Saturday, 27 December 2014

Archaic


In Dutch Sir is in common daily use "meneer". A receptionist is calling "meneer Jansen you can go into room number 6 now". Meneer is a degeneration of old Dutch Mijn Heer. And not used anymore, unless religious people address their Lord. But in a time of manors and Lords of manors who had not breakfast, but " broke their fast" it was common daily use. Mijn Heer was a respectful way of talking of a powerful man.

In a play situation my Wanita like to address me as " meester" (master) inside the security of our house, and "meneer"(Sir) or "mijn heer" (Sire) outside. When we are in formal mode speech, every sentence ends with the title. And that can be confusing sometimes.

A few months ago our play had ended. We gone back to regular, unnoticed selves again. We had played for a few hours outside, because there had been too long we could not play inside. So we played the little game of following orders to perfection, and it was mutual fun. But it was time to go home, and all things come to an end. Anyway we are walking on the street and we meet a former colleague of mine. We talk a bit and this man is huge and has like I have a dark voice. At a point my colleague asks her a question and she only answers with "Nee, Mijn Heer" (No, Sire). I have never seen her that red. She kept her eyes on the ground and her head lowered. My colleague only raised her eyebrows a bit as I resumed our conversation.

It is not the first time she has used formal speech in a public situation. But we like our play private as a rule there is too much to lose when narrow-minded people know too much. But every once in a while when we come out of a play situation and we meet a handsome or powerful man, instincts kick in.

6 comments:

  1. And how do you adress Wanita, Han, in formal speech?
    Just curious.

    appy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just by her name, Wanita, Appy. I switch back to the name her mother and father gave her to return to a "normal" situation. When we are in a play situation I call her by the name I gave her: Wanita. It is like a light switch: on and off.

      It works for us sometimes I think it is fun to start and end a game a few times a day when we are in public. She must really concentrate on the name thing....
      On the other hand when she starts with Sir, I respond to her Yes, Wanita?

      If you don't ask, you'll never know. Always ask, I say.

      Han

      Delete
  2. Poor Wanita...I understand she had a red cheeks..
    BTW I like the word " Sire"..very much.
    Take care,
    Mona Lisa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing "poor" about my Wanita, Mona Lisa :-)
      I'm glad you like sire as well as I do. In Dutch it is even more pretty: "mijn heer".

      Wow,
      Han

      Delete
  3. LOL Han...I can understand why Wanita responded as she did. My Matthew had a deep commanding voice and find myself starting to respond in the same way to men with that tone and timber of voice...can be a bit disconcerting. ;)

    Hugs and Blessings...
    Cat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can see that, in fact I saw it happen. My former colleague is a big man with authority, so the mistake was quite natural for her. So much fun it happened to you as well. LOLdieLOLdieLOL.

      Han

      Delete

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