In a jam with the royal ma’am?

April 27, 2011

Blog Guy, you have to help me. That royal wedding is in two days, and I don’t know how to act around the queen! Our invite hasn’t arrived yet, but we live in rural Indiana, and mail takes a while to get here.

Um, could you even get from Indiana to England in time?

I think we could if we went first class, which I believe goes faster.

Ah, of course. Well, you’re in luck. We’ve just run yet another etiquette piece, specifically advising lower class losers on how to behave around royalty.

Let’s see, here’s something useful from it. “Naturally, if The Queen offers to shake hands, you should reciprocate with a gentle handshake (no vigorous hand pumps).”

So I guess I shouldn’t high-five her, then?

It doesn’t say, but what could it hurt?

Our etiquette piece goes on to say, “If you find yourself in conversation with The Queen it is customary to address her as ‘Your Majesty,’ and subsequently as ‘Ma’am’ (to rhyme with jam).”

But how else would you pronounce ‘Ma’am’?

It doesn’t say, but remember, these etiquette pieces are aimed at serious dimwits, who may then wonder how to pronounce “jam.”

Anyhow, here would be a sample conversation with the Queen:

* * * * * *

“Real nice wedding, Your Majesty! You think the rain will hurt the rhubarb?”

“I shouldn’t have thought so, Bob. Would you care for some more of these spicy chicken wings?”

“No way, I’m about to barf already, Ma’am!”



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Top: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth (L) and Prince Charles attend the Braemar Gathering, in Braemar Scotland September 4, 2010. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Right: Kate Middleton, fiancee of Britain’s Prince William, reacts to the crowd during a visit Witton Country Park in Darwen, northern England April 11, 2011. REUTERS/Alastair Grant/Pool

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BG: you have so much helpful etiquette advice to offer.
You really are full of it…

I could have passed on this kilt photo, though.

And now I want to bake a rhubarb custard pie!

Doughnuts! Get your hot doughnuts here!

Posted by Onedoor | Report as abusive

It might help to think of ham. After all, even dimwits like ham! Just look at me – I love ham, and there is a real chance that I don’t even know what jam is!
How many clams for a first class ticket from Kokomo to London anyway?

Posted by Jibberish | Report as abusive

I think around 15,000 gold clams should suffice, Jibberish…
Oh, if dimwits like ham, then that means i am NOT a dimwit..
whew, thats a relief!!
Always a pleasure seeing Goofy Prince Charlie…

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Yes. The O title is only used in addressing Canada.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Queen seems to be enjoying. 😛

Kate..ah that’s whole different level..*dreams*

Posted by fwd079 | Report as abusive

Something else you could say to the Queen:

“I do not like green eggs and ham;
I do not like them, Ma’am-I-Am.”

Thanks for getting me today’s Kate fix, BG.

Oh, and one other point of etiquette: never, ever, EVER initiate a conversation with the Queen. She will address you first, after which you may compliment her on the outstanding reception.

If you haven’t seen Stephen Colbert’s two-part series on meeting the queen, go find it on the show’s web site. It’s pretty funny.

Posted by skeres | Report as abusive

Her Royal Highness looks so cranky because she can’t experience the joy of having you put one up high, then down low, then faking you out for being too slow.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Thanks , nice 😉


Posted by erdek | Report as abusive

the ‘ represents a glottal stop in some cultures, or even a clicking sound. Some Africans would interpret Ma’am as Ma Am, two syllables.

ISn’t English a wonderful language? even our punctuation messes things up!


Posted by REDruin | Report as abusive

Chuckie’s happy ’cause he gets to wear a skirt in public.
HRH is looking rather grim. Maybe because she got stuck sitting next to the dude in a skirt…

Posted by AllThatJazz | Report as abusive

@jclimacus: Good quiz! May I add a fifth option?

e) Chuckie just said, “Look, mumsie, I’ve got one leg on the railing. Now watch me slide down!”

Posted by ladylala | Report as abusive

That’s cheating, JC. That’s not a haiku if you pronounce soiree the right way.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

@jc, I’ll go with e) her support hose isn’t.

Posted by AllThatJazz | Report as abusive

Where’s DNA testing when you really need it?

Posted by Moonshine | Report as abusive

I will go with Lady’e e) option… simply coz i can actually visualise Charlie doing that and landing right on the step of the icecream truck..

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

That’s a good suggestion, Spin.
Besides, Kate and William are in love, and love means never having to say you’re soiree….

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Where’s Shra when you need her? I see two cases of zapping in this blog’s comments… glottal stops? saguaros?? Come on!!! Why do I have to read eduKational stuff over here.

BG, good call on the soiree comment lol!

Posted by Malteser | Report as abusive

OK, Spin, just to stay in practice:

Chuckie’s happy now
Mumsie so enjoys his jokes
And he feels a breeze

Posted by ladylala | Report as abusive

[…] gets better. They knew he probably wouldn’t come, but as our wedding etiquette column recently advised, once you get a wedding invitation you have to send a […]

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