Hi, I once said Madame when speaking to an American girl, and she laughed and said that in the US that's only owners of brothels. Cut to a few years later -- I see Dear Sir or Madame in a cover letter example on a Romanian site, and laugh to myself thinking they used Madame for Madam. And then I see the following in Julian Barnes, The Lemon Table: "There hadn't been a Madame, had there?" -- referring to the marriage status of a certain guy I then looked at some threads here on WR and saw that no one mentions the brothel connotation about Madame. Apparently brothel owners are Madam, and Madame is mostly used to refer to a French married woman. (Julian Barnes uses it to ask about the wife of an Englishman.) Is that how you, too, see things? The girl I mentioned actually has a degree in English, besides being a native speaker. Thank you!