Today’s post at www.timegoesby.com dealt with the subject of the use of demeaning language to elders (referring to elders as “hon”, “sweetheart”, or “dearie). Our local paper featured an editorial yesterday citing the same study referred in the TGB post. The editorial concluded:
“And we’ll admit people can indeed be thoughtless, if we can also acknowledge that sometimes, others see discrimination where none really exists.
Personally, we find it offensive that these days, it seems we can’t even attempt to be kind to one another without an ulterior motive being suspected.
That’s demeaning to all concerned.”
In answer, I suggested that it might be better to show what they referred to as “kindness” by being respectful and polite by using the elders' names and titles (Ms. Jones or Mr. Smith). I also suggested they ask a few elders their reaction to being called “hon” by complete strangers.
Again, I am showing my “codgerousness”, but it IS demeaning to be addressed by saleswomen and nurses (the worst offenders in my opinion) as “hon”.