You’d have to take yourself pretty seriously to find a term of endearment like ‘babe’ or ‘sweetheart’ offensive, even if it is uttered by someone you’ve just met.
But the fact that some bus passengers in Brighton find such words overly familiar means that how we address strangers has been the subject of much debate.
Personally, you can ‘love’ ‘duck’ or ‘honey’ me as much as you want. I don’t think many 30-plus women would disagree too much.
Yet there’s one phrase that does make my skin crawl – and that’s ‘mush’.
After eight years of south coast living I still have no idea how such an ugly word is meant to convey friendship.
And under no circumstances should it be said by a husband to his wife.
You get that, love?