Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Terms of Endearment Forbidden in Scotland

In much of Britain and quite often in Australia, it is customary for women to address others and be addressed by others as "love" or some other form of endearment, even if the parties are hardly known to one another. For instance, if I order a sandwich in a sandwich shop, the lady making the sandwich will often ask me "do you want pepper and salt with that, love?"

I guess it is in one sense old-fashioned and silly but I personally think it makes life pleasanter for everyone. Though some of the terms used in the North of England are a bit amusing: "duck", "hen" etc. In much of the American South "Hun" and "Sugar" are used similarly, of course.

There have been attempts to limit such speech in England (See my post of August 17) and the poison has now spread to Scotland. The Glasgow City Council has instructed its employees as follows:

"Don't assume it is acceptable to address women by endearments such as 'dear', 'pet' and 'love' when you would not address men in such a way," the guide instructs. "Don't refer to women as 'girls', for example, 'the girls in the office'."

It adds: "The term 'ladies' should only be used in situations where the parallel term 'gentlemen' is used."


And there is much more idiocy of the same kind. Why it "oppresses" women to call them "Love" defies my imagination. Maybe it is felt to oppress lesbians and that leads to the objections from feminists, many of whom seem to be of the lesbian persuasion.

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