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How many Sirs are required in a conversation?

Sir, should be used like a punctuation mark. The ratio may go down a bit when dealing with secure, self-confident and stable seniors.
I found that the number of "sirs" was proportional to the stupidity of the officer. The more effort it took to drum in the facts, COA, whatever, the greater the number and the more emphatic/ironic/sarcastic they became as time passed by.
"That's a brave call sir" = "you're barking mad".
"Sir, could I just point something out, Sir" - = "you're proposing a laager in the middle of the autobahn".
"Sir, I completely agree, sir" = "you're doing what I told you to do 30 minutes ago".
"sir. Sir! SIR!! Do something sir, even if it's totally wrong" = a common cry to frozen in fear O Cdts at the factory.
The maximum possible number, a mention in every sentence is recommended.

Oh, sorry! I read it as how many SLRs!
My eyesight isn't what it used to be, you know.
As many as a normal human being in a military environment is required to give. Balance between subservience, discipline and actually getting your point across.


I was once advised that in conversation, a "Sir" at the beginning and end were compulsory, you could probably say "yes" with alacrity, but "no" should definitely be followed by "sir".

And in certain circumstances it's probably advisable to say "Ma'am".


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Back to the original question, even if it was not answered at the time!

A lot also depends on how 'guilty' you are/feel. Picture the scene; Pte Snooks has just been stopped by the RSM and asked about the item he is carrying:

" Well Sir, I was just walking Sir, down to the NAAFI Sir, when I saw this lying by the path Sir. I was just going to take it to the Coy Office Sir, honest Sir. Just going to have a NAAFI break first Sir; honest Sir"

Typical conversation prior to a quick trip to jail. 8 "Sirs" in about two intakes of breath but more likely done in a oner!


Book Reviewer
One. Said sincerely and respectfully when the senior has finished speaking. Never explain, never complain. Plus not giving someone with a sad on a handle to get sadder.

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