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|Petnames - Okay or Annoying?; Are petnames acceptable to say?|
|Topic Started: Sep 16 2009, 08:33 PM (339 Views)|
|Super Professor Sarah-nyan||Sep 16 2009, 08:33 PM Post #1|
Petnames. Are they acceptable to say to someone else, especially a person you don't even know? Are petnames okay or annoying to you?
So, this has been annoying me for a few days and I've had this rant in mind since yesterday night when I was studying for my U.S. history test. I thought, "Man, I need to make a rant on TML about this and let everyone see it." I was half-serious about it then but ended up writing this in the last couple hours. So it turned out I wrote it and had tons to state my opinion on. Mostly I'm going to ask what other people think, as well.
I thought I'd make the first rant topic, too. Go me, Sarah the Super Ranter! That would make a a cool username, huh?
But I digress. Well, let's get the show on the road.
Now, I'm not really sure how other people percieve this, but I cannot stand it when people use petnames to refer to people younger / older than them. Not only this, but especially when they don't know anything about the other person. However, what exactly do I mean by "petnames," persay?
When I say petnames, I'm refering to phrases people say like "honey," "sweetie," "sweetheart," "baby," "sugar," etc. to someone else. Maybe this isn't a big deal to most people - it doesn't do that much harm except being a little annoying in some situations, right? - but it just irritates me. In fact, it grates my nerves on some occasions. I'm not truly sure why. It's always made me a bit uncomfortable when I look back at past experiences, but lately it's finally come to my attention. There are some examples below to explain my reasoning.
What I want to know is simple. Why do people use petnames, especially to people they don't know at all? I mean, sure, you'd expect your grandmother to say something along those lines to you, but she knows you. She's older than you and has known you during your life. Your grandmother loves you and wants to be personal with you. Also, your mother or father will use those sort of words to possibly comfort their children at a sad time or crisis, but that's a different notion. They're petnames but not exactly in the same context of the ones I'm thinking of.
Those are acceptable to me, and should always be used in affectionate and close circumstances. These phrases seem more suited to those types of situations. But there are people who will use these words without knowing you in the least.
I'm talking about these random people you talk too who say those things. Mostly it's the older crowd of women (in my experience) and I've kind of gotten used to it. Though, it's still /strange/ to me to use those phrases with someone you don't know. I believe it even offends me to a point and it's wrong. My point is, it seems way to casual and endearing to hear these things from someone you don't know. Sometimes it even makes me feel like people are talking down to you and belittling you. That's probably not the case in most instances, I'm sure. But it can still make you feel like a child or foolish.
My health teacher this year uses the word "baby" a lot. She does use it with me, too. Yes, I know - if it bothers me so much I should tell her not to say it, but I don't really want to address it to her. It bothers me, but not important enough to me to actually tell her. I've heard several people in my high school use other such phrases, too. I don't get it at all. There are some older teachers there. Some of them are even younger who use the words, like my health teacher.
Let's take yesterday into another example. I was holding my candy bag, waiting for the bus to arrive and take me home (yes, I carry a candy bag around all day to sell my fundraising candy o_o), and this one man who works in the school comes to the door I'm standing at. He kind of looks at my bag and notices I have my money in there within another little baggie. He's like, "Sweetie, people can see into the bag and might try to rob you of the money around this time after school."
Can you imagine what my reaction to that was, especially after I heard the "sweetie" bit? I just stared at him.
No, really? I can't figure people can see it? Apparently I don't know people can't steal, either. He didn't exactly say it like that - but along the same gist, I don't really know if he meant anything by it (if I know my school, he sure did), but that grated my nerves so rawly I straight walked away from him in disgust. So I forgot to take the money out of the bag and put it in my pocket, it's been fine in there so far. My bus comes in five minutes and I'm standing near a bunch of people and barely anyone is even at that side of the school anymore. But can you be anymore blunt to make someone feel like they did something wrong and embarrassed? Other people flash their money around all the time and I get called on it like I don't know that.
Moving on, moving on. Thinking of it makes me disgusted again; I wish I had told him off instead of being polite. Oh, why am I so polite? And it wasn't just the sweetie part either but pretty much all he made it assume as if were the case.
Next part. Does it sound creepy for older people to use the phrases, or a teenager and kid? I mean, I've heard both. Another girl actually used one on me I don't know once. o-o; She made me feel like a child slightly because I did something kind of embarrassing, and the last thing I wanted was for her to use a petname on me. And it can be creepy for an older person to say those things for various reasons that are obvious. Older people are mostly the ones who do.
But why would a teenager or something use petnames? I'm not going to really far into this part, but still my final emphasis is in all generations. I find it incredibly strange and sometimes insulting. If there are gaps in age differences it seems worse to me. Is it habit, thinking it's cute, or something else? Maybe a combo of those things and just hearing them being used.
-takes a deep breath-
Alright! Break time for the brain. This is a discussion we can all relate too. Here's something all of us roleplayers know about. On roleplaying Websites (I'm looking at you, Neopets roleplaying Neoboards) there are people who will use the phrases often. People who usually have higher expectations of their boards, or feel really awesome, do this several times. I have watched the Neopets boards for a long time, so I know what I'm talking about. No matter how this is really stated it /always/ strikes me in a rude respect. Each time I frown at this scene.
Here's your scenario. You place a board for people to join. The fancy set of rules and title to attract more people are there clearly, alovely little intro is neatly posted on the boards without any interruptions blemishing the board, and you're making a new OoC post to set out blueberry muffins. There's a few joiners who seem good, maybe they're some friends in the same group you're in - whatever you want it to be. I'm not going to get into this, and I don't want a huge argument over it, but then someone posts to ask to join. Check, their font looks okay, but they make a spelling error at the end of their post. You shake your head and sigh, telling them back, "Darling, you're not literate enough to join. Leave. Now."
That is the cliché of how some people think of all "literates" and "advanced" roleplayers. Yes, I've seen this. Obviously not everyone does this, but this is common enough. What I'm truly trying to convey here is the "darling" bit. Wouldn't that make you feel less of a roleplayer if someone said that to you because of a mistake you realized later? You could be one of the better people roleplaying in the genre, but someone says it to you. I think this is how a lot of roleplaying fights and bashing starts, but that isn't my focus. Saying this to someone could make them feel bad and discouraged; this is my entire explaination for how it could make you feel inferior.
Anywhere else on the Internet it's still odd to see people talk this way. You have all kinds of Websites, social networks, and places to chat. You never really know who you're talking too. Imagine being told "darling" if you're a few years older than the person saying it to you. It would make me uncomfortable. Wouldn't you feel the same? Or vice-verse, to have a roleplayer a few years older with more experience telling you you're not good enough, even if you're really trying your best. I think it works both ways to make someone feel uncomfortable. But if it were a friend talking to you about how to hone your skills better while using petnames (which does sound strange, but close friends can do that), you might be in for more ease.
Kind of off-topic, but I feel like making another rant about how people treat eachother on the Neoboards because I typed this. Is this rant enjoyable enough to make you guys read more of my long writing? xD Seriously, tell me. I've been meaning to get to that at some time, as it was.
I think I finally covered everything. Anyway, after all of that, why do people like using petnames? Sure, if you kind of have known the person for a while it's okay, but otherwise, it's just plain weird to hear a teacher say to a new student or something on the first day, "Sweetie, do you need help finding your next class?" Albeit, that's just a basic example. But does anyone else feel really irritated when they have people talk to them this way if you don't know that person? Maybe you'd became a little attached to a teacher over time and it won't bother you anymore, or it's not a huge concern. I can also just see wanting to seem more caring and personal with someone else, but I still feel this way.
It's odd to me. Since I'm kind of the mother-type of here you'd think I'd say them, but they don't suit me. Since I feel unfortable with them, someone else might feel the same way. If you guys said it to me, I'd probably feel a little odd, but not as offended or anything as in real life. I know most of you a little.
Enough of my babbles. Do you think petnames are okay or wrong to use, for any of the circumstances I've mentioned or others? Are they acceptable? Tell about your experiences.
Finally, finished. Hoe you enjoyed my long, descriptive rant.
|Menacing Cat||Sep 16 2009, 10:08 PM Post #2|
adores zack fair too much
Oh, do I ever know the feeling.
Not gonna lie when I say I absolutely despise petnames to the very core. It's so...I don't know. Aggravating to the point that you want to kick someone in the face? Or is that just me? Anyway, if you want my honest opinion on it, all I have to say is that no, they aren't really acceptable; then again, I guess it depends on the circumstance involved. If you're joking around, for instance, big whoop; who gives a care. It's not like it's meant.
But when some stranger comes around and calls you "doll" or "hun," it's not appreciated at all. The way I see it, when someone uses a petname on another person, regardless of age difference, they are pretty much belittling the person to make themselves look more, I don't know, mature? Something along those lines.
Petnames, to get straight to the point and prevent this from becoming a long-winded rant (which would also, probably, end up redundant in many places) just disgust me. For example, my step-father has recently started to call me "sweetie" when he has never done that before. Why is this? Simple: a divorce is on it's way, totally imminent and unavoidable, and he's calling me this to get me on his good side. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't know I dislike petnames so bloody much, so that just makes me want to bash his head in instead of "warm up" to him. So I guess that's one example for peoples' reasons to use them.
Then again, which is more often, people also use them when they are looking down at someone (obviously not literally). I happen across this a lot on Neopets, and I would go so far to dare that it happens elsewhere.
And then obviously older people do this with younger people blah blah blah you get the point and I regurgitated some of what you've already mentioned! Go me!
...I think I'm going to stop before I go on and on and on and on hah.
But yeah, I only let ONE PERSON use petnames with me and she's an online friend. That's only because...idk, actually. She convinced me to allow her to call me petnames. I don't mind; though if it were anyone else, I'd rip their faces off. :|
Edited by Menacing Cat, Sep 16 2009, 10:09 PM.
|Pookie||Sep 16 2009, 10:37 PM Post #3|
The Evil Genius
Personally... I dont find petnames all that annoying.
Of course, I understand how many people would find it annoying, but...
I don't know. :/ I doesn't bother me at all.
Maybe it's just me? I mean, in certain cases I can see getting annoyed; like mentioned above, cases where those using the petnames are doing so in a derogatory way are certainly annoying. And cases where it is being used in a, quite frankly, creepy or manipulative way also are not welcome.
However, I know quite a few people who use them. :/ And they don't mean them in either way.
In fact, I think most times the case is simple; people who use them are often in a habit of doing so, and probably don't even realize that it may be offensive.
Especially the older age groups and those who grew up with them, or people who live in a community that speaks in that manner. xDDD
To be blunt, I think this is one of those cases where you either hate it or don't give a flying whoop. xD
|pokemonelite||Sep 17 2009, 10:10 PM Post #4|
Personally, I‘m not bothered by petnames. I mean, they’re just names. Words. Depending on how they’re used, they’re virtually harmless.
I do agree that they can get annoying at times, but I think it really depends on how they say it. I don’t mind it if I ask for help and the person is like “Oh, sweetie, you just do this,” or something, but if they say a condescending tone of voice it really makes me feel like an idiot. But that’s pretty much true, petname or not. Though I do admit, a petname would kind of add to the condescending-ness since, generally, they‘re used for the younger (and thus stupider >.>;) ones.
Overall, I’m not very fazed by petnames. There are worse names that people could use.
I think it’s like Pookie said: you either hate it or don‘t care. x.x
|Akeela_Pyro||Nov 11 2009, 01:07 PM Post #5|
I can understand that being seen as demeaning. Personally, I would have told him off, something like, "Excuse me, but do you not think I know that? I can defend myself if someone tries to steal it from me, thank you very much. I am not a little girl who needs somebody to protect her from strangers. I am perfectly aware of the fact someone can try to steal it from me, and I don't really care because I can take care of myself if need be." and stomped off. I have a very short fuse to get angry, so that's me. But yeah, I probably would have said something like that to him, no matter who he is.
I always think of pet-names as even shorter affectionate names of nicknames, but I guess I was wrong. For instance, my friend has a character named Alexander, his nickname is Alex, and when my character - his sister - is feeling nice, she calls him Lex. I'm just weird like that though, I thought that's what petnames were. Personally, I take it from my friends/family/close teachers, but if someone I totally don't know calls me that demeaningly, I'd tell them off. Most of the time, no one calls me anything but either Cassie or Cassandra. So I don't really know what it's like to be called by a petname.
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