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Thread: hello, dear(s)

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    hello, dear(s)

    People from some cultures occasionally address fellow members of this forum as 'dear'. I have no doubt that this is intended as a friendly mode of address, certainly meant positively, and I am sure that nobody takes offence, but it is not appropriate.

    In BrE, '(my) dear/dears' is a term of endearment used most commonly by adults to young children; it is also used by some (usually older) people to their spouses. When used by older adults to younger colleagues it is now considered patronising, especially if the user is male and the person addressed female. You will still hear it used between friends, especially females, and by shop assistants in small shops to customers of both sexes, though many bigger stores discourage the use of such endearments.

    When I re-read what I have just written, I felt that I had come across as a stuffy old f**t, but I think that people who use the word should be aware that it is better not used.

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    Re: hello, dear(s)

    I agree. If you're not someone I would hug, please don't call me "dear."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
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    Re: hello, dear(s)

    I agree. Here are some opinions I offered last year. (Search for "dear" for others' responses)

    Dear Oct 2010

    Hi,

    It seems to be common in Algerian English to call strangers "Dear". I've noticed it also from Libyans and Egyptians.
    I'd be interested in knowing what people think of this, and how they react to it.

    My guess is that most native English speakers would find it annoying in writing, and plain embarassing if it happened in real life.

    (I don't mean in a salutation, "Dear Sir", or as an adjective, "my dear friend" which are normal when used appropriately in English. I mean when it's used as "dear can you answer my question?" or "thank you for your answer dear" )

    Thanks for your opinions dears
    [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[
    Aug 2010

    It seems to be a common misconception among some Arabic-speaking people on this group that we call friends and acquaintances "dear". We don't. It is used by spouses and by parents for their children. Occasionally a middle-aged or elderly woman might call younger people "dear".
    This misconception might have arisen from the salutation we use in letters "Dear X, ..."

    It might sound charmingly naive calling someone 'dear' on a newsgroup, (and you'll notice that no native speaker does it) but I'm sure that the vast majority of English-speaking people would feel quite uncomfortable being called 'dear' in real life by strangers (apart from by maternally-inclined older women, which most people tolerate).

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    Re: hello, dear(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    (Search for "dear" for others' responses)
    I had forgotten that thread,Dear to which I contributed one post.

    Perhaps we need to point this out every time someone uses the word. I haven't done so far, because I do not want to embarrass people who are try to appear friendly. However, if we don't point it out every time, they may think it is appropriate.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: hello, dear(s)

    Cameron was accused of sexism for using it: BBC News - David Cameron criticised for 'calm down dear' jibe

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    Re: hello, dear(s)

    Hey you guys! We use "dear" to show some respect,Not to insult or anything bad.

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    Re: hello, dear(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by leonardoatt View Post
    Hey you guys! We use "dear" to show some respect,Not to insult or anything bad.
    As I said in my first post, " I have no doubt that this is intended as a friendly mode of address, certainly meant positively". However, as I went on, "it is not appropriate".

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