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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Kind of a stupid question but I find many different things on Google. I know it can be different things. But, I used just "sir."

"Yes sir," the man said.

But, will readers get upset about this? My fantasy is set in a medieval type of time period. I was just wondering if I should change it to "sire", "my lord" etc? Or is just using "sir" perfectly fine?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Also, this is another little question I have. Is there a comma before the word sir? Here is an example:

The guard was quick to agree. “Yes, sir. What should I tell Duncan?”

Is there always a comma before sir in dialogue? Like a pause? Because, I don't pause when I say "yes sir" in real life. That is why I am confused.
 
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Referring to a king as "sir" would be weird. Sir is an actual title for a knight.

In most fantasy, the king (or queen) is the top of the totem pole and has a unique set of honorifics. You wouldn't use a generic honorific to address the most powerful person in the land.

Your Grace
Your Majesty
Your Eminence
etc. etc.


 

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I've seen "Yes, sir" and "Yessir" (more casually). I don't think it's actually correct without the comma, but I could be wrong. Maybe I'm just used to seeing it like that :)

I've used "your Grace," "your Majesty," "your Highness," and even "my Lord King" to address a king. I don't think I would have anybody call him sir unless they were an outsider unfamiliar with the culture, but I think a lot of that depends on the context of your story, and the formality of your court.

And, of course, whether you want an excuse to behead anybody :)
 

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I use "Highness" or "Majesty", and rarely "Sire" when addressing the King of the country. One of the foreign leaders in my world is addressed as "Your Grace."

"Sir" I use when addressing lords/other high ranking officials. :)
 

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Sire means father. I find it a weird form of address.

That said, what do you call a king? Whatever he wants you to call him. This is fantasy, so you can make up your own form of address.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Shiriluna Nott said:
I use "Highness" or "Majesty", and rarely "Sire" when addressing the King of the country. One of the foreign leaders in my world is addressed as "Your Grace."

"Sir" I use when addressing lords/other high ranking officials. :)
I suppose "your Highness" would be good. I hear that a lot.
 

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Your Majesty for the king or queen. Your Highness for a prince or princess. Your Grace for a duke or duchess. My Lord or My Lady for those below that level.
 

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dragontucker said:
Kind of a stupid question but I find many different things on Google. I know it can be different things. But, I used just "sir."

"Yes sir," the man said.

But, will readers get upset about this? My fantasy is set in a medieval type of time period. I was just wondering if I should change it to "sire", "my lord" etc? Or is just using "sir" perfectly fine?
A King should be addressed as Your Majesty or Sire. Sire does not apply to anyone else and Your Highness is for princes, princesses and other members of the royal family, never for a king or queen. Sir is not perfectly fine.

Of course, I write history, not fantasy but I imagine the same applies.
 

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Lee Sutherland said:
'Your grace' is one I hear a lot.
In Hollywood and television, Your Grace is often wrongly used. It should be used only for a duke or duchess or for an Archbishop. But then in films Sire is used all over the place wrongly.
 

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dragontucker said:
Also, this is another little question I have. Is there a comma before the word sir? Here is an example:

The guard was quick to agree. "Yes, sir. What should I tell Duncan?"

Is there always a comma before sir in dialogue? Like a pause? Because, I don't pause when I say "yes sir" in real life. That is why I am confused.
Yes, there should always be a comma.

As far as addressing a king goes, you'll never go wrong with "Your Grace." The use of "Your Majesty" didn't really get cemented until the sixteenth century.

/history nerd
 

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PatriciaThomson said:
Yes, there should always be a comma.

As far as addressing a king goes, you'll never go wrong with "Your Grace." The use of "Your Majesty" didn't really get cemented until the sixteenth century.

/history nerd
Kings have never been called Your Grace. The Anglo Saxon Chronicles, started in the time of King Alfred (pre Norman Conquest) used the term His Majesty. They would not be called Your Eminence, either. That would be for a high churchman.
 

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Shakespeare uses "my liege" quite a bit. Also "your grace" and "your majesty." Sometimes "my royal sovereign."  Saying "yes sir" is modern.

In Henry V, Westmoreland says to the king:

They know your grace hath cause and means and might;
So hath your highness; never king of England
Had nobles richer and more loyal subjects,
Whose hearts have left their bodies here in England
And lie pavilion'd in the fields of France.
 

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Sorry, would this not depend on the setting?

In the great hall where the king is dispensing justice:  sire, majesty, lord, and maybe a whole long list of honorifics
at dinner with family and friends:  shortened down in informal (a lot more sire)
In a military setting where long titles can get stuffed because you are going to lose the war: Lord, sire, sir.

then again your fantasy.  you lay out the rules.  Correct?
 
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