questionsdo you get offended when people use terms of…

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I think you should let it go.

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No, but I do get irritated when people tell me to have a "blessed day."

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I'm terribly used to "hun." First, it was due to Dundalk, Maryland. Now, it's due to being somewhere close to but not necessarily the South.

"Buddy" is the one that gets me. One, I had one of those My Buddy toys that dates me as a child of the late-80s-early-90s. Two, I work with people older than me by at least a decade.

As a direct result of having shoulder-length hair and being 5'6", I've received number of female-oriented ones from female waitresses who fail to see that I also have a goatee. Those make me laugh.

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That's just the way some people grow up talking...there's a big difference between "hun" and a sarcastic "hun" (as in, I want to call you a curse word, but I know I can't "hun"). If it's sincere, I'd take it more as a compliment personally. Unless you're her boss, in which case, yes, it's not appropriate, and she should be calling you sir or ma'am. If you're just her coworker, it would be inappropriate of you to call her out on it, imo.

*oh, also, if she's talking to clients/customers like that, it's also inappropriate.

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does "stankycakes" count? because i'm pretty tired of hearing that all the time!

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I live in the South. If you don't get it at a restaurant you'll get it somewhere else.

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@mtm2: oh yeah..just go to any waffle house/huddle house...if they don't address you by hun, they're probably new.

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It annoys me when young people and people I don't know say 'hun'. An older female waitress is fine, but I would get annoyed at the office, too.

I do jokingly call people I work with "kids". Like when I leave for the day, I say "night kids, see you in the morning". But that's because it is funny since I am the youngest person by over 10 years in my quad-icle.

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I generally let it slide from people I don't know, like waitresses and elderly women. But, call me old fashioned, I don't like when a guy calls my wife "honey", "sweetie" or anything else. And, no matter how close of friends I may be to a woman who is married, I'd never call her anything like that either. Personally, I'd find it disrespectful to the husband. But, that's me :-)

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@okham: How about when someone says "Bless you" after you sneeze?

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Ummm... I'm guilty of using such terms with coworkers all the time, especially if they do something helpful, I need to point out a mistake they're making, or they're younger/newer than me. I also tend to call new people kid when needing to get their attention amd am too lazy to pronounce their name. Not an insult normally, just the way I am. Just like when I call people sir or ma'am, it's more my way of showing that I either respect you or like you. I call management boss man/woman or boss people if addressing more than one. Most people know if I always call you by your first name, you screwed up somewhere, and if I only speak when necessary, you really really screwed up. So, if I'm calling you hon, sweetie, etc. it's a good sign, not meant to be offensive.

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@tossthedice: I've made my peace with that. But I always say gesundheit.

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I've usually let it go.... this one annoyed me because she's new, possibly younger than me, and once said that she wished she "had as much free time as me" and wanted me to help her find a sale on something. I work with senior management and rarely take a lunch break. I guess I was offended by the comment so whenever she calls me "hun", it feels insincere.

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i've always called everyone dear, sweetie, etc. then one day an equally young (19) coworker announced "i'm gonna start calling you hun" i thought about it for a few minutes and said i'm okay with being honey. he responded "no, that's hun. as in attilla the" and laughed. we worked together for a few years that way.

i always try to explain to people when i meet them that i am really, really, really bad with names, so please don't be offended. had one older coworker ask me to avoid terms that would imply a "personal" type relationship (like she had with her husband) and thus "hey, you" became a bigger part of my vocabulary.

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@underinsomnia: you're obviously not from the south, where this kind of thing is more common than mosquito's. please don't come down here, we wouldn't like you and you wouldn't like us

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@ndcouch: Thank you for your Southern Hospitality. Please understand that I am not one to flip out if a waitress or a stranger speaks to me that way. If it is genuine and the polite thing to do where you grow up, it does not bother me.

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When I took my first flight with British Airways & the flight attendant (male) called me "love" I thought it was a hoot & just like the BBC shows!

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i like terms of endearment, they make me smile. it sounds like you're just annoyed by this person who is also downplaying your work accomplishments. there is such a thing as being "sweet but annoying". avoid her if you can
i do find it weird if people older than me call me ma'am.

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My raised-in-the-Deep-South Dad was in the Navy while I was growing up, and we did a few tours north of the Mason Dixon line. We found the weather and a lot of the natives pretty chilly.

On our trip south to his new duty station in Florida, we stopped to eat at a diner in North Carolina. Our smiling waitress appeared immediately by the table to take our order, calling each of us kids "darlin'," and "sweetheart." When she turned to my Dad, she asked "...sweet tea? You want regular or cheese grits with that, hon?" He let out a laugh and slamming his hand down on the table, said "Thank you, Lord! I have come home! Sweet tea, TWO kinds of grits, and a smiling, friendly lady taking our order. Yes, ma'am, I am finally home."

I married Navy and have lived North, South, and out in the weirdness of California. Overwhelmingly, Southerners appear to be more polite, more caring, helpful and friendly. If that means being called, Hon, darlin' or Ma'am, I'll take that any day!

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No not really, because I do it all the time. I never ever do it with women in the workplace, because, well, you never know who is looking for payback, payday, promotion, or just wants to promote anarchy.

I like to call the guys in the office pet names like pumpkin, muffin, hun, honey, sugarbear, etc. Guys are guys, and they normally laugh or fire one at me before I can say a word. It makes me laugh to call a "manly man" a pet name because it doesn't fit. Work is better if you enjoy yourself.

I think that there are so many other things in life to worry about. Your office/workplace must be really good if that is your biggest pet peave. Relax a little, fire back a hun or sweety or darlin or maybe even a boo boo bear if your being bold.

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Agreed with @mtm2. Down here, you can't go anywhere without being called "hon" "sweetheart" "dear" or something like that. I guess I'm just used to being called that, and I've called random people "dear" before, so it isn't a big deal really.

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YES! That is very b!t@hy of you HUN!

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Deep south here, too. I tend to call people "sweetie." no one seems to object and I certainly don't do it in a business meeting. I once consulted regularly with management at another company where on of the female managers regularly called everyone a variety of silly endearments. It annoyed at first, then I became accustomed to it and even looked forward to hearing what new endearment she had come up with. The day came when she called me " sugar muffin," then paused for a beat and said to me, "that one was a bit much, wasn't it?" Evidently she was aware of her "dear" habit and did at least a modicum of self-monitoring.

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Let it go. This is part of being culturally sensitive, although you may not think so. I've been living for the majority of my adult life south of the Mason Dixon, and down here it is not unusual (especially for women) to use endearments such as "hunny" "sweetie" and the like as a normal part of speech. They are being friendly and polite, in their view. I'd recommend that you accept it as such.

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If she's from the South, and especially a former waitress there, then it's a habit. If it bothers you so badly then fight fire with fire. Every time she calls you "hun" reply with "sugarbritches" or whatever you think is appropriate. Personally it doesn't bother me.

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It's incredibly stupid to get offended over something so petty. If anything, communication has gotten much, much more cold and impersonal in the past 20 years or so, due to political correctness and corporate homoginization, and we should appreciate every attempt, however small and insignificant, to keep humanity alive. I go out of my way to give places my time and money when it's clear the people aren't just drones "reading from the script".

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@jseureau: Lol, thanks hun ;-)

As @w00tgurl pointed out, I was annoyed by her commentary about my work. Offend me, then speak to me like we're friendly with each other felt very fake to me. She took the warmth out of it and it irked me. Honestly, I wasn't going to say anything to her because part of me knew that it would just make me look bad.

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I am a female, and I have lived my entire life in Middle Georgia and I still don't care to be called baby, sweetie, honey, hun, ect. I think that baby is my least favorite...sorry, I'm not your baby...I am a firm believer in calling people by their names, unless they have a nick name they PREFER to be called by. People call me Jess/Jessie and it gripes my @$$....MY NAME IS JESSICA!! At work they call me JB, but we have three Jessica's and it avoids confusion, that is okay!

@okham I also do not care for being told to have a blessed day...

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It depends on the circumstance. I had a recent hospital stay and most of the nurses called me hon, or dear. That was ok. As for strangers, not so much. I really hate it at Sam's Club when they refer to me by my first name. I know it's picky and I try not to let it bother me, but I don't need some 18 year old kid saying "And, Susan, did you find what you were looking for?" It feels disrespectful to me. However, life's too short to get hung up on such trivia, so, as I said, I try to let it go.

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Just call me by the name my parents gave me.

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@w00tgurl: why is it weird? I'm only 25, and I've always called people younger than me sir or ma'am, especially if I'm helping them or they've done something nice for me. My grandmother drilled it into our heads when we were kids that you always call people by sir or ma'am to show that you respect them. Yeah, sometimes a person will tell me not to, but I just explain to them that it's an automatic thing, not something that I can just turn off on demand and they're usually okay with it. Heck, I've called toddlers sir and ma'am before. I used to hate it when people talked down to me when I was younger, so I try to treat younger people with the same amount of respect I expect them to show.

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Nope. Nobody can offend me unless I choose to be offended.

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@eijisama: well that's the thing, i don't call anyone ma'am or sir. i didn't grow up doing it or knew anyone who did, and no one in my family does. i do treat strangers with lots of respect and talk nicely to them at stores and such but i just don't use ma'am or sir. i mostly get this when i visit family in Georgia - seniors calling me ma'am and i reply with my usual cheery "thanks so much, have a good day!" and still walk away feeling awkward about them having called me maam
i'll call kids sweetie or cutie. i don't consider that talking down to kids but i think talking down to and addressing as maam/sir are 2 opposite extremes

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@w00tgurl: that makes sense, especially if you're not used to it. Guess I'm just so used to doing it, and getting in trouble for not doing it, that I never really considered that some people consider it weird. As for the kid thing, it depends on the circumstances. If I'm helping/serving them in some manner, they're sir/ma'am; a lot of them get a kick out of it because they're not used to be treated like that, and it's kinda like a confidence booster. Otherwise, it's whatever term of endearment comes to mind. The talking down thing is honestly more about tone and actions than anything else. Whether you call them sweetie/cutie/ma'am/sir/etc, the way you talk to and interact with kids- heck, anyone, really- plays a huge role in how they act. And I'm sorry if this sounds like I'm trying to start an argument, because I'm not; I've retyped this several times trying to tone it down. It's kinda nice hearing how other people do things, and it's one of the coolest things about this site.

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@eijisama: yup it's good discussion, HUN! ma'am! :)

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OT: Terms of Endearment was a great movie! To answer your question, yes, I do think you're over-reacting. To me, it's not that big an issue. Do remember when I was called hon, honey, sweetheart, etc. by men whose intentions did not seem innocent at all. Killer looks sometimes work wonders. Don't know if that would work for you. I say just try shrug it off. Not worth the stress you're experiencing. And in the grand scheme of things....