TODAY   |  September 11, 2013

TODAY’s Take: Why do women hate ‘Ma’am’?

TODAY’s Willie Geist, Al Roker and Natalie Morale talk about the buzziest topics of the day, like the four-letter word women hate to hear from others – “Ma’am” – and why Natalie is OK with it.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> announcer: live from studio 1 -a in rockefeller plaza .

>> welcome to today on this wednesday morning. it is september 11th , 2013 . i'm willie geist with al roker and natalie morales . obviously this is the 12th anniversary of the attacks of september 11th . coming up, east coast time, we'll be honoring the -- 9:03 was the time the second plane hit the south tower .

>> that's right.

>> that significant moment.

>> we can all remember where we were at this moment. so many people around the country and around the world can pause and remember exactly where they were on this day. you know it always comes back to the victims on this day and nice tributes of course everywhere and, in fact, ground zero this morning, they're reading the names as they have. even the daily news, they do the special section as they do every year with all the names too. important to remember the lives lost.

>> we were on the air when the second plane hit and you just remember thinking life as we know it has changed before.

>> yes.

>> you were just down --

>> yeah, i just came back. i was there all morning. it's 12 years later, how present that day is. when you get down there it comes right back to you. that's not to say there's no progress being made. the one world trade , the building will be finished by the beginning of next year. the memorial is beautiful if you haven't been down there, you ought to visit it. i got a look at the museum being built underneath the memorial. it's 110,000 square feet . it's this massive space and you walk along what were the foundation of the two towers and they have the artifacts.

>> and the burned out front of that when you pointed that out on the air. it take yours breath away. the cross was left remaining of the world trade center towers .

>> one of the pieces of steel we just saw which i hadn't seen before, it's incredible. it's a beam just bent in a little bit and i said what is that piece of steel and joe daniels said that is the exact beam that american flight 11 hit between the floors. you can see where a nose of a plane indented that piece of steel and it's hanging in there. go and mourn there and they hope you go and learn a little bit at this museum. it's a somber day and day of morning but there's a lot of building happening there as well.

>> you think about this, for a lot of our children, this is history. it wasn't a current event. it was history.

>> my kids ask me about this day.

>>> as they continue with the reading of the names, that was the moment of silence at 9:03 eastern time when united flight 175 struck the second tower. if there was any doubt after the first tower was struck that it was a terrorist attack , at that moment it became clear that america was under attack.

>> yeah. we were talking about how we talked to our kids about this because my children have asked me about this as well. it's hard but it's important that they know the history of that day and important that they feel, also, the new hope that has come out of it.

>> not to frighten them.

>> not to frighten them.

>> we have been strong. we're resilient and bad things happen but we come back.

>> amazing all that's happened since that day, too.

>> you said the museum will be open next year in the spring.

>> in the spring.

>> something that i think everybody should -- when you come visit new york, i think you have to go online and make a reservation already, right?

>> yes.

>> good idea to do that.

>> it will be remarkable what they have. personal i.d.s. all of these things found and put into a hanger at jfk and now they're being removed and displayed and curated. it's an incredible place.

>> we'll talk more about that. other news in new york city last night.

>> let's make a real turn here. bring it back to the primary vote.

>> you know, it's interesting. on september 11th , 2001 there was also a primary. a mayoral primary.

>> here's another interesting fact. there was a hurricane about 400 miles offshore at the time. a cold front had come through and pushed it off. had that not happened, in all likelihood there would have been a hurricane threatening the east coast and air traffic would have been stopped.

>> is that right?

>> yeah.

>> oh, wow. amazing when you think about it.

>> that's incredible. so, you know, we knew this was coming. anthony weiner obviously did not win the primary last night.

>> no, bill deblasio got the most votes. he finished in 5th place, anthony weiner .

>> at least he wasn't last -- oh, yeah, he was.

>> i like how the new york post summed that one up, sleazy come, sleazy go.

>> he thought he had good ideas but most people couldn't get past his personal life . he thanked his staff and his volunteers and of course didn't specifically thank his wife by name. she was not there. a lot of people pointed out. she was in d.c. he also appeared to flip off a reporter as he was being driven away from his concession speech.

>> i think we have a picture of it.

>> do we have it?

>> i think that's the finger.

>> keeping it classy anthony. keeping it classy. what a guy.

>> that was one of our wnbc reporters.

>> going out in style.

>> going out in style. [ laughter ]

>> do we have that clip?

>> we need to have that ready to go any time. laughing at lawrence o'donnell.

>> the highs and the lows, right?

>> put that in our audio board.

>> if they do the lion king 3 or 4 he could be one of the hiennas.

>> that was bizarre television.

>> that's why we like it.

>> train wreck television.

>> he's out of your life for now.

>> yeah.

>> here's another question. this is a -- are we doing the worst word? let's do the worst word. what is the four letter word that no woman wants to hear.

>> well, keeping it clean here people.

>> because i'm thinking about something entirely different than i --

>> really?

>> younger women don't really want to hear this word. according to the huffington post the word we don't want to hear is ma'am. but it depends where it's coming from.

>> sure.

>> if it's regional, you know, in the south, yes, ma'am.

>> yeah, in the south.

>> i get that, that's great. but i think sometimes when you hear ma'am coming from somebody your age or older then you feel like you're 20 years old.

>> what should they say? miss.

>> lady.

>> lady. hey, lady.

>> i'm anthony weiner , hello.

>> miss would be fine. miss works great. hey, miss you dropped something. rather than --

>> ma'am?

>> what about in a store? in a commercial transaction. thank you, ma'am.

>> miss.

>> earlier you said you wouldn't mind sweet thing. your kidding?

>> or cutie pie.

>> those are other words up there, four letter words you don't really want to hear.

>> i think i know where you're going with that.

>> unless you're 5 years old.

>> i went to school in the south and got used to it. yes, ma'am.

>> deborah had a niece and nephew coming up. yes, ma'am, yes, sir.

>> they get a pass down south. they can say ma'am.

>> they get a pass. or young kids. when i hear it from a young kid i think he's raised well or she is raised well.

>> what's the cutoff, then? age-wise?

>> when it's somebody your age or older.

>> like a 25-year-old if he said that to you?

>> then i feel a little bit older.

>> especially if he's a good-looking 25-year-old.

>> yes, ma'am, oh, boy.

>> if he said it like that with a southern accent .

>> regional. he grew up with that.

>> yes, ma'am. we'll take that.

>> i don't think there's all that much to that but some people don't care for