Sounds familiar?

 

Sir, – Denis Staunton (“He was calling me ‘mate’. I felt the blood rush up through my chest”, London Letter, January 19th) should consider moving to France, where he will be kept at a safe conversational distance by being addressed in the second-person plural (vous) by all but his closest mates. – Yours, etc,

DAVID POWELL,

La Teste-de-Buch

France.

Sir, – Or as we say in Cork, “How’s it going, boy?” – Yours, etc,

TONY WOOL,

Ballincollig,

Cork.

Sir, – There’s an even more cutting English putdown, ie “matey”. It was delivered with such relish by the wonderful James Grout (Chief Supt Strange) to his cultured subordinate throughout the memorable Morse TV series. – Yours, etc,

OLIVER McGRANE,

Rathfarnham,

Dublin 16.

Sir, – At least no-one asked Denis Staunton to “cheer up”. That one gets on my nerves. – Yours, etc,

CATHERINE DUNNE,

Waterford.

Sir, – As all of my friends and a lot of my acquaintances know, you can call me anything except early in the morning. – Yours, etc,

JOHN McDWYER,

Carrick on Shannon,

Co Leitrim.

Sir, – In my native county of Tipperary, the stranger is unlikely to be greeted with a cheeky ”mate” or a menacing “pal”. However, in the environs of Nenagh he will frequently be addressed by a variation of the honorific “sir”. Here friends and strangers alike will be hailed with an utterly neutral “you sir”. Phonetically it emerges as one word, “yewsur”, and it punctuates time and again even the shortest of conversations without a trace of fawning or condescension. – Yewsur, etc,

MICHAEL DURACK,

Killaloe,

Co Clare.