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Why the sudden rash of "honey"s? September 28, 2009 10:33 PM   Subscribe

Is it me, or has MeFi been infected with "honey" recently? It seems as though in the past week or so, every thread I go into has someone referring to another poster as "honey" or "hon" -- a term that I find startlingly condescending (with overtones of ageism and sexism, to boot).

I'd assume that the people saying it mean it to come across that way, except that their comments otherwise seem likely to be genuinely caring/trying to be helpful. Is this just the painful extension of a general cultural tendency to pretend we live in the 1950s again? To be completely clear, to offer someone advice and then append that advice with the endearment "hon," is to suggest that you are oh-so-much-older-and-wiser than they are, and that they will, one day, realize how sweetly naïve they were for not realizing all along the wisdom of the pearls you just shared. Plus, you don't know them (unless of course you do, I suppose) -- so why are terms of endearment even appropriate at all? None of the posts or comments to which these comments are responding ask for demonstrations of maternal affection.

If I'm the only one interpreting this word this way, then I will of course tuck my sweet li'l tail between my legs and go home.
posted by obliquicity to Etiquette/Policy at 10:33 PM (315 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Child please.
posted by iamabot at 10:34 PM on September 28, 2009 [14 favorites]


Whoa. YOU HAVE A TAIL? Pics or it's a lie, honey.
posted by heyho at 10:38 PM on September 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


Maybe condescending outside of the American south, but no more so than any other term of endearment or overly familiar address.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:38 PM on September 28, 2009


I've never felt like someone said it in real life to me in the way you state. I think you're projecting way too much meaning into it. It's just a simple term of endearment like "dear" and "sweetie".
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:39 PM on September 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


I saw it in a thread about hand gestures in Baltimore. I can tell you that "hon" is a non-sexist term of affection in that city, as I'm sure it is in several other cities in the United States.

Can you link to the specific instances of its use that you find offensive? Context is always important for evaluating these things.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:41 PM on September 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


Honey, that is ridiculous.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:41 PM on September 28, 2009


I feel like it's all over the place too but when I think back I've actually noticed it twice at most. I think it just really jars so I feel like it's there more than it is, and of course now I'm looking for it.

But then I also figure it's a cultural thing. There are places in the world where it's a perfectly acceptable figure of speech with none of the overtones you're seeing in there. Sure no one I know in person says that and if I used it myself I'd get funny looks (which is why it jars), but the internet isn't the same place as my little country and is a lot more diverse. Having people on the internets act in ways I'm not used to is normal. I'd much rather assume some kind of cultural thing I'm missing and believe the person means well than get hung up over a figure of speech. Of course being a kiwi I'm in the minority pretty much everywhere I hang out online and that colours my perceptions.
posted by shelleycat at 10:42 PM on September 28, 2009


Your tone strikes me as sanctimonious, and with no examples at all, I really have no clue what this is for. I only remember seeing it used in genuinely fraternal/maternal contexts on AskMe.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 10:43 PM on September 28, 2009


It's just a simple term of endearment like "dear" and "sweetie".

Both of which are incredibly creepy coming from anyone other than my boyfriend. See? Cultural differences.
posted by shelleycat at 10:44 PM on September 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


obliquicity: "
I'd assume that the people saying it mean it to come across that way, except that their comments otherwise seem likely to be genuinely caring/trying to be helpful. Is this just the painful extension of a general cultural tendency to pretend we live in the 1950s again? To be completely clear, to offer someone advice and then append that advice with the endearment "hon," is to suggest that you are oh-so-much-older-and-wiser than they are, and that they will, one day, realize how sweetly naïve they were for not realizing all along the wisdom of the pearls you just shared. Plus, you don't know them (unless of course you do, I suppose) -- so why are terms of endearment even appropriate at all? None of the posts or comments to which these comments are responding ask for demonstrations of maternal affection.

If I'm the only one interpreting this word this way, then I will of course tuck my sweet li'l tail between my legs and go home.
"

Bless your heart, hon.
posted by yaymukund at 10:46 PM on September 28, 2009


Oh, honey, it's so adorable when you get all in a snit like this, but don't you worry your pretty little head about a thing-- we'll take care of it for you.
posted by dersins at 10:46 PM on September 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Of course you're not the only one, but good luck eradicating any particular language usage tick or trope here. It is no surprise that lazy appeals to authority like using a condescending tone of text (what.) show up in AskMe. The appropriate line of action, if the argument is as offensive or wrong as the tone, is to clearly rebut it in the thread. If otherwise good advice is tainted by poor word choice there's not much you can do but tough it out, Teach. Or reiterate it some other way yourself.
posted by carsonb at 10:48 PM on September 28, 2009


Replace all uses of "honey" with "champ" and you'll understand how it's coming across if you don't already.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:52 PM on September 28, 2009 [7 favorites]


I'll gladly drop "honey" (which I never use anyway) if everyone else does the same with "nuance" and/or "nuanced" (which I have used, and yes, I feel ashamed).
posted by philip-random at 10:52 PM on September 28, 2009


Whenever I say "honey" on the internet I like to think of myself as an aging waitress named "Babs" in a truck stop diner, dispensing wisdom and pot roast special upon the great unwashed. Babs genuinely cares about the wellbeing of her patrons, but don't cross her too many times or she'll put a cigarette out in your coffee, and it won't be her cigarette, either.

Take this as you will, dearheart.
posted by Mizu at 10:54 PM on September 28, 2009 [30 favorites]


Doing a search for 'honey' sorted by date I found a few examples of the usage obliquicity is complaining about (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) but none strike me as especially condescending (though one of these is weird and creepy, but seemingly in the manner of epic humor fail). That said, I'm a guy, so not the target for condescending usage of "honey" so I may not pick up on it. Either way, there doesn't seem like there's been a rash of usage lately.
posted by Kattullus at 10:55 PM on September 28, 2009


Sugar, you know you gotta give us links to examples so we know what you're talking about.
posted by deborah at 10:56 PM on September 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


if everyone else does the same with "nuance" and/or "nuanced" (which I have used, and yes, I feel ashamed).

What?
posted by crossoverman at 10:57 PM on September 28, 2009 [4 favorites]


If I had expected a serious response, I would've taken the time to include examples. As it is, all of your comments have pretty much confirmed my suspicions enough for my own peace of mind, and so I feel better, thanks! At least I'm not off-the-wall crazy.

For the record, I wasn't dumb enough to ask people to stop, and I didn't use the word "offensive" (because I'm not offended, just a little squicked). I just thought maybe some of the people using it didn't realize that other users might be reading it differently -- we all love quirky language shit around here, so I thought I'd make some of that quirky difference more explicit, and also procrastinate/vent/provoke some rather unoriginal snark.

As for the tail, we all have them, they're just really, really small...
posted by obliquicity at 11:03 PM on September 28, 2009


Excellent!
posted by iamabot at 11:05 PM on September 28, 2009


I call all my friends "toots." One time a friend of mine said she had a dream where I called our contracts professor toots and everyone who heard the story said "Yeah, that's the kind of thing Dan would do I think."
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 11:22 PM on September 28, 2009


I noticed it in the Baltimore question and my initial reaction was that it came across as condescending. To my ear, it's something you might say to a child, not an adult. But the only time I've actually heard it used was once when I was 10 and a bus driver asked "are you okay, hon?" after missing my stop. If, as Blazecock Pileon says, it is a non-sexist term of affection in Baltimore then it's just a case of regional differences in the use of language.

Maybe we should also call out New Yorkers for standing "on" line, the British for being "in hospital/at Uni", Angelenos for driving on "The" Five and any use of language that is not typical to the Bay Area. Although, I would like to see the banhammer for the use of "Cali." That's like saying "Frisco." Seriously.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:23 PM on September 28, 2009


Honey I was watching Honey while listening to Honey (not that Honey, but definitely not this Honey) in the honey (the one your father always wanted to buy from the shop) while eating honey and, when I realized the honey had gone bad (this being the most recent honey, and none of the previous or soon-to-comes) I imagined Honey Rider riding (of all things) Honey, honey.
posted by stresstwig at 11:26 PM on September 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is this just the painful extension of a general cultural tendency to pretend we live in the 1950s again?

Whuh-huh? I must be isolated, 'cause I had no idea that was happening - is that why young dudes wear fedoras? Anyhow if you have a cite for this I'd be obliged, hon
posted by jtron at 11:29 PM on September 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


ActingTheGoat, it's not just Angelenos who say The Five. San Diegans also say The Five (and the Fifteen and the 56 and the 78 and&c). I had no idea it was an abnormality until someone pointed it out. In SoCal (hah!) apparently we live and die by our freeways sufficiently much that we have to add an article to emphasize how important they are to us.

Cali, on the other hand, needs to die a nasty, fiery death. If you call it Cali, YOU'RE NOT FROM HERE. Whew, I feel better now.
posted by librarylis at 11:33 PM on September 28, 2009


I prefer to be called "Gorgeous".
posted by Duke999R at 11:45 PM on September 28, 2009


I usually only get called "Honey" by women, and generally only those who are my age or a bit older. And I find it strangely alluring. A++, would be referred to this way again.
posted by allkindsoftime at 11:47 PM on September 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


Buzzword.
posted by pracowity at 11:56 PM on September 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


There's only one person that I have ever allowed to call me "honey" or "sugar". It's not my mother, and it's not my girlfriend. It's the sass-talking waitress at Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles. Something just tells me she's not the woman that I want to go around trying to correct.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 11:59 PM on September 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


Some of the customer service/call center/phone reps at TMobile have started using "hon." I've had the misfortune of needing to call them quite a few times about a phone reception problem, and talked to at least 3 who addressed me as "hon" or "honey." They are in the Chicago area, if I remember correctly, and they sounded about 12 years old. It was ridiculous and infuriating.

I just assumed this was something that non-Southerners had recently picked up, without knowing how it sounds to a Southern ear (that is, exactly as obliquicity describes).
posted by Houstonian at 12:01 AM on September 29, 2009


I'm goin' back to Cali. Cali. Cali. Hey y'all, I don't think so.
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:13 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Looks like tonight's special is plate of honey baked beans.
posted by tula at 12:32 AM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


I've got far too many bitches on my jock to read this right now. Can one of y'all internet nerds give me the short version?
posted by eyeballkid at 12:50 AM on September 29, 2009 [10 favorites]


Well I can tell you for the money, the simple life honey is good.
posted by Effigy2000 at 12:54 AM on September 29, 2009


Jesus Christ are people made of peanut brittle around here?
posted by turgid dahlia at 1:01 AM on September 29, 2009 [15 favorites]


...man I love peanut brittle.
posted by turgid dahlia at 1:03 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Replace all uses of "honey" with "champ" and you'll understand how it's coming across if you don't already.

Encouraging and slightly jocky?
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:08 AM on September 29, 2009


Nobody ever calls me honey.

At least nobody's calling other MeFites "High Fructose Corn Syrup". That would be wrong.
posted by wendell at 1:37 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Eh, I rarely come in here and jump up and down. Usually my most enthusiastic response is to gently favourite a couple of eloquent posters.

However, while I have not been called "honey" and I do recognise that where I have seen it, it's been used in an affectionate and compassionate manner, I think it is condescending. It's one of the reasons I don't want to end up in a nursing home. There I will be, head banging away to some ancient music, and some young thing in a nurse uniform will come up and say, "time for your meds, honey" like I'm a nameless, brainless, dignityless child.

Yes, it's a cultural thing. Of course! But that doesn't make it okay for Italian men to pinch my bottom on the train either. It's also more likely to be employed by female users (of which I am one), and it seems hypocritical to me that we might complain about the male gaze (and I do support that argument, I do, and 85% of the other feminist or anti-boyzone issues), and yet say, oh, it's okay for us to use a diminuitive term with a poster we don't know well enough to kiss, because we mean it nicely. After all, we didn't say "I'd hit it."

We all have user names, even anonymous.
posted by b33j at 1:42 AM on September 29, 2009


Replace all uses of "honey" with "champ" and you'll understand how it's coming across if you don't already.

I tried that and "super friend", but I didn't get anywhere with either of them.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:25 AM on September 29, 2009


That's OK, big guy. Just get back in there.
posted by pracowity at 2:32 AM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


At least people here aren't spelling it "hunnie" (yet?) which apparently is how it's sometimes spelled in instant messages or chat rooms. I suppose this puts me squarely in getoffmylawn territory, but seeing it spelled that way really annoys me.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:42 AM on September 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


a term that I find startlingly condescending (with overtones of ageism and sexism, to boot).

Damn, we should've been using 'honey chile' instead, to complete the terrible to boot trinity. Maybe throw in some mm mms for good measure. Like 'you need to dump that no good s.o.b., honey chile, mmmmmmm hmmmm'.
posted by dgaicun at 3:04 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Waitress: What can I get ya, Hun?

Customer: Hmm. I think I'll have everything between the Baltic and the Black Sea.
posted by pracowity at 3:06 AM on September 29, 2009 [61 favorites]


And let it be known that my condescension label of choice is 'Skip' or 'Skippy'.

Like 'Hey, don't you think that comment was condescending, with overtones of ageism and sexism?'

'Sure thing, Skip.'
posted by dgaicun at 3:15 AM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]




This is a joke, right?

I don't know. Maybe as a native Baltimorean - where "hon" is an informal address denoting someone is your equal - I have a hard time understanding how you can take umbrage to the word and consider it "condescending", sexist or ageist. I'm normally one of the first to err on the side of not inadvertantly insulting someone, but this is baffling to me. Man, go outside or something, the trees are changing color.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:20 AM on September 29, 2009 [19 favorites]


I think I'll have everything between the Baltic and the Black Sea.

Hang on, Voltaire.
posted by dgaicun at 3:21 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Having grown up in a part of the world where middle-aged men call each other 'my lover', I think you're getting off quite lightly.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 3:33 AM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


This reminds me of the time when the five year old I was taking care of asked me "Why you always call me 'darling?'"

I blinked a bit and asked if she would prefer I call her "Pickle-face" instead.

Yep. We stuck with darling.

And also: Sweetheart. Honey bunny. Bug. Bumblebee. Sweetie pie. Pumpkin. Pumpkin pie. Beautiful. Sugar. Sugar bear. Sweet pea. Sweetest pea. and so on.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:39 AM on September 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


Cali, on the other hand, needs to die a nasty, fiery death.

Well, maybe next summer.


I don't know. Maybe as a native Baltimorean - where "hon" is an informal address denoting someone is your equal - I have a hard time understanding how you can take umbrage to the word and consider it "condescending", sexist or ageist.

If a native Baltimorean claimed to be my equal I would be offended. (Unless it was Omar - who, though fictional, makes me wonder if maybe I'm not just a little gay)


Having grown up in a part of the world where middle-aged men call each other 'my lover', I think you're getting off quite lightly.


وين؟
posted by atrazine at 3:54 AM on September 29, 2009


I grew up on Kent Island, not far from Bmore, and think of "honey" as something said exclusively by older people to younger people (often in a condescending way).
posted by phrontist at 3:58 AM on September 29, 2009


I grew up in and round Baltimore, so you stick this callout back out in Brooklyn where it's simple ass belongs.

Most def.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:01 AM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


>>the trees are changing color.
Not here, they're not. Well, unless you mean from the dust storm.

You know how words mean different things in different places? Well, in a town not far from here, it took 9 years of legal action to get some people to understand that not everyone is okay with the term nigger, even used as a term of affection for a white man. It's context, dude. Don't call me hon, honey, sweetheart, dear, darl, doll or babe. Alright? Or are metafilter standards set to Baltimore?
posted by b33j at 4:05 AM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


If a native Baltimorean claimed to be my equal I would be offended.

Better ask somebody.

You know how words mean different things in different places? Well, in a town not far from here, it took 9 years of legal action to get some people to understand that not everyone is okay with the term nigger, even used as a term of affection for a white man. It's context, dude. Don't call me hon, honey, sweetheart, dear, darl, doll or babe. Alright? Or are metafilter standards set to Baltimore?

"Hon" is like "nigger" now? Jesus Christ, breathe. I was just providing context as to why the term doesn't bother me, and wasn't at all insisting that I be allowed to use this term towards people who don't want to hear it, so I don't see why you need to get in a snit with me about it unless you like to insert things I didn't actually say into the things I said.

God damn, people.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:11 AM on September 29, 2009 [13 favorites]


Good heavens, you'd have a fit if you lived here down south.

Honey, when used by certain people, is about as innocuous as it gets.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:12 AM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, it's one thing to HEAR someone say "yew awl roy't, hon?" and be able to take it as completely inoffensive and meaningless. You can't hear tone on the internet, and taking the time to write those terms of "affection" says (to many) that it means something. And usually that something is well-meaning condescension.

Sweet-tits and hot man-beef are right out, too.
posted by gjc at 4:17 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I attribute it to a vast influx of obnoxiously flaming gay men and 70-year-old southern grandmas.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:18 AM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like threads like these, they let me know who is wound just a -little- too tight.
posted by Loto at 4:28 AM on September 29, 2009 [23 favorites]


Wow. Well, I think "Honey" is very, very, contextual. I would have found the "Hon" in the Baltimore thread very condescending if I didn't know about the Baltimore "Hon" theme/fixation. Certainly among women I've known (not really among men) there have been many, many, times I've heard someone say "Oh, Honey..." and continue on with an incredibly condescending/insulting sentence. I suppose it is cultural but I'm not surprised someone saw the usage this way.
posted by josher71 at 4:54 AM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


As a vegan, I would prefer it if you did not refer to me as "honey".

You may call me "raw sugar" or "stevia".
posted by orme at 5:07 AM on September 29, 2009 [20 favorites]


For the record, I've never used "hon", on the Meef or IRL. My own background has rendered me numb to the word. However, if someone doesn't want to be called it, I think that should be respected. And I personally won't begin using it - never had cause to before, still don't have cause to now.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:18 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


You're a righteous babe Marisa.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:21 AM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


You may call me "raw sugar" or "stevia".

How about bee spit?
posted by pracowity at 5:23 AM on September 29, 2009


Since when was I in a snit? Holy cow! (uh oh).

See, I never grew up in a place where people said the euphemism "n-word", okay, so while I respect the emotion that that "nigger" evokes for many people, and while I would never use it in conversation because of that, it just doesn't have the same meaning for me because of my experience. So maybe you think I'm in a snit because I compared different contexts with that example?

Hey, St Alia of the honey-bunnies, I do live south. Souther than you, even. Way way way south.
posted by b33j at 5:35 AM on September 29, 2009


HELLO. I. AM. FROM. METAFILTER. AND. I. COULD. OVERPROCESS. A. PLATE. OF. BEANS. BUT. I. WOULD. NEVER. DREAM. OF. ENGAGING. IN. FAMILIAR. LANGUAGE. OR. CASUAL. MODES. OF. ADDRESS.
posted by DU at 5:36 AM on September 29, 2009 [11 favorites]


I blame Moby.
posted by Eideteker at 5:37 AM on September 29, 2009


Fwiw, I noticed that right away in the Baltimore thread and also found it condescending.
posted by fish tick at 5:38 AM on September 29, 2009


This is the strangest call-out ever.
posted by The Whelk at 5:41 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


There's a server in a small cafe near our house who seems incapable of uttering a single sentence that doesn't include "sweetie," "honey," "my dear," or "my love." I don't mind hearing this from little old nans, but coming from a woman who's a good five years younger than me and who doesn't know me is just weird.
posted by futureisunwritten at 5:45 AM on September 29, 2009


Noticed it. Condescending.

Honey, baby, sweetheart. Overly-familiar term to say "I'm not taking you seriously but aren't you adorable for stringing words together like you are.

But yeah, context is everything. Is the poster your mom?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:51 AM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: The sudden rash of honeys.

This is the month where we post parodies of MeTa right? Somebody please tell me this is the month we post parodies of MeTa and I missed the memo.

Please.
posted by vapidave at 5:56 AM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


I find your parodies really offensive and also butts lol.
posted by The Whelk at 6:01 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I saw it in a thread about hand gestures in Baltimore.

I did notice it there too, and I read it as "oh, isn't that cute that you didn't realize they were prostitutes".
posted by smackfu at 6:04 AM on September 29, 2009


on the Meef

Please don't ever say that again.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 6:08 AM on September 29, 2009 [22 favorites]


I noticed it in the Baltimore question and my initial reaction was that it came across as condescending. To my ear, it's something you might say to a child, not an adult. But the only time I've actually heard it used was once when I was 10 and a bus driver asked "are you okay, hon?" after missing my stop. If, as Blazecock Pileon says, it is a non-sexist term of affection in Baltimore then it's just a case of regional differences in the use of language.

Outside of this kind of thread, I can see that it is condescending. But it was just used in that thread to indicate Baltimore solidarity or some such thing. I mean, there's even a cafe and bumper stickers...
posted by advil at 6:14 AM on September 29, 2009


It's just a simple term of endearment...

Why should we be referring to each other with terms of endearment?
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:17 AM on September 29, 2009


Don't worry, no one will refer to you with a term of endearment.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:20 AM on September 29, 2009 [7 favorites]


I was called "Sug" once when I visited Alabama on business. I felt special because of it. :)
posted by Mastercheddaar at 6:30 AM on September 29, 2009


As a native Baltimoron myself, I will chime in to say that while "hon" is most certainly simply a largely meaningless local verbal tic, this is only true for an increasingly small subsection of the population. Anybody under 40 who calls you "hon" is about 50% likely to have adopted it as an affectation. Plus, they're highly likely to be white, in a city that mostly isn't.

Ten/15 years ago, it was something everybody knew was supposedly part of the local lingo, but most people almost never actually heard. Then came the revival (of the word, not the city).
posted by Dr.Enormous at 6:31 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Don't worry, no one will refer to you with a term of endearment.

That's a relief!
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:32 AM on September 29, 2009


Recency illusion + overthought beans = odd callout.
posted by languagehat at 6:34 AM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


In Baltimore, a man would call another man, either older or younger than he is, honey? Would a high school student call his or her best friend's mom honey?
posted by Salamandrous at 6:35 AM on September 29, 2009


I did notice it there too, and I read it as "oh, isn't that cute that you didn't realize they were prostitutes".

Just FYI, i am not uptight much and I read it that way too. I was slightly gleeful even to scroll down and see that the hon-user might be wrong.

I of course have only spent time in Baltimore relating to NSF grant events so my hon-exposure is at a minimum (they tend to say "Laser" or "Misappropriation" at those things, always held in the inner harbor Sheraton) This is a why-i-love-Metafilter moment, a teachable one. Now I know down in bawlmer I can hon it up to my program coordinator. "Oh hon, we never submitted our Phase IIB extension." "Hon, we made up all the results."
posted by neustile at 6:37 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I get "honeyed" a lot. I am not sure why. Maybe it's because honey makes a great wound dressing for my notoriously thin skin.
posted by adipocere at 6:45 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


OLD LADY-zone! Next comes inside voices, hard candies and the lingering smell of camphor! Resist!
posted by Marnie at 6:47 AM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Mmm. Honey Rash. So sweet...and inflamed!
posted by Burhanistan at 6:47 AM on September 29, 2009


I made one of the comments that Kattallus cites. It was specifically meant to be condescending. Not my proudest moment, I guess, but there it is.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:49 AM on September 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


I hadn't noticed the hon, what has been getting my back up is the faux-wisdom dealing bullshitters of AskMefi who say

This.
posted by biffa at 6:58 AM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


At least people here aren't spelling it "hunnie" (yet?) which apparently is how it's sometimes spelled in instant messages or chat rooms. I suppose this puts me squarely in getoffmylawn territory, but seeing it spelled that way really annoys me.

I've seen it spelled with a "Y" instead of an "IE". Winnie the Pooh reference, perhaps.
posted by zarq at 6:58 AM on September 29, 2009


Well, it was me who used it in the Baltimore thread and I used it because it is a Baltimorism and it struck me as funny. No intent to be condescending, just a small B-more injoke, or so I thought. It's so commonplace in Baltimore that the sign on the interstate as you come into the city says Welcome to Baltimore, Hon. What with 13 years in Baltimore and most of the rest of my life in North and South Carolina, I use hon and honey all the time in regular speech without even thinking about it.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:09 AM on September 29, 2009 [7 favorites]


You know what honey is? Bee poop.
posted by Nanukthedog at 7:11 AM on September 29, 2009


Now that I'm married, I've found myself addressing a lot of people as "honey" even when I don't mean to. People who genuinely think offense is meant are the same sort of people that get all edgy and suspicious when they go down south, because you can't trust a person who acts pleasant and cheerful towards you.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:13 AM on September 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


I hadn't noticed the hon, what has been getting my back up is the faux-wisdom dealing bullshitters of AskMefi who say

This.


This.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:14 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is this where I whine about the overuse of "Venn diagram" lately?

Oh, good.
posted by The Deej at 7:15 AM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is why I stick to either 'Sugar Pants' or 'Fuckface'. Far less ambiguity.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:17 AM on September 29, 2009 [6 favorites]


I've always considered "hon" sort of condescending (it's one of those things I think only 50+ year old diner waitresses can use, so if someone my own age uses it...) but I don't care that much if it's being tossed around online.

It is interesting to me that there are some places where it's not considered an "oh, bless your heart."
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:22 AM on September 29, 2009


This is why I only refer to people as bombaclots.
posted by chunking express at 7:23 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I ain't from the south, but close enough, and "honey" makes me cringe because in my experience half the time it's fine, but half the time it's followed by unwanted advice. Usually lousy advice. No, really, praying/moving back home/going on a blind date with your nephew is not going to happen.
posted by little e at 7:24 AM on September 29, 2009


My problem with "Hon" is that it's the all purpose term my wife and I use to refer to each other in any instance where explicitly stating the name isn't needed.

It's a problem because she is the person I talk to more than any one else, and the expression becomes so ubiquitous and easy that I occasionally find myself having to bite it off to keep it from coming out at work when speaking to a coworker. Not because I'm being condescending, but because it is the phrase I always use when speaking to the person I speak to the most.

And as a guy, I don't want to have to explain to the 6'4" 240 pound man that I work with why I just called him "hon". It's a conversation just I never want to have.
posted by quin at 7:27 AM on September 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


The point is, Ask Metafilter has its own rules of discourse, many of which are tightly enforced. Call people honey all you want elsewhere on the site.

I too find "honey" and "hon" really condescending and if someone called me that in AskMe I would think an unwritten guideline of AskMe had been broken. Personally I would only use it if I specifically wanted to belittle someone, and doing that in AskMe would be clearly inappropriate and asking for deletion. It seems like outside of the US, this may be an issue for more people in that many Americans may be tone deaf to "hon".

Hence it is amusing to see the same folks in here who were all upset over 'USian' now defending their right to call people "honey". It's that expansive parochialism thing Americans do so well.
posted by Rumple at 7:32 AM on September 29, 2009


Oh and I am sorry it came off wrong. Local humor fail. It wasn't the only thing I was wrong about in that thread, either, and now I keep wanting to pick up the phone and call my friend on Patterson Park Avenue and ask her exactly what hand gesture it is that the prostitutes on her street use. Maybe it is the hitchhiking signal.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:34 AM on September 29, 2009


102 comments and no mention of confirmation bias? I thought I was on Metafilter....
posted by Solomon at 7:42 AM on September 29, 2009


Is it me, or has MeFi been infected with "honey" recently? It seems as though in the past week or so, every thread I go into has someone referring to another poster as "honey" or "hon" -- a term that I find startlingly condescending (with overtones of ageism and sexism, to boot).

I think the more pressing concern here is the overtone of bees. Are these comments from recently registered users? And are they bees? If they're bees from different colonies, I don't think it's a big deal, but if they're all from the same hive, that's a huge fucking black-and-yellow flag. Prepare for BEE DOMINATION, which very few web sites survive.
posted by ignignokt at 7:44 AM on September 29, 2009


Honey is sticky and delicious and makes my thoughts turn to thoughts of springtime and bees and flowers of the mountain and as such is distracting and better savored away from the keyboard? Yes.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:46 AM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


The Bees told me to tell you you suck.
posted by The Whelk at 7:46 AM on September 29, 2009


P.S ALSO STOP USING WIFI, IT'S GIVING THEM A HEADACHE.

P .P. S THEY ALSO WANT LILIACS
posted by The Whelk at 7:47 AM on September 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


You know what honey is? Bee poop.

That's puke, grasshopper.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:52 AM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


quite a few years ago, i took my 3 and a half year old son into a convenience store. he asked the clerk for the location of night crawlers, and she told him. he then said 'thanks, hon.'
posted by lester at 7:54 AM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


I am a male Southerner of 31 years and I use and am called honey & hon in polite conversation all the time.

I suppose one could argue that it is an inherently sexist term. Guys can use it to address females, and females can use it to address both genders, but in my experience only gay men use it to address other males. There might be something worth talking about there.

But, personally, I generally use it as a less formal kind of ma'am. A familiarity. In my job, if a female member of the public asks me to help them with a public computer, I might answer, "I'd be glad to help you with that, ma'am," but if the secretary co-worker whom I talk to & joke with every day asks me if Bonzi Buddy is a good program to install, I would reply, "Hon, you do not want to mess with that!"

On the other side, I lost my cellphone the other day and above-mentioned secretary had held onto it for me. When I thanked her with "Thanks so much," she responded, "No problem, hon."

I also hold doors open for women and occasionally complement an outfit or hairstyle I think looks nice, so there's that.
posted by Liver at 7:57 AM on September 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


What do I wear for bee weather?
posted by The Whelk at 7:59 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Loto: I like threads like these, they let me know who is wound just a -little- too tight.

Ya mean all the people who just couldn't resist coming into the thread started by somebody who thought the word 'honey' might be inappropriate and slamming their point home by calling the poster 'honey'?
posted by koeselitz at 7:59 AM on September 29, 2009 [6 favorites]


My problem with "Hon" is that it's the all purpose term my wife and I use to refer to each other in any instance where explicitly stating the name isn't needed.

In my household, it's a thinly-veiled insult--a stand-in for the nasty names that we sometimes want to call one another but are too civilized and loving to actually say.

"Uh, hon...why is my ipod in the toilet?"
"I don't know, hon. But we've talked about not leaving things where the baby can reach them."
"I understand that, hon, but we've also talked about not leaving the bathroom door open."
"Hon..."
"Hon!"
posted by jrossi4r at 8:00 AM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yes, I also don't like this!
posted by ludwig_van at 8:09 AM on September 29, 2009


Yes, koeselitz, because maybe, just maybe, there are a few people left in the world who aren't crazy with the idea that the best guide to rational discourse is to be offended by everything and have everyone walk around oh-so-carefully on eggshells. Those people. I applaud them. After all, one could resist taking offense, but heavens to Betsy, that wouldn't do; no, not at all!
posted by adipocere at 8:11 AM on September 29, 2009 [10 favorites]


I learned only recently that Ministry's album The Land of Rape and Honey was actually a reference to the motto of Tisdale, Saskatchewan, where they grow lots of rapeseed and produce lots of honey. (And also that canola oil was a name they invented to give a more consumer friendly name to rapeseed oil.)
posted by Rhomboid at 8:12 AM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


have everyone walk around oh-so-carefully on eggshells.

It is the site's opinion that if you consider making a general good faith effort not to offend people with your words somehow onerous, you may not be happy here. I'll expand on this if people find it necessary.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:17 AM on September 29, 2009 [13 favorites]


What do I tell my candy girl when she's got me wanting her?
posted by yeti at 8:17 AM on September 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


Thanks guys, this has been awesome. When can we play again?
posted by ob at 8:30 AM on September 29, 2009


I have a hard time understanding how you can take umbrage to the word and consider it "condescending", sexist or ageist.

If not being used in a condescending manner, it suggests a level of familiarity that is inappropriate from a stranger, for those of us with larger-than-body-sized personal spaces, virtual or otherwise.
There is a store I visit where the cashier insists on ending every sentence with hon, sweetie, or babe, which is almost enough to keep me from shopping there. This afternoon I am considering giving her rear a little pat as I depart. After all, I'm her sweetie.
posted by fish tick at 8:30 AM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


adipocere: Yes, koeselitz, because maybe, just maybe, there are a few people left in the world who aren't crazy with the idea that the best guide to rational discourse is to be offended by everything and have everyone walk around oh-so-carefully on eggshells. Those people. I applaud them. After all, one could resist taking offense, but heavens to Betsy, that wouldn't do; no, not at all!

I don't think this is a case quite like that, do you? The poster said she found the word 'condescending,' but she phrased her question in such a way that it's clear she'll be relieved to discover that people don't generally mean it to be.

Doesn't seem nice to use a word that someone else finds threatening, is all. Moreover, doesn't seem effective to use that word they find threatening over and over again in an attempt to prove that it's not.

But - no biggie. obliquicity seems to be okay with the result - no harm done, so it's all good.
posted by koeselitz at 8:30 AM on September 29, 2009


As a young woman with attitoood, I tend to use such affectionate diminutives in discourse as markers of solidarity, and only with intended condescending effect when in address of my male elders.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:34 AM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


I had a convenience-store clerk about half my age call me darlin' last Monday morning.

It was disconcerting.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 8:35 AM on September 29, 2009

This is murder! Murder! You'll all be guilty! And you're doing it for nothing! KILLING ME WON'T BRING BACK YOUR GODDAMNED HONEY!
The Wicker Man

posted by koeselitz at 8:37 AM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also, since honey has natural antifungal properties, it would probably do a rash good.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:38 AM on September 29, 2009


Sugar
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:42 AM on September 29, 2009


I had a convenience-store clerk about half my age call me darlin' last Monday morning.

More disconcerting to me was the first time a teen-aged cashier said to me: "Thank you, sir." Sir? Damn...and that's when I knew I was on a trajectory to: "And you may ask yourself, 'how did I get here?'"
posted by ericb at 8:43 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Honey honey SLYT
posted by buzzman at 8:43 AM on September 29, 2009


Ah, honey, honey
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:43 AM on September 29, 2009


You are yeti's candy girl
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:44 AM on September 29, 2009


I (45-year old male) have been called "hon" and "honey" many times and have never taken offense. However, it seems like probably 80-90% of the time, it was a waitress saying it. (At least before I got married.)

Several commenters upthread have also commented that the phrase seems appropriate coming from a sassy waitress. Therefore I propose the rule that referring to other commenters as "honey" will be considered acceptable if accompanied by the declaration "I am a waitress", but not otherwise*

(* "I am your spouse" or "I am your mother" will also be accepted.)
posted by tdismukes at 8:44 AM on September 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


And you got me wanting a whisky, two fingers, neat.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:45 AM on September 29, 2009


Where I come from, Edge City, a man doesn't last very long if uses the word "honey". Period. He doesn't even spread it on his toast. Fuckmonster, on the other hand, seems to slide right in and fill the gap. I recommend y'all try it sometime:

"Watch your head there, fuckmonster."
"Fuckmonster, I've got moves you've never even seen."
"Catch you on the rebound, fuckmonster."
"How about a little fuckmonster in your tea."
posted by philip-random at 8:46 AM on September 29, 2009 [10 favorites]


Sweet-tits and hot man-beef are right out, too.

I hereby give my full permission for any and all to call me "hot man-beef" if they want to.

I will consider allowing sweet-tits.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:52 AM on September 29, 2009


Welcome to Palestine, the land of milk and fuckmonster.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:54 AM on September 29, 2009 [8 favorites]


At ease, sport.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:55 AM on September 29, 2009


Honey Pie, I love you.
posted by marxchivist at 8:57 AM on September 29, 2009


Contrary to the Metafilter record, Attila the Hun was actually a very charming, urbane gentleman.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:08 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is why I stick to either 'Sugar Pants' or 'Fuckface'. Far less ambiguity.

I prefer the flexibility of "Fuckpants," which can either be a term of endearment or derision, depending on context.
posted by chowflap at 9:09 AM on September 29, 2009


If a native Baltimorean claimed to be my equal I would be offended.

Uhh... screw you?

It is the site's opinion that if you consider making a general good faith effort not to offend people with your words somehow onerous, you may not be happy here. I'll expand on this if people find it necessary.

Was this shitty attitude necessary?
posted by spaltavian at 9:10 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Our HR person calls me "hon". I would report this to our HR person, except our HR person is also kinda huggy.

It's all so wrong.
posted by everichon at 9:10 AM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Man I wish people would call me champ in my posts! Or guv'nor.
posted by Askr at 9:10 AM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm picturing a kind of "Knights who say Ni!" battle-in-a-pit between the "honey" mongers and the "squee!" children.
Earplugs for the audience and morning stars for the participants.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:13 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's just a simple term of endearment like "dear" and "sweetie".

This thread has also put me into mind of the most powerful trick in my dealing with strange animals arsenal; the word "sweetie". It doesn't matter what kind of animal, or what the gender, calling it "sweetie" in the appropriate tone of voice makes it incapable of doing anything other than sitting their placidly and letting me scratch it.

Witness: "Wow that's an impressive guard dog, what is it, a mastiff-rottweiler-doberman-hellhound mix? No that's fine, I'm sure he's very tough and dangerous... aren't you Sweetie, yes you are, yes you are, who's a demonic soul ripper? Yes it's you! who's a good boy? Yes Sweetie, it's you! aww, look at that belly! You want a scritch? Yes you do!"

I can't explain why, but it seems to work every time.
posted by quin at 9:15 AM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


fine, here, whatever.
posted by boo_radley at 9:16 AM on September 29, 2009 [7 favorites]


jessamyn: It is the site's opinion that if you consider making a general good faith effort not to offend people with your words somehow onerous, you may not be happy here. I'll expand on this if people find it necessary.

spaltavian: Was this shitty attitude necessary?

Saying that deliberately impolite people may not be happy on Metafilter is not a shitty attitude. It is a statement of fact.

Without naming names, at least two or three recent flameouts have occurred when members were called out in MeTa for repeatedly launching verbal attacks against other members (or a specific group.) The mods gave them private and public warnings before either their accounts were disabled or in at least one case, left in a huff.
posted by zarq at 9:20 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Was this shitty attitude necessary?

"Don't be an asshole" is one of the barebones sitewide guidelines. I was trying to restate it in a way that was even more clear without sounding threatening or nasty.

People use MeTa less than maybe they should sometimes. They have concerns about the site or have feature suggestions or are having a problem with another user and instead of going to MeTa, they do nothing, other than maybe speak to us. One of the reasons why this happens is because some people don't want their requests or suggestions to be ruthlessly mocked and they don't want people to be nasty to them as sometimes (often?) happens in MeTa.

This is, quite frankly, a failure of the site and the community to function as it's supposed to. We do whatever small modly things we can to make this process go a little more smoothly, but part of it is saying, clearly and out loud, that folks being assholes for no reason is not so great as these things go and can sometimes have a chilling effect on people using the site the way it was designed.

People who go out of their way to say that they basically don't care if what they say or do is offensive or troubling to other users are, to my ears, saying that they may not be able to function as part of a community that actually does have "don't be an asshole" as one of its guidelines. I think this is worth occasionally pointing out.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:34 AM on September 29, 2009 [17 favorites]


Saying that deliberately impolite people

That's not what was being responded to. Someone said that this complaint would have us walking on "eggshells", not that it would restrict their right to be "deliberately impolite". That sort of condescending response, which made a strawman of the post being respnded to, was uncalled for.
posted by spaltavian at 9:36 AM on September 29, 2009


Sorry, missed your response. Yeah, I see what you're saying but I disagree that was a reasonable response to that specific post.
posted by spaltavian at 9:37 AM on September 29, 2009


Smearing honey on the Meef is not as alluring as it sounds.
posted by fleacircus at 9:40 AM on September 29, 2009


NOT THE BEES!
posted by Artw at 9:41 AM on September 29, 2009


It's not the usage of 'hon' so much that offends me; it's that they misspell it as 'hun' and my mind immediately appends "Attila, the..." to it. Now, that's annoying!
posted by Lynsey at 9:47 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Slice of meefcake, hon?
posted by Rhomboid at 9:47 AM on September 29, 2009


I know a guy that calls his son "honey". Kinda weirds me out every time I hear it.

Anyway, with regards to Baltimore/hon, it was mostly used by white working class women. The best example I can think of is that the white cafeteria ladies in elementary school called you "Hon", while the black cafeteria ladies called you "sugar" or "baby". It's familiar, but not really diminutive or disrespectful in any context, as it's used to address pretty much anyone (children, friends, old people, strangers, the mailman, etc). As someone said upthread, it's mostly died out, although there's a few people left who still use it.

So, in conclusion, lighten up, hon.
posted by electroboy at 9:48 AM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


See, I never grew up in a place where people said the euphemism "n-word", okay, so while I respect the emotion that that "nigger" evokes for many people, and while I would never use it in conversation because of that, it just doesn't have the same meaning for me because of my experience. So maybe you think I'm in a snit because I compared different contexts with that example?

Just to clarify: I thought you were in a snit because you were reading things into my comment that weren't there. I provided cultural context for why the word doesn't bother me, personally, and from this you gathered that I was defending the use of "hon" at all costs. This was neither stated nor implied.

I don't claim to always be successful at it, but I do try to be consistent at least, and I'll say about "hon" what I've said to others about "USian" - I don't need to understand why the word rubs some people the wrong way in order to respect the wishes of others not to use the word (although it helps, and reading some of the other comments in this thread has been eye-opening).

But as I've said it's a non-issue for me anyway, as it wasn't a word I was using to begin with, so, yeah. I don't feel my vocabulary is encroached upon in any way.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:51 AM on September 29, 2009


Unless you are a waitress in a Baltimore diner, thou shalt address other people as dude, hon.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:52 AM on September 29, 2009


And yes, the same goes for "on the Meef".

Although I was really hoping to keep that one.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:53 AM on September 29, 2009


That's puke, grasshopper.

I prefer hurl, as in Honey is bee hurl, pookie.
posted by y2karl at 9:54 AM on September 29, 2009


On the Meef

Cannot stop laughing. Seriously, this is the best thing I've heard all week.

Yeah it's been a shitty week, but come on. On the Meef??
posted by iconomy at 9:57 AM on September 29, 2009


I am also a fan of "on the Meef"
posted by Sys Rq at 9:58 AM on September 29, 2009


On the Meef? Is that like being on the Dole? Cause I can't find a job and I'm here soooo....
posted by The Whelk at 10:01 AM on September 29, 2009


Are republicans going to start complaining about Meef queens?
posted by electroboy at 10:03 AM on September 29, 2009


On the Meef? Is that like being on the Dole?

More like on the Smack.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:06 AM on September 29, 2009


It doesn't matter what kind of animal, or what the gender, calling it "sweetie" in the appropriate tone of voice makes it incapable of doing anything other than sitting their placidly and letting me scratch it.

I had to favorite you on that, quin, because I use "Sweetie" in the same way with small, utterly obnoxious children to render them powerless over me.

Child, running through store, knocking things off of stands and screaming at top of lungs, purposely stamps on my foot.

Misha (Bending down, eyes glowing red and hands curling into fists, speaking in soothing voice for benefit of clueless parents ): Now, Sweetie, you don't want to do that, DO YOU?

But then, I've also been known to purr "Sugar" at attractive men, and matronly condescension is the *last* thing on my mind.

All my Mefi spouses are "Sugar" to me.
posted by misha at 10:15 AM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Until I was 5 and just about to start kindergarten, I thought my name was Honey. Imagine my disappointment to find out it was Melissa, like every other girl from the 70's that wasn't named Amy.
posted by bayliss at 10:19 AM on September 29, 2009 [12 favorites]


What's all this about Meef Queefs and where can I download the lastest episode?
posted by Burhanistan at 10:20 AM on September 29, 2009


What's all this about Meef Queefs and where can I download the lastest episode?

Here you go.

Sorry!
posted by Sys Rq at 10:23 AM on September 29, 2009


"It is the site's opinion that if you consider making a general good faith effort not to offend people with your words somehow onerous, you may not be happy here. I'll expand on this if people find it necessary."

I would also like people to make a good faith effort not to be offended.
posted by klangklangston at 10:26 AM on September 29, 2009 [24 favorites]


Until I was 5 and just about to start kindergarten, I thought my name was Honey. Imagine my disappointment to find out it was Melissa, like every other girl from the 70's that wasn't named Amy.

"But Dad, I'm Jesus Christ!"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:35 AM on September 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


Why was my post deleted?
posted by jgirl at 10:42 AM on September 29, 2009


I would also like people to make a good faith effort not to be offended.

Sounds like something a meefed up tater would say.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:51 AM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


When I worked retail a customer called me "big shooter" once. I still try to use it as a term of address whenever I can.
posted by chaff at 10:56 AM on September 29, 2009


Why was my post deleted?
posted by jgirl


You mean this comment? Um...
posted by Sys Rq at 11:00 AM on September 29, 2009


The repeated invocations of "On the Meef" now have this running through my head. Good work, guys!

On the other hand, "honey" always makes me think "bunny" is about to follow, and you know how that ends.
posted by maudlin at 11:00 AM on September 29, 2009


I'm from the northwest US, and here are some data points:

Terms it's okay to use to address people you don't know well (depending on age and context): Dude, man, sir, ma'am, miss, hey you.

Terms it's not okay to use to address people you don't know well, because they come across as condescending and/or sexist and/or creepy: Hon, honey, sugar, baby, babe, broad, bud, buddy, champ, sport, madam, sweetie, dumpling, dear, boy, girl, woman, lady, cream pie, sweet tits, sexy, meef, snookums, almost anything else.

Exception: If the addressee is five or younger, almost anything goes.

Other exception: Attractive women should feel free to address me as "sexy."

And of course, the better you know someone, the more terms of endearment become available for use.
posted by Caduceus at 11:03 AM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'd rather be a Hon than a Counter-Hon.
posted by ottereroticist at 11:03 AM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Why was my post deleted?
posted by jgirl

You mean this comment? Um...


Shit, no idea how that happened. I didn't even go to that thread.
posted by jgirl at 11:05 AM on September 29, 2009


How do we feel about "boss"? Particularly when you're being addressed by someone who you are not, in fact, the boss of?
posted by owtytrof at 11:12 AM on September 29, 2009


I see a difference between flatly unambiguous insults (pick your term, just get one of Carlin's Seven Dirty Words and add a -bag, -tard, -hole, or -head) and a term I hear from my neighbor. I wouldn't expect the former to fly but the latter? It's not onerous to avoid straight-up insults but it's rather surprising (and I am apparently not the only one who found it so) to have to avoid the variants of "honey." My next door neighbor calls me "hon." We have better grounds to eliminate dude*. "Dude" is used here, often, and in much the same manner. It can also be used in a condescending manner, and has been, here.

It is easy to lump in people who "don't care if what they say or do is offensive or troubling to other users" with those who find that the continued emphasis on little but that to be somewhat controlling, but there's quite a distinction. The former plow bluntly through everything, damn the suspension, and find the occasional speedbump erected to be little but a target. The latter wonder where the "... but I will defend to death your right to say it" version of tolerance went, and think it worthy of illustration every so often. I agree with your assessment of the former, both personally and with respect to site guidelines, but I think you have missed the valuable function of the latter. There are more ways to be an asshole, pardon my French, than by offending someone, and one of them is by seeking out and taking opportunities to be offended. Consider this guy. A lot of "DTMFA" in that thread. That A can be earned by lots and lots of behaviors, and while boorishness is obviously A-worthy from a distance, it does have some merit by comparison in that it is less insidious than others.

I suggest that cutting one another a little slack might make everything a little less fragile. Would that we respected one another's stated opinions versus the reported feelings. Might we spend more time on that rather than focusing on mere diction?

And now I want some hon-wasabi for my lunch sushi instead this processed green horseradish nonsense.

* Ask languagehat, I won't embarrass myself with my paltry knowledge of the topic as compared to his, but it had a nasty beginning, much worse than "hon."
posted by adipocere at 11:14 AM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


Where are we at about me referring to all of you as Hoss?
posted by electroboy at 11:19 AM on September 29, 2009


...awww, "hon" reminds me of amberglow. I wish amberglow would come back and call me hon again.

So I guess this kinda sums up the sentiment.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:21 AM on September 29, 2009


Would that we respected one another's stated opinions versus the reported feelings.

There's no versus. Both are important here and both need at least a little bit of acknowledgment and tolerance. We'll definitely tell someone if we think that their level of offense about something on this site is maybe over the top and unlikely to adjust to a level that will give them satisfaction -- I often bring up the people who complain about swearing on the front page, our response to them is usually "you may find it difficult to enjoy this site" -- but with this specific callout the OP made very careful statement about wondering "hey is it just me?" and people still got all GRAR FREE SPEECH about it and I think that's a disproportionate response and said so.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:21 AM on September 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


I suggest that cutting one another a little slack might make everything a little less fragile.

If someone could point to the non-strawman fragility in evidence...

You know, this is going to be one of those issues that, introduced in the least-dramatic of terms, becomes more difficult to tackle because of the absolute refusal of some people to step outside of their own shoes for even one moment.

I read: "Anyway, with regards to Baltimore/hon... It's familiar, but not really diminutive or disrespectful in any context, as it's used to address pretty much anyone ...So, in conclusion, lighten up" and I think, fantastic. A new era with newer, thicker skin. In my neck of the woods, "lynch" means "kill", probably by a mob's hand, but with no racial overtones whatsoever. So we're good there. I can't wait to find out what neighbourhoods render other terms a-ok for the internets.

Or, you know, you could try to be just a little even-handed. My vote, hands down, is for no-holds-barred discourse, but if you're going to start objecting to terms because it's offensive in your neck of the woods and we all have to comply, don't ask everyone else to "lighten up" because some other term is common usage in one particular city in the Good Ole US of A.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:32 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


A lot of "DTMFA" in that thread. That A can be earned by lots and lots of behaviors, and while boorishness is obviously A-worthy from a distance, it does have some merit by comparison in that it is less insidious than others.

Metafilter, you are on notice: adipocere want you to earn that "already."
posted by dersins at 11:32 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was a bartender for many years, and I invariably called everyone I worked with (as well as many of my regulars) "honey", "hon", "babes", or "baby". You know why? No, it wasn't to be condescending. It was to express solidarity (like Ambrosia Voyeur) and affection; a nod to our shared circumstances and a way to boost positivity all around. I know we don't all work together, but if someone called me "hon" or "honey", I would assume that they were doing so in a similar spirit. Of course, I generally tend to assume the best of people and I'm very easy going. Sure, we should all make an effort not to deliberately offend other people, but hey, maybe we can give people the benefit of the doubt too. I get a little depressed when I read these long ranty posts filled with people whipping themselves into fits of indignation over not a whole lot. I guess what I'm trying to say is can't we all just get along?
posted by Go Banana at 11:33 AM on September 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


Honey annoys me if the person does not know me, or if it is coming from my snarky niece.

Working in a call canter, I was often called "honey" as well as many variations. My response was to calmly say "My name is Sarah," once and continue the conversation, ignoring them if they said it again. I repeated it to a woman after she'd called me honey for the umpteeth time. She asked to speak to my supervisor. I don't remember if they backed me up or not.

My point is that in polite conversation, if someone isn't rude about asking you not to call them "honey", make an effort.

FWIW, I thought the "they are prostitutes, hon" was a joke about said ladies coming on to the OP.
posted by soelo at 11:33 AM on September 29, 2009


I'm covered in beeeeeees, honey.
posted by not_on_display at 11:34 AM on September 29, 2009


Can I also complain about every moniker applied to a guy except "dude?"

Seriously I don't like:

Guy
Ace
Big Guy
Boss
posted by Ironmouth at 11:35 AM on September 29, 2009


Sweet-tits and hot man-beef are right out, too.

But Sugar Tits is still allowed, right?
posted by deborah at 11:36 AM on September 29, 2009


bayliss: Until I was 5 and just about to start kindergarten, I thought my name was Honey. Imagine my disappointment to find out it was Melissa, like every other girl from the 70's that wasn't named Amy.

You do know, right, that Melissa means honey in... *checks Wikipedia* Hittite?! I thought for sure that it was Greek but apparently Melissa means honeybee in Greek. Okay, so apparently you're name doesn't actually mean honey except in an etymological sense but I've thought so for years. So… uh… this comment is mostly pointless. I'll add that I only scraped through my Greek finals.
posted by Kattullus at 11:36 AM on September 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


Ironmouth, how do you feel about Governor? Big Shooter?

(just two of my favorite condescending ones)
posted by soelo at 11:38 AM on September 29, 2009


Unfortunately, due to recent legislation we've got to say high fructose corn syrup tits.
posted by ODiV at 11:40 AM on September 29, 2009


Marisa,

The first & last sentences in your comment did imply that you were being all judgmental about people who don't like to be called hon:

This is a joke, right?
Man, go outside or something, the trees are changing color.

It's pretty clear now that that wasn't your intent. But stating that you think someone's issues is a joke and telling people to go outside after you get through explaining why you are totally fine with the issue at hand, is not the best way to make it clear that you are okay with other's differing opinions.
posted by nooneyouknow at 11:42 AM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Where are we at about me referring to all of you as Hoss?

Unless you are a 300 year old redneck wizard who is going to teach me magic, you should under no circumstances refer to me as Hoss.
posted by Caduceus at 11:42 AM on September 29, 2009


Sweet-tits and hot man-beef are right out, too.

But Sugar Tits is still allowed, right?


No, but Sweet Hot Man-Beef hits the spot.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:44 AM on September 29, 2009


Seriously I don't like:

Guy
Ace
Big Guy
Boss


Yeah, I try to avoid those. Instead, I apply non-irritating familiars to guys I've just met such as "Tonto," "pencil-dick" or "Lady Marmalade."

People still say "Ace"? Weird.
posted by Skot at 11:44 AM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


If I was the son of Ben Cartwright and Inger Borgstrom, you could call me Hoss.
posted by soelo at 11:45 AM on September 29, 2009


I'll go you one better on "boss." A coworker, who is rightly proud of his long arrest record due to his civil rights involvement, will use "straw boss" at the drop of a hat. I flinch inside every time. It's "okay" up North, but use of that term in mixed racial company down South has earned The Look whenever I heard it. I suppose the first thing you learn about race relations, you learn the hardest.
posted by adipocere at 11:47 AM on September 29, 2009


Lighten up, Francis.
posted by tommasz at 11:53 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Or, you know, you could try to be just a little even-handed. My vote, hands down, is for no-holds-barred discourse, but if you're going to start objecting to terms because it's offensive in your neck of the woods and we all have to comply, don't ask everyone else to "lighten up" because some other term is common usage in one particular city in the Good Ole US of A.

I'm not sure who you're talking to. You seem to have mashed together a bunch of different posts and attributed them to one composite strawman.
posted by electroboy at 12:03 PM on September 29, 2009


As a native Baltimoron myself, I will chime in to say that while "hon" is most certainly simply a largely meaningless local verbal tic, this is only true for an increasingly small subsection of the population. Anybody under 40 who calls you "hon" is about 50% likely to have adopted it as an affectation.

But you forgot to factor in what happens when you go downtheowshun.
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:10 PM on September 29, 2009


But stating that you think someone's issues is a joke and telling people to go outside after you get through explaining why you are totally fine with the issue at hand, is not the best way to make it clear that you are okay with other's differing opinions.

Perhaps not. Just attempting some levity in the whole discussion here on the Meef, and I'm sorry I was clumsy/dismissive in that regard.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:12 PM on September 29, 2009


Reminds me of something my honey once said:

"it takes a fool to take offense where none is intended, and a greater fool to take offense where it is intended."

(yes, I have some talking honey.)
posted by blue_beetle at 12:13 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm curious about the racist implications of straw boss. Googling turned this up. Now I am very confused.
posted by theora55 at 12:16 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


BumbleBarf.com
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:44 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure who you're talking to. You seem to have mashed together a bunch of different posts and attributed them to one composite strawman.

Volstraw

or

Strawtron
posted by iamabot at 12:48 PM on September 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


I am over six feet tall, and am tired of being addressed as "Big Guy."

"Big Guy" is obviously short for "Big Guy Whose Name I Can't Be Bothered To Learn."
posted by Sys Rq at 12:48 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


P: Surely, we have become a race of three-armed cyborgs.
K: What.
P: How else could we be typing, typing, typing our frustrations away on the Internet, when clearly we are also vigorously wagging our fingers AND masturbating at the same time?
K: Don't call me Shirley.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:49 PM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


No one likes being called Sparky or Einstein.

So I use those quite often.
posted by iconomy at 1:03 PM on September 29, 2009


with overtones of ageism and sexism, to boot

I'm a male Southerner, so that informs my reaction to this, but I would never think that honey was a sexist or ageist thing. As someone noted above, I would never use it talking to another man, but women can (and do) call me honey. Women my own age and women older than me.

Actually, I would say the main "overtones" of calling someone honey are "I work in a diner. Not a great diner, mind you, we're not going to take away any business from the Waffle House, but if you need some grits, we're here."

Also, as long as we're complaining about things like this, I want to complain about "big guy." Am I the only one who only uses it ironically when talking to small children? I never use it for an actually big guy, because it sounds to much like "hey fatso."
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:11 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yo, hon, we heard you like honey in your honey.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:14 PM on September 29, 2009


"Big Guy" is obviously short for "Big Guy Whose Name I Can't Be Bothered To Learn."

QFT. I hear that a lot. (Am also over six feet)

It's better than "Big Boy" though.
posted by zarq at 1:14 PM on September 29, 2009


It never fails to amaze me how wrong beggars are when they say "Hey big guy!" for this very reason. It sounds like "Fat man! Any money for me?". Makes the impulse buy of giving money away an easy one to resist for me. I'm usually a soft touch.
posted by josher71 at 1:19 PM on September 29, 2009


Huh. I just got called "hon" four times in rapid succession by a New York City pharmacist.

Never noticed this before. Normally in my (largely hispanic) neighborhood I get called "Mummy." As in, after I pay for a sixpack, "Thanks, Mummy."

Having grown up down south, I think I mostly tune this stuff out. When it shows up on AskMe, I think it usually connotes sympathy, not condescension.
posted by torticat at 1:31 PM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Whaddabout chief, compadre, amigo, buddy, sparky, chinstrap, goober, chuckles and mister?
posted by klangklangston at 1:36 PM on September 29, 2009


Don't forget "genius".
posted by Burhanistan at 1:38 PM on September 29, 2009


Also, I used to drink at a bar where the tender called everyone "Scootch." I have no idea why.
posted by klangklangston at 1:40 PM on September 29, 2009


Oh and I think guv would be an excellent substitute for any term-of-address-that may-be-offensive-in-some-regions.
posted by torticat at 1:40 PM on September 29, 2009


No, you're schmoopy!
posted by WPW at 2:04 PM on September 29, 2009


Ever notice that when people use the term "Friend" as a moniker, they almost never mean it in a friendly way?

"Hey, Friend... why don't you get off my lawn?"

It just has an implied menace underneath it.
posted by quin at 2:06 PM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm goimng to start calling people "bub".

SNIKTITY SNIKT!
posted by Artw at 2:07 PM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


I've noticed younger people starting to type "hun" online when they mean "hon[ey]", and it always makes me think of rampaging hordes.
posted by davejay at 2:13 PM on September 29, 2009


It just has an implied menace underneath it.

I think the implication is "I'll keep this civil if you keep this civil, but I'm well aware that you might not keep this civil, so keep that in mind if you decide not to get off my lawn." So the implied menace is intended as a warning that can be safely ignored as inoffensive if your intentions are good.
posted by davejay at 2:15 PM on September 29, 2009


Sort of like turning up at town hall meetings with a gun.
posted by Artw at 2:17 PM on September 29, 2009


OH, and it's intended to have no hierarchy, whereas "Sir" and "Son" do have a hierarchy, so that the situation doesn't escalate.
posted by davejay at 2:18 PM on September 29, 2009


Sort of like turning up at town hall meetings with a gun.

Ha! Well, I suppose if you show up at a town hall meeting with a gun handle sticking out of your belt, but you sit quietly and listen and then leave, then yeah.
posted by davejay at 2:19 PM on September 29, 2009


Went shopping yesterday after work, just to pick up some cat crunchies and dishwashing detergent. Had been to the bottle shop before hand for a few choice goodies, and I put the booze bag down on the counter while I got out my wallet. Checkout chick (she's called herself this before, relax), quite an attractive sort, said "Looking fancy!" I thought she was talking about me, but I was dressed only so-so and I said "Umm, thanks." She went red and said "I meant the wine." I told her she had pretty low standards because they were two for twenty cleanskins. She said "I'm a checkout chick at Bi Lo, what did you expect?" I told her she made a good point and this probably could have gone on for a while but I was in the express lane and there were a lot of people who wanted cigarettes.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:25 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


schmoopy I hate!!#$@!!!! Please don't use it ever again on MeFi unless you are consciously trying to upset me.

Dude I can't take seriously. I'm old enough that I was very conscious of its entry into common parlance, starting with west coast surfer dude morons and evolving from there.

Man I am comfortable with, growing up as I did in the 70s. Everything's cool, man.

Honey is sweet and I'll take as much as I can get.
posted by philip-random at 2:26 PM on September 29, 2009


Ever notice that when people use the term "Friend" as a moniker, they almost never mean it in a friendly way?

"Hey, Friend... why don't you get off my lawn?"

It just has an implied menace underneath it.


What's that, friendo?
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:27 PM on September 29, 2009


I thought our mantra was taking everything in good faith, so can't we take most comments as such? There are millions of comments filled with strong and direct insults, condescending and passive, sarcastic, blunt, or any combination of the above. If someone was trying to insult you, they would.

I can sort of understand why the ageist/condescension thing comes into play, but could someone explain the sexism thing? To me it seems that both genders get tagged as 'hons', mostly by middleaged women in my experience, but is there some other connotations that I am missing?
posted by Think_Long at 2:28 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I thought our mantra was taking everything in good faith

Is this another Bizarro MetaFilter thread?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:30 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you think it stings when someone calls you 'hon', just wait until you get on their bad side and they tell you to "kiss their grits".

There aren't enough isms in the world to describe how many levels you'll feel offended on, skippy.
posted by dgaicun at 2:32 PM on September 29, 2009


just wait until you get on their bad side and they tell you to "kiss their grits".

Sure, they tease and issue continued exhortations for you to kiss their grits, but when you finally assent they look shocked and don't even let you near their grits. I don't think they even had any grits to begin with, or know where they put their grits.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:37 PM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wish more people called me "hon" -- and more often. I find it comforting, not condescending.

And I just moved to Baltimore, so I may get my wish.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 2:41 PM on September 29, 2009


I thought our mantra was taking everything in good faith

Yeah, you would think that, friend.
posted by quin at 2:43 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just got called "hon" four times in rapid succession by a New York City pharmacist.

I just got called "hon" today by a Vermont pharmacist who I am certain is younger than me and it was all I could do to not be all "What did you just call me?" because, you know, I really really wanted my medicine. I am pretty much never called hon other than by family members and sweeties.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:55 PM on September 29, 2009


Ever notice that when people use the term "Friend" as a moniker, they almost never mean it in a friendly way?

I always think of this, but I'd guess there are earlier usages of the menacing "friend".
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:57 PM on September 29, 2009


And I just moved to Baltimore

Oh hon, I'm so sorry!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:58 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to like it and you're not helping.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 3:00 PM on September 29, 2009


I had heard "straw boss" when I was little and in that stage where you just accept terms and phrases without much introspection.

Then I moved down South and had to have a rapid readjustment of my position on race ("people come in different colors like cats and dogs, the end" — about as much as you can expect from a seven year old) to "Hey, there was this whole slavery thing, and that is why you're sensing all of this tension between this bunch of people who are this bunch of colors and people who are a whole 'nother color palette."

I gathered up my dumb little questions about new, puzzling situations, which also included the whole "boss" (and variant) thing, and was told that, because it is a reminder of when slaves had to work in the field, and one would be appointed "straw boss," it was never to be used in mixed racial company. They dumbed it down for me, but that was the general explanation. I never did know if it was correct, but the people in question sure took it seriously.
posted by adipocere at 3:08 PM on September 29, 2009


I suppose one could argue that it is an inherently sexist term. Guys can use it to address females, and females can use it to address both genders, but in my experience only gay men use it to address other males. There might be something worth talking about there.

One time I was hanging sheetrock over in Sparta Tennessee and I looked out the window just in time to see a dump truck roll over a hill just a hundred yards away. They were digging out a pond up there and the truck must have taken the hill wrong and over it went. I dropped my tools and ran out the door and over to the fallen thing, climbed up on it's cab and saw a big guy trying to right himself he was face down on the passenger side window with his butt in the air. Fuel was dripping on the smoke stack and I was sure the whole thing was about to go up in flames. I don't remember why but the door was stuck and the only way out was the window which he got open. But he wouldn't come out he was busy angrily stuffing his effects into a green tool bag and cussin' himself silly, he was clearly in shock. The guy that was working the backhoe got up on the cab with me and was calling for him to get out but he just kept fuming down in the cab. "Rooster, honey you all right? Honey just leave that stuff." These guys were work partners and not kin to each other but the tall guy kept saying " Rooster come on now honey you can leave that stuff."

He finally climbed out and was none the worse for wear, but every once in a while I'll see a dumptruck and say out loud to no one in perticular, 'Rooster honey are you all right' then I chuckle a little bit.
posted by nola at 3:18 PM on September 29, 2009 [21 favorites]


Meef, it's what you're doing instead of cooking dinner.
posted by The Whelk at 3:24 PM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


Several commenters upthread have also commented that the phrase seems appropriate coming from a sassy waitress.

I worked at a diner for three years, so I hereby reserve the right to call all of you "hon" (not that I ever have so far, but I might feel like channeling my inner sassy waitress some day).
posted by amyms at 3:26 PM on September 29, 2009


Honey I was watching Honey while listening to Honey ...

Wubble wubble?

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

Malkovich, Malkovich .. Malkovich Malkovich
posted by filthy light thief at 3:40 PM on September 29, 2009


None of these bother me much, whether intended in good faith as hokey terms of endearment or as catch-all forms of address between service workers or other random strangers, or as backhanded condescending insults. What does raise my hackles, though, is when clerks address me by name after I swipe my debit card. I want to say, "It's nice that you can read, hon. Is there any other personal information on there that you'd care to share with the others standing in line next to me?" Plus, or course, they pronounce it wrong half the time, anyway. Jerks. Just bag my Wild Turkey and ammunition and let me be on my way.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:47 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I get a little depressed when I read these long ranty posts filled with people whipping themselves into fits of indignation over not a whole lot. I guess what I'm trying to say is can't we all just get along?

I think my post is probably the most indignant in the thread, and that's over the double standard, not any use of "hon" or "honey". In fact, is anyone indignant about this? I saw someone asking "This seems condescending -- anyone else think so?" and a bunch of people said "Yes". Another bunch of people said "No" (and the inevitable "Lighten up"). Fits of indignation?

As to getting along, sure we can! I just find it depressing that we seem to still be at the level, with very few exceptions, of "How can I tell if this is offensive. Well, does it offend me?
If yes = offensive; I don't care if it isn't where you are, you're on the internets now
If no = not offensive, and there's something wrong with you for thinking so"

I'm perfectly happy following option #2 for anything and everything if that's the way MeFi is gonna roll. I don't get offended by much.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:04 PM on September 29, 2009


My suggestion: say the offending word to yourself until the word loses its meaning. It'll work with any word, where the word becomes a weird assembly of sounds and nothing more.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:20 PM on September 29, 2009


It'll work with any word, where the word becomes a weird assembly of sounds and nothing more.

Until you say it to someone else, that is.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:24 PM on September 29, 2009


Nothing's fucked here, dude.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:45 PM on September 29, 2009


and you're not helping.

Sorry. Try the Visionary Arts Museum and Paper Moon Diner, they're awesome.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:46 PM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Both excellent suggestions. I also recommend Fell's Point during a weekend day, especially Upper Broadway where all the Central American restaurants are, but the waterfront and its bars are nice, too. During the day.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:50 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


And I just moved to Baltimore

Well, you could get the hon salad at the place with the giant pink flamingo.

Then there's the annual Hon Fest.
posted by jgirl at 4:54 PM on September 29, 2009


What does raise my hackles, though, is when clerks address me by name after I swipe my debit card.

I remember one of my managers specifically instructing me to do that, but obviously I never did because it's really creepy. Her position was that it made the customers feel noticed and special, since the only regulars we really cared to recognize were the batshit insane ones.

If she had forced the issue and made me do it, I think it would have been fun to be extremely sinister about it. One could get off a lot of good sci-fi references: HAL 9000, Agent Smith, whatever.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 4:55 PM on September 29, 2009


I'm not from Cali. Isn't Frisco some kind of grease?
posted by flabdablet at 5:21 PM on September 29, 2009


atrazine, lmdba is probably from somewhere around Bristol. They really do say that.
posted by scruss at 5:25 PM on September 29, 2009


I use terms like hon and babe. I mean absolutely no disrespect, no condescension, no familiarity. (well, maybe a bit of familiarity) It is a term of solidarity, as a couple of other posters have explained. I am not against you, I am for you.

I'm sincerely sorry if others find it offensive, but you know what? It's not the same as the N word. Not by a long shot.

You find it condescending? Fine. I'll be happy to not use it here. And I do mean that. It's fine, and I am able to try and understand where you are coming from, if you find it condescending, that's not cool at all (tho when I get called hon or babe, or dear, or whatever, it doesn't trigger that response for me).

But to compare a genuine term of endearment to a nasty racial slur is off the mark, IMO.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 6:16 PM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Around here, 'honey' doesn't seem to have a lot of connotation, beyond a mild version of the camp quality noted above. A woman I know called me honey the other day, and that was the exact moment I knew romancing was off the table. It's that space where a term of endearment goes out the other side and becomes slightly bored acceptance of your presence.

I think I'd find Baltimore very depressing.
posted by Dandeson Coates, Sec'y at 6:25 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


The woman who works in the cafeteria at work calls everybody "honey" but she's neither sassy nor old (in her early 30s). I think it's a word you can use to as something to call people whose names you can't remember, like how my grandfather used to call his twin sons brósi* when they were growing up because he couldn't tell them apart.


* Diminutive of bróðir which means brother.
posted by Kattullus at 6:59 PM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: "hon" is like "nigger" now.
posted by secretseasons at 7:00 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


A hundred or so comments later and I keep coming back to this.
posted by The Whelk at 7:06 PM on September 29, 2009


My anaconda don't want none unless you've got buns, ***.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:07 PM on September 29, 2009


To be anecdotal for a moment:

I'm in Colorado, where we shy away from regional vernacular in general and pretty much just try not to talk to each other too much so as to avoid confusion. Anyhow, the last time I hear the word "honey" used in public, I was at Boulder Music buying guitar strings. The guy in front of me in line leaned across the counter, leered at the college student running the register, and said: "Hey, could you check and see if your manager is in, honey? I ordered something, and he told me I should check with him to see if it'd come in." She squinted at him and yelled to the back: "Hey Joe - did we get any customer deliveries this week?" "No." "Well, sir, sounds like it didn't come in." Guy said: "ah- oh. Okay, thanks." and turned around to walk out the door, her still-squinting eyes boring holes in his back all the way. I stepped up the counter, smirked, and said, in a bemused voice: "Did that guy really call you 'honey'?"

She just shook her head. "Fucking assholes."

A word like that is all in the delivery, and the trouble with the internet is that the one delivering is a computer monitor without any subtlety whatsoever.
posted by koeselitz at 7:23 PM on September 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm sincerely sorry if others find it offensive, but you know what? It's not the same as the N word.

Drawing an analogy between two things is not the same as equating them. No one in this thread has asserted that they are equally offensive.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:28 PM on September 29, 2009


Think_Long: I can sort of understand why the ageist/condescension thing comes into play, but could someone explain the sexism thing? To me it seems that both genders get tagged as 'hons', mostly by middleaged women in my experience, but is there some other connotations that I am missing?

Ah - again, I'm in Colorado, and this may just be a very regional thing, but isn't it pretty clear? Here, take a look at this list of words:

  • honey
  • sweetie
  • sugar
  • baby
  • babe
  • doll

    Are any of those very 'comfy' words when addressed to a subservient woman by a male in a position of power - say, for example, a male customer speaking to a female clerk or waitress? Maybe this is just something that people in other regions have just dealt with better, but - it's not so much that they're sexist words in themselves. It's not even that the only people who use them are sexists. It's that, whenever a male is expressing publicly a sense of superiority and power, whenever a guy is flexing his sexist muscles, he invariably uses those words. Hence I'm not really very quick to call younger women (or older women for that matter) by any of those terms, at least if I don't know them. As always, it's just a game of trying to make sure I'm not misunderstood, and I have female friends who I'll say much 'worse' to just because they know me and know I'm no sexist.

    One thing that people seem to be forgetting here is the fact that it's not readily apparent on Metafilter what your tone or even your gender is. For all a newcomer knows, every person saying 'hon' and 'sweetie' could be an old dude trying to act superior to the women here.

  • posted by koeselitz at 7:37 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


    Solon and Thanks: What does raise my hackles, though, is when clerks address me by name after I swipe my debit card.

    Weirdly, what raises my hackles is the way that the word 'swipe,' toward with I have inexplicably had a strange affection since my early childhood, has been completely appropriated and stolen from its original meaning. It was a cool old-fashioned word for stealing; but since people apparently came under the strange impression that it's actually a combination of the words 'slide' and 'wipe,' it's now the word of choice for the act of running one's debit or credit card through a machine.

    For the first few years that I had a card of my own this was slowly catching on, and I stubbornly persisted in correction cashiers everywhere, even if I couldn't do it directly - you know that annoying backhanded passive-aggressive way of correcting that some people have? That was me. "Okay sir, just swipe your card... " "Yes, I'll just slide my card right here."

    Sometimes I wonder how I survived high school.
    posted by koeselitz at 7:42 PM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


    *gives koeslitz a wedgie*
    posted by Burhanistan at 7:50 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


    Honey, honey, honey.
    posted by box at 7:53 PM on September 29, 2009


    Drawing an analogy between two things is not the same as equating them

    Fair enough. Weak analogy then.
    posted by Grlnxtdr at 8:03 PM on September 29, 2009


    So, I used to be a receptionist. I got "honey," "sweetie," and the like from a numerous jerks (office visitors and callers, not other staff (thank goodness), and mostly men but occasionally women) who were inarguably (you could from the tone and/or context of what they were saying) being condescending because I was at bottom of the office totem pole and/or female. There are cases like that where it's pretty clear that someone is being rude. There are also cases (diner waitresses, Baltimore natives) where it's pretty clear that it mean absolutely nothing. It's those in-between situations, of which there are certainly many here on MetaFilter, that are a little bit hard to parse. I try not to jump to conclusions in these cases, but I admit these words rub me the wrong way if they're in the context of someone telling me what to do (even if it's well-meaning advice). I would guess that many people, especially women, who have worked in retail (another job where I heard this sort of thing a lot), restaurants, call centers, and any other low-status position have had similar experiences of these words being used to remind them of the power differential between them and another person.
    I know plenty of you don't mean it that way, and I don't think people who say it are jerks, and I thought it was really funny in the Baltimore thread because it was obviously a reference to how Baltimoreans talk, and maybe I'm being absurdly oversensitive, but I am still glad obliquicity brought this up - thanks for sticking your neck out there, dude (can I call you dude?)
    posted by naoko at 8:04 PM on September 29, 2009


    Aaaand Koeselitz said what I was trying to say about implied superiority and power much better than I did.
    posted by naoko at 8:08 PM on September 29, 2009


    koeslitz, the battle is not completely. There is still reason to to hope.
    posted by nooneyouknow at 8:12 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


    schmoopy I hate!!#$@!!!! Please don't use it ever again on MeFi unless you are consciously trying to upset me.

    Aw, sweetcheeks, don't go and get your knickers in a twist.
    posted by deborah at 8:28 PM on September 29, 2009


    schmoopy I hate!!#$@!!!! Please don't use it ever again on MeFi unless you are consciously trying to upset me.


    I'LL CUT YOU YOU BASTARD
    posted by Schmoopy at 8:31 PM on September 29, 2009 [6 favorites]


    I think people who are easily annoyed by condescension on the internet are just adorable.
     
    posted by vapidave at 9:02 PM on September 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


    Sometimes.... sometimes Metafilter really is just a bit much.
    posted by hifiparasol at 9:59 PM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


    So remember hons and honettes, start your day off right with a hot meef injection. And don't let the sudden rash slow you down, keep fuckin' that chicken.
    posted by dgaicun at 10:10 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


    Ever notice that when people use the term "Friend" as a moniker, they almost never mean it in a friendly way?

    But Hispanic guys who call you "amigo" almost always mean it. Maybe they're just friendlier.
    posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:12 PM on September 29, 2009


    Finally, a thread I can understand and appreciate.
    posted by The Bizzaro Whelk at 10:36 PM on September 29, 2009


    My father calls all us kids Honey. Outside of that, he doesn't have an endearing bone in his body.

    Here in Brooklyn, "Boss" seems to be a natural period on the end of any sentence involving the exchange of goods and services between two men, especially if a taxi or Bodega is involved. I picked it up completely involuntarily. And I barely notice I'm saying it until I leave NY. Then it sounds weird, and has once or twice got me a strange look.

    my favorite when I just want to be a dick, is "brother". Usually spoken in my best Randy "Macho Man" Savage intonation.
    posted by billyfleetwood at 10:56 PM on September 29, 2009


    People who genuinely think offense is meant are the same sort of people that get all edgy and suspicious when they go down south, because you can't trust a person who acts pleasant and cheerful towards you.

    Holy moly, yes. I once worked with a woman from upstate New York, and when we were in a restaurant in Huntsville, AL, she flew into a rage when the waitress called her "Honey." She still to this day talks about how disrespectful that was. As a native Alabamian, now living in South Carolina by way of Virginia, I was completely taken aback. I seriously never even considered that somebody saying something vaguely pleasant to you could be considered disrespectful. It of course always depends on the tone and situation, but I think most people from the Southeastern part of the US hear terms like this so often that they become inoculated (inured?) to it, even when it is used condescendingly. People not hearing it used often in innocent situations probably see it differently because, in their experience, it is commonly used as a pejorative.

    In my experience, it's often better to assume that people have the best intentions, even when there are indicators otherwise, until there is strong evidence to the contrary. It smooths social interaction and will probably make your life a lot less stressful. In this case, that means reading "hon" as a term of endearment, or maybe sympathy if endearment is too strong a word for you.
    posted by This Guy at 6:27 AM on September 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


    Can't we all just join hands and sing the Maharishi Vedic Organic Unnamed Natural Sweetener Song together?
    posted by anthom at 6:41 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


    I'm going to just call everyone frijoles.
    posted by waraw at 7:38 AM on September 30, 2009


    Can't we all just join hands and sing the Maharishi Vedic Organic Unnamed Natural Sweetener Song together?

    I'm pretty sure that I just got lobotomized while watching that.
    posted by Burhanistan at 7:38 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


    Then there's the annual Hon Fest.

    Cafe Hon has the Hon Bar too.
    posted by electroboy at 7:43 AM on September 30, 2009


    the Maharishi Vedic Organic Unnamed Natural Sweetener Song

    I'm guessing these are the f***ers that have stolen all the honey bees!
    posted by philip-random at 8:32 AM on September 30, 2009


    ActingtheGoat But Hispanic guys who call you "amigo" almost always mean it. Maybe they're just friendlier.

    Man, you must drink in different bars that I do.

    Wait, presumptuous of me to call you man. Verbal tic and all that. Typing tic? Or is it some kind of interjection or exclamation, like "Sheeee-it"? Thanks Metafilter for making me think.
    posted by Seamus at 8:58 AM on September 30, 2009


    This morning at Panera, I had this conversation with the morning shift counter guy:

    Him: Hey, hon. The usual?
    Me: Hi, sweetie. Yeah.
    Him: All right, buttercup. See you tomorrow.

    He's a few years younger than me; I'm white, he's black; I'm female; this took place in Atlanta. I couldn't help thinking of this thread and how some commenters might have perceived this (completely normal 'round here) interaction - and also whether I might have had the same conversation in the other parts of the USA where I've lived. In Portland? Sure, although probably with either hipster ironic overtones or with older waitresses. In Chicago? Can't imagine it. In Boston? Surprisingly, yeah, at least in West Rox or Brighton.
    posted by catlet at 10:26 AM on September 30, 2009


    Where I'm from (Sarajevo), one can't get by three minutes without being referred to by some sort of equivalent of "honey" or "sweetie" or "dear" or one of any number of diminutives of one's given name. Im the only person I know with my first name, and still there are about ten versions of it used to convey any variety of affection or simple kindness.

    One of the surprising things for me about America was the nearly total lack of a similar system - it sure can make the day-to-day feel a lot colder than it ever would back "home."

    People are different at different ages, and men are different from women. In some small way we treat those dramatically younger and older than us differently, and we treat men differently than we treat women. This isn't ageism or sexism. If anything, it's just a nice acknowledgment of our wonderful diversity. Get over it.
    posted by Dee Xtrovert at 10:40 AM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


    I've had "jimmy", "pal", "mate", "luv", "squire", "buddy" (from an American), "jock" (bad). Neutral identifiers don't bother me, I don't really care if someone doesn't know my name, and there's no chance in hell they could ever guess it, so go with "dude", or "man", or "sir", or "young man", or "bruv".

    Where I'm from women are sometimes addressed as "hen" or "doll": I tried it for about a week in high school, thinking it would lend me a rakish air. Turns out "rake" is spelt D-I-C-K. At least my fedora was fetch.

    Anyhow, I just want to get this on my Recent Activity so that I can finally find out if words mean what the speaker intends or what the hearer interprets.
    posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 10:44 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


    Where I'm from women are sometimes addressed as "hen"

    I think Wrinkled Stumpskin is secretly Foghorn Leghorn.
    posted by hifiparasol at 11:20 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


    anthom: Can't we all just join hands and sing the Maharishi Vedic Organic Unnamed Natural Sweetener Song together?

    Holy crap.

    I'll bet that in Maharishi Lands Of World Peace, every single person invariably greets every single other person as DEAREST COMPANION IN SWEETNESS AND LIGHT, smiling, bowing, and kissing the hand. And also everyone has lasers that come out of their eyes.
    posted by koeselitz at 12:02 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


    Is this thing still on? Well, ok:

    Anyhow, I just want to get this on my Recent Activity so that I can finally find out if words mean what the speaker intends or what the hearer interprets.

    Evidently, words mean what an uninvolved observer interprets them to mean..

    What stumps me is that significant fraction of examples offered as obviously offensive are in my experience always used and taken in a positive way. (I guess I'm never gonna be able to figure this stuff out)

    "Something had been added to my knowledge also. Once again I had heard applied to the Virginian that epithet which Steve so freely used. The same words, identical to the letter. But this time they had produced a pistol. 'When you call me that, SMILE!' So I perceived a new example of the old truth, that the letter means nothing until the spirit gives it life."
    posted by Tuesday After Lunch at 12:27 PM on September 30, 2009


    What stumps me is that...

    ...this thread is still going on. It's a mutant, a monster, a chatty derail longboat callout thunderdome anecdata explosion. We need to kill it before it breeds.
    posted by The Whelk at 12:39 PM on September 30, 2009


    Not only that, but it's being referred to as the second worst callout in this thread.
    posted by electroboy at 12:41 PM on September 30, 2009


    This Guy: I once worked with a woman from upstate New York, and when we were in a restaurant in Huntsville, AL, she flew into a rage when the waitress called her "Honey." She still to this day talks about how disrespectful that was. As a native Alabamian, now living in South Carolina by way of Virginia, I was completely taken aback...
    In my experience, it's often better to assume that people have the best intentions, even when there are indicators otherwise, until there is strong evidence to the contrary.


    catlet: This morning at Panera, I had this conversation with the morning shift counter guy:

    Him: Hey, hon. The usual?
    Me: Hi, sweetie. Yeah.
    Him: All right, buttercup. See you tomorrow.

    He's a few years younger than me; I'm white, he's black; I'm female; this took place in Atlanta. I couldn't help thinking of this thread and how some commenters might have perceived this (completely normal 'round here) interaction - and also whether I might have had the same conversation in the other parts of the USA where I've lived. In Portland? Sure, although probably with either hipster ironic overtones or with older waitresses. In Chicago? Can't imagine it. In Boston? Surprisingly, yeah, at least in West Rox or Brighton.


    Dee Xtrovert: Where I'm from (Sarajevo), one can't get by three minutes without being referred to by some sort of equivalent of "honey"... One of the surprising things for me about America was the nearly total lack of a similar system - it sure can make the day-to-day feel a lot colder than it ever would back "home." People are different at different ages, and men are different from women. In some small way we treat those dramatically younger and older than us differently, and we treat men differently than we treat women. This isn't ageism or sexism. If anything, it's just a nice acknowledgment of our wonderful diversity. Get over it.

    Oh, America isn't as lockstep as all that. I take it you haven't spent much time in the South. I haven't spent much time there myself, but as catlet pointed out, affectionate use of diminutives is quite common there. The English language has no system of the name-based diminutes which are so common in many other languages ('-ita' or '-ito' in Spanish, '-ushka' or '-enka' or what-have-you in Russian, etc.) but there are plenty in use both here in the United States and also back in England and all over the United Kingdom. But there are interesting variations, and they play together in different ways; in the Northeast, where living situations push people closer together than elsewhere in America, it seems to me that people tend to establish boundaries and connections with others in a much more immediate way; this can be read as abrasiveness if you're not used to it, but it can just as often be a very intimate sort of friendliness. New Yorkers seem to love to tell stories about how friendly their city is—how this person found their lost dog because a random stranger stopped to help them find it, how that person caught a taxi to the hospital quickly because a whole crowd of people gave up their place in line, etc—and to a large extent they're right, although it sometimes takes some getting used to for an outsider (like me) since along with the willingness to be quite friendly within seconds of meeting someone must come a savviness that's also ready to be as unpleasant as necessary if you turn out to be a hostile. I know that there's also a great deal of social convention to it, but my sense is that when people live so close to each other and so close to such a lot of potential good and bad characters, they learn to express as quickly as possible that two-way savviness they have, and their very manner of interacting says simultaneously 'look at me, I could've been your friend from way back, we're buddies!' and 'look, I'll sock you in the nose if it comes to that, so don't mess with me.'

    In dense and diverse cities, where people learn to test each other and interact in that way, 'social convention' starts to take a back-seat to a blunter sort of sizing-up. In fact, social conventions can seem somehow insulting to Northeasterners, I think because such conventions aren't plainly understood by them and therefore seem to indicate that someone's trying to pull something behind their backs. I'm not sure, but I imagine that's what the woman from NY that This Guy talked about was feeling when she got offended over an Alabama waitress calling her 'honey:' she didn't know what that was all about, and she got the impression it wasn't friendly since it wasn't direct.

    In fact, the South seems to be drenched in social conventions, at least in my limited experience; this can be a fine thing, and very comforting, but, again, sometimes people don't know that conventions are intended as a comfort. 'Yankees,' Northeasterners, have a certain tendency in my experience to view matters of convention through the lens of equality and sense condescension in almost all diminutives that are socially conventional and clearly indicate difference. catlet is right: I can remember being called 'hon,' 'buddy,' and all kinds of things in Boston when I lived there, but it was always clear that the speaker would've used the same term for anybody else. I sense here some deeper rumblings which probably go back to the older divisions between the South and the North in the US. Of course, I'm not from the South or the North, so I can't really speak to those two areas.

    I'm from the West. And, as I mentioned above, in the West (and the Southwest) people don't use diminutives at all to a large degree. My own feeling is that this is out of respect and a sort of crude kind of respect for other peoples' conventions. See, in the South, people are very nice to each other, and this niceness is a conventional thing with its own nuances and unspoken rules; in the North, people forgo the traditional conventions in favor of a kind of social immediacy which is in itself a sort of convention; but here in the West, well, we're used to a lot of migration—the populations of lots of the towns I've lived in are made up, in an overwhelming majority, of people who weren't born or raised there—and yet at the same time there's enough space for people to be left alone if they really want to. As a result, if there's going to be confusion about something (like diminutives) we just leave them out; like I said, that's sort of a crude way of solving the problem, but it sort of works for us. As a result, as my example illustrated above, we tend to have the vague impression that it's wrong for one reason or another to use those words, which in some times and places have stood as sexist or condescending words, but we don't really have enough conventional 'training' to say whether they're really offensive or not. So we just wonder 'wait, did he mean that in a sexist way? Or a nice, affectionate way?' and it's merely mildly annoying that we aren't likely to know without asking.

    Of course, this is all just my experience, and maybe I'm completely wrong.

    Seamus: Man, you must drink in different bars that I do... Wait, presumptuous of me to call you man.

    Interesting note: I read somewhere a long time ago that 'man' was an address popularized in the early Jazz age by young black men as a counterpoint to the address they'd heard all their lives from condescending whites: 'boy.' As in: knowing they weren't boys (even though some whites of the time would call a forty-year-old black male 'boy') they pointedly referred to each other as 'man.' I don't know if that's true, but I always thought it was pretty cool if it is.
    posted by koeselitz at 12:51 PM on September 30, 2009


    Isn’t it funny
    How a bear likes honey?
    Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!
    I wonder why he does?
    posted by grumblebee at 1:25 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


    Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear
    Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair
    So Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't fuzzy,
    was he?
    posted by The Whelk at 1:31 PM on September 30, 2009


    Eardrum Buzz
    posted by Burhanistan at 1:50 PM on September 30, 2009


    Huh, maybe it is a Colorado thing. Anyone other than a diner waitress calls me "honey" and you'd best believe they're getting eye-daggers. I only use it towards people I think are stupid (and then mostly only in my head, I'm much ruder there), or people who are under the age of 8.

    Of course I can also see how it might be a regional verbal tic; after I spent a decade in CA I have picked up "dude" as a method to refer to people other than "hey you".

    We need a map like this one, only for the use of "honey" or other words that might take its place.
    posted by nat at 3:00 PM on September 30, 2009


    Just for anyone who's still interested, I don't think calling someone honey is the same as calling someone a racial slur. Sheesh.

    My point was that some people (probably a lot like you or me, probably a lot of them very nice) didn't understand how offensive it was. They stood firm in their belief that honouring a local sportsman (by using that racial slur which was part of his nickname, considered appropriate at that time and place) on a sporting ground, was a whole lot more important than giving into some silly idea that what you call people matters to them.

    Yep, it's real important not to give into some silly idea that what you call people matters to them. And it's probably just as important to make the decision for other people as to whether or not their feelings on the matter are justified.

    Alright, honey?
    posted by b33j at 3:14 PM on September 30, 2009


    "Hey you" sounds pretty rude to my Maryland ears, but I also don't think I'd get all MeTa about it.
    posted by spaltavian at 3:15 PM on September 30, 2009




    The Whelk: longboat

    This isn't a longboat thread. I'm not really a longboatswain (though I was present at the creation) but there are rules as to what constitutes a longboat thread and this isn't one. I could explain the rules but it basically boils down to "you kinda just have to know."
    posted by Kattullus at 8:13 PM on September 30, 2009


    PRESCRIPTIVIST
    posted by cortex (staff) at 10:29 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


    Qua?
    posted by dirty lies at 11:13 PM on September 30, 2009


    I'm one of the people to whom 'Honey' feels condescending or skeevy, at least on first read. Having said that, there are plenty of words I use all the time which are equivalents to The Baltimore Honey. Locally, the big three are Chuck, Babs and Love. I'm more than happy to refer to a stranger as Love in real life, but I avoid doing it online as I suspect people not from my neighbourhood would find it weird or difficult to parse.
    posted by the latin mouse at 11:30 PM on September 30, 2009


    cortex: PRESCRIPTIVIST

    Oh good. I really need to get my medication refilled.
    posted by koeselitz at 12:20 AM on October 1, 2009


    One of the key signs to know whether or not there's a longboat in the thread: is the thread still somewhat on topic?

    Yes?

    No longboats.

    We only bring the longboats ashore once everybody else has gone home.
    posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:41 AM on October 1, 2009


    I have now thought out and discarded about twenty comments on language and Metafilter for this thread. The thing is, the more I think about this callout, the more it bothers me and I kind of wish the OP had come back in here to discuss it. Well. I like words. I think removing words from the lexicon hurts us in the long run - I came down squarely on the side of the demons in the great MeTa twat/cunt controversies: I like them, although I'm not British and thus can't use them anymore than I can use arsed, as in can't be arsed, which loss occasionally makes me sad - and I find it difficult to blame words for hurt feelings, but that's me. I do not want to hurt anyone's feelings or make them feel less or any of those things so I don't use cunt or twat and now, I will not use hon or honey or sugar or, hmm, what else? Babe, I guess. Darling. I'm sad to see them go, though. I think of metafilter sometimes as being a great playground of words and there are people here who are dazzling with them, like acrobats on the monkey bars. I love to watch them and while I'm sure everyone will be okay with a few less words and the acrobatics and the joy of language will continue just fine, I can't help but feel that each removal diminishes something. I would be sorry to see a pure and antiseptic metafilter where each word is technical and conveys only one meaning at all times.

    I also think it's probably a damn good thing I'm going away with no computer for a few days and I can stop worrying about this shit. Because in the end, you know, this whole thing is ridiculous.
    posted by mygothlaundry at 7:55 AM on October 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


    I have now thought out and discarded about twenty comments on language and Metafilter for this thread. The thing is, the more I think about this callout, the more it bothers me and I kind of wish the OP had come back in here to discuss it.

    Yeah, me too. But you know who hasn't participated in this callout at all? The OP in the Baltimore thread. Moreover, nowhere in that thread is there any indication that the OP was offended; in fact, throughout that thread, he sounds happily, enthusiastically engaged. So this storm was mostly brewed by people outside the conversation. Kind of ironic, really.

    "I gotta go" -- Ian Sholes
    posted by Tuesday After Lunch at 9:52 AM on October 1, 2009


    Having said that, there are plenty of words I use all the time which are equivalents to The Baltimore Honey.

    There is no Baltimore honey.
    posted by electroboy at 1:13 PM on October 1, 2009


    electroboy: There is no Baltimore honey.

    Yes there is sweet cheeks. It's just north of Annapolis.
    posted by koeselitz at 1:49 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


    The honey made by Baltimorean bees tastes like HCFS.
    posted by Burhanistan at 2:05 PM on October 1, 2009


    HFCS, dammit.
    posted by Burhanistan at 2:05 PM on October 1, 2009


    Baltimore Bees.
    posted by electroboy at 3:10 PM on October 1, 2009


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