Interesting Words - Sir and Miss

According to the chief inspector of schools in the UK, Sir Michael Wilshaw, secondary school pupils should be forced to refer to their teachers as ' Miss' and 'Sir' and stand when the teacher enters the classroom.

(Sir Michael told The Sunday Times that he had been left with his 'head in his hands' after watching reality television programmes set in schools in which children misbehaved without risk of punishment.

According to the Times Educational Supplement, the honorific Sir was first used in 16th century classrooms when male teachers of a lower social standing were attempting to reinforce their authority among largely upper-class boys, whilst Miss is largely a throwback to the late Victorian era when pressure was put on women to give up work after they married, with a number of schools only hiring single female teachers.

Jennifer Coates, emeritus professor of English language and linguistics at Roehampton University also pointed out, “Sir is a knight. There weren’t women knights, but ‘Miss’ is ridiculous: it doesn’t match ‘Sir’ at all. It’s just one of the names you can call an unmarried woman.”

So, Sir Michael, if you base your recommendations on reality TV series, we are all in trouble, my response?  Could do better.)

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