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How to use the word "DEAR"

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?

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

Rose Iris

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  • I need to to thank you for this good read!! I absolutely loved every bit of it. I have got you book-marked to check out new stuff you post…

    • Thanks, Amanda.


  • Dear Rose, after reading Josef Essberger's comment, I can't add more. Not every native speaker is a good reference but only educated people.

    Thank you for sharing us nice topic.

    • Hi, tawfeeq, as far as I see, Josef did not say my friend was wrong. He just explained the diversity if using language.

      By the friend is an English teacher. She always wants peope to use everything correctly.

      Thanks a lot for your comment.

  • Oh,My close friend Rose, I've allowed you to  call me as  DEAR  , whenever you want ! Thank  thee...

    • 3749965705?profile=RESIZE_710x

  • A nice exposé, Rose. Your native English speaker friend seems a little perplexed but I am not surprised - too much :) First of all, there are many parts of the UK where you can go into any shop and the shopkeeper might say "Can I help you, dear?" This depends on the dialect. Don't ask me where or which dialect, but it certainly happens. Quite a lot. Secondly of course, "Dear..." is the universal British salutation in letters, both personal and business. So we could use "Dear John" to a friend or "Dear Mrs Smith" to the CEO of a company, even our own employer. In such cases it does not convey intimacy. We would need to go further and invoke "Darling" or "My Dear Tara" (notice the "My") to cross from mere respect to serious intimacy.

    • Dear Josef.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      We also use Dear... (My dear...) as universal German salutation in letters, the same as you describe.

  • I remember I was also surprised to see how often this word is used then I came to the conclusion that is widely pronounced or used in other languages or in English also. In Spanish it can be synonymous with 'lover' so you can imagine my face when someone adressed me like that  :D

    Thank you for your explanation 'dear' Rose  :p

    • Hahaha, dear Estanis. I can imagine your face.

      When I had been called that way, means someone called me honey, darling, sweety...( happens more often as we think of, also here...), and so on...I always say "I am not your honey, darling...and so" It isn't just common and a change of the language, as NotAClue said. Those men know exactly why they use those words.
      Only by using DEAR, it can be, they just don't know it.

      Normally I take it with a good portion of humor. I think that's the best way to dealing with it.

      Thanks a lot for your comment.



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