Opinion

Ok mate, what makes ‘darl’ a suitable term?

IF YOU'RE my friend, you are likely to be called "mate", "honey" or another term of endearment. This is how you know you're my friend. But when a stranger calls me this, it seems to take on a whole new meaning.

Being called a pet name by a complete stranger is one of my pet peeves. What is it about this that makes it so irritating? I know I'm not the only one who thinks like this either.

As a cop, there were moments when being called a pet name was a sign that the person - particularly if they're a victim - were comfortable around me. But then there are other times that it was used disrespectfully. Calling a woman 'sweetie' when she's wearing a fully loaded weapon on her hip probably isn't the most ideal choice of words.

The other day I found myself on the receiving end of being called "darl" by a person who I had never met in my entire life. What I think bothered me the most was that the person is much younger than me, so it came across as quite condescending.

I know there is a fine line between the two and eventually there's a point where you can safely call your mate, "mate".

Do we throw these words around carelessly, or has it become acceptable?

I'm sure the person calling me "darl" meant no malice, and I don't think they even realise they do it because it was used at the end of almost every sentence. In fact, a character I wrote about in one of my novels over-used the word "darling", but she wasn't a very nice person. So maybe it comes with the territory after all?

I find the most common type of people who use these terms with strangers are sales people who want to make you feel comfortable, when in actual fact they come across more impolite and off-putting. I often wonder if they're using it because they've forgotten my name. I know I've been caught out before, so I've had to use "mate" as my replacement. But that's my own fault for not remembering someone's name.

So when is it acceptable to be called a name normally reserved for people you care about, and when is it insulting?

Topics:  opinion, tj hamilton



BREAKING: Bush fire in Biggenden

Fire Station, Fire stock photo, 
Photo: Daniel Perrin / Daily News

A fire has broken out in Biggenden.

New PresCare Maryborough 'health hub' project given approval

Prescare chief executive Greg Skelton.

PresCare can now start working on detailed development plans.

Maryborough prison at it's worst over capacity

SAFETY CONCERNS: The Maryborough Correctional Centre has hit a new level of overcrowding, now sitting at 20% overcapacity, and there is a worry of what it means for prison guards.

There are safety concerns for correctional officers

Local Partners

Homer Simpson thanks Australia during Opera House visit

Homer Simpson visits the Sydney Opera House.

ANIMATION favourite gets attacked by seagulls in viral video.

Channel 9 orders second season of Doctor Doctor

Rodger Corser stars in the TV series Doctor Doctor.

RURAL medical drama finds a loyal following.

Katy Perry gets naked to encourage people to vote

Katy Perry in Funny Or Die sketch

Katy Perry has stripped naked for a comedy video

Jogging Tom Hanks crashes wedding in Central Park

Tom Hanks stopped for a selfie with this bride and groom

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Huge Gunalda service station set to open by December

NEW STATION: The Gunalda Service Centre, owned by United Petroleum, will include a 350-seat eating area and a truckers lounge.

The massive servo is the biggest United development in Queensland.

Property leader says Fraser Coast market is looking up

Positivity is the buzz word in the Fraser Coast housing market

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual