Hello, my dear members of MyEC.
Often, I see members here write or say,
"How are you, dear?"
"Come on dear!"
"Have a nice day, dear."
"What is going on, dear?"
... and so on and on.
A friend of mine, a native English speaker, told me once she does not understand why people say so. I had to smile because I knew why she found it crazy that people who are not close to each other (they are no lovers, family members or very close friends) do call someone in that way.
That made me write this post.
When we use "dear" without mentioning a name, "darling" has the meaning of "darling", "sweetheart", "love", "darling", "baby" ... I think you all know from what I speak.
In that case, "dear" is used as a noun and replaces, for example, the name of the beloved person.
We never would name someone "dear" in our native language when we are not in love with them in the sense of darling, love, sweetheart, do we?
In any other case, we should use "dear" as an adjective.
So we can say or write (just for example):
"How are you, dear friend?"
" What is going on, dear Rose?"
" Hello, dear Iris."
"Hello, my dear friend XXXXX:"
...and so on and on.
Imagine, you write a letter addressing a colleague "Hello, dear." instead of "Hello, dear colleague Xxxxxxxx.", it could be very embarrassing...LOL...Don't you think so?