Terms of Endearment

February 10, 2019-

For no apparent reason, I have been thinking of the ways in which I have tended to address people, over the years.  There is usually a tendency to call people my age or older by the name with which they introduce themselves, or honourifics (Sir, Mr. ______, Mrs. or Ms. ______________, Ma’am).  At work, I use names with titles, as an example for the students to follow.   Younger men are either called by their preferred name or “Bud”. Younger women are, more and more, called by their preferred name-but there is still “Sweetheart”, towards those with whom I feel a particular bond.  “Baby” is infantilizing, and “Honey” is a term best used by a significant other-so these have been sent to the Island of Shopworn Derogatives.  Profane names are not an option.

In any case, all people are entitled to be addressed in the manner that they choose, when in a dignified frame of mind.  I don’t take being corrected, personally, ever.  Now that that’s out of the bag, I wish one and all a fabulous Sunday evening-and a Happy Valentine’s Week.

10 thoughts on “Terms of Endearment

  1. Interesting that you should post this right now. I have recently established a new business relationship with a may who was introduced by a formal first name — he quickly has commented that I could call him by his “nickname,” the name that his mother and others call him. It’s difficult for me, as I was trained to call professionals and elders by their formal names! I think the only name I don’t want to be called is “Miss;” at my age, it seems a little demeaning!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We’ve always raised our son to be respectful of people’s names and titles, so when we moved here to Washington, he was in for a big shock when the adults he met insisted that he call them by their first names. (Not teachers, of course, but many of the parents of his friends.) I’m slowly catching onto that custom here. It’s kind of fun, but it is hard to let go of “old ways.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Names are powerful. The use of a wrong name can derail a budding friendship. A mispronounced name leaves a bad taste… As long as we are respectful and maintain the respect towards others we will never go wrong!

    Liked by 1 person

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