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'ma'm pronounciation

Posted by James Briggs on April 05, 2003

In Reply to: 'ma'm pronounciation posted by Word Camel on April 05, 2003

: : : : : Princess Anne will be visiting in my area later this month. (I live in horse country ? Kentucky.) The people in charge of media coverage sent out an overwrought advisory about what was going to happen and when. All through the document they referred to her as ?Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne.? Surely that can be shortened a bit on second reference. How are royal titles/names handled in the British press?

: : : : That's her full, formal, title. Mostly she's called Princess Anne in the British media. For instance, she visited a large RAF Transport base near me a couple of days ago. All the local TV coverage called her simply 'Princess Anne'. Only rarely do you hear her full titles mentioned.
: : : : Hope this helps.

: : : When actually speaking to her, 'Ma'm' is generally acceptable or, perhaps, 'your royal highness' in certain special circustances. I'm pretty certain that all my local RAF folk - the base is, incidentally, heavily engaged in the Iraq war - called her 'ma'm'

: : Here in Kentucky we call all grown women ma'm, so that will be no problem.

: When British people say it though it rhymes with 'prom'. In the South it rhymes with 'ham'. Is it definitely the same word?

The pronunciation is either 'mam' - like 'jam' or 'marm' - like 'harm'. Most people seem to prefer the 'jam' version, but I suspect the 'harm' one is regarded as more correct!