG). Enlisted members of the United States Military always address Commissioned Officers as "sir". During training "sir" is implied and will be replaced by the rank and grade of those addressed after initial indoctrination.

I remain confused.

Last edited by hippiejon; 12-24-2012 at 10:34 AM.
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,977
# 6
12-24-2012, 10:36 AM
Sir if fine. it might be cutting it a bit fine at times but sometimes players expect foundry authors to jump through hoops for them.

if you start using the rank command people will get upset that they roleplay a captain even though their rank is admiral. you use captain, they will get upset you dont use their real rank. honestly it never ends.

House of Cards - Lvl 46 Fed mission
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 378
# 7
12-24-2012, 10:43 AM
Ah, here it is...

I knew I'd remembered something about this from Voyager.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 4,593
# 8
12-24-2012, 10:45 AM
Sir is correct in the military

some (specifically Janeway ) female officers prefer maam

its incorrect but she prefered it

Mister is a neutral term as well

An officer in command of a vessel can always be addressed as "Captain" regardless of rank

and anyone saying "im female not male" probably isn't
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,265
# 9
12-24-2012, 10:46 AM
Jon, I've played your Foundry Missions. They are very good. Don't change anything.

As to "Sir" or not to "Sir", someone once told me...

"Don't sweat the petty stuff, and don't pet the sweaty stuff".

The only way you're going to make everyone happy, is to develop a program to recognize either the characters sex or rank.

btw... My wife, who is U.S. Army, says Sir is the proper address for an Officer. Male OR female.
Ship Dedication Plaque by Voporak

Last edited by oldkirkfan; 12-24-2012 at 10:49 AM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,508
# 10
12-24-2012, 10:51 AM
Originally Posted by kiralyn View Post
Ah, here it is...

I knew I'd remembered something about this from Voyager.
From the thing you quoted :

Janeway: "Ensign, despite Starfleet protocol, I don't like being addressed as 'sir.'"

This would seem to indicate that SIR is indeed Starfleet protocol. Being addressed otherwise was a personal choice by Janeway. As authors we cannot account for your "personal choices" about how you want to be addressed.

It IS seemingly "Starfleet Protocol" to call senior officers, SIR. So, it seems a safe approach to use established Starfleet Protocol.

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