According to Britain’s Daily Mail, lawyers in the United Kingdom are being told to no longer address judges as “Sir” or “Madam” but only, “Judge.” Granted, there’s nothing wrong with calling a judge, “Judge,” but the reasoning here is clear. As one critic quoted in the article put it, “You know the country has gone downhill when you are told that saying ‘Sir or Madam’ is too complex for people to handle.”
The move was announced by the Lord Chief Justice and the Senior President of Tribunals and is intended to maintain respect in the courtrooms while keeping up with “modern” customs and avoiding the danger of “misgendering” anyone presiding over a case. Nothing said in support of the change was due to any reason rooted in reality. Instead, those praising it simply declared that “Sir” and “Madam” are “outdated.”
Keeping up with the newspeak of the West’s increasingly gnostic approach to life can be dizzying, but our words matter. Language, especially by the government, either clarifies reality or muddies it.
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