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Sweetness Trumps Correctness
December 8, 2008 |
Post to the Host:
A young waitress last week asked my wife and me, "What can I get you guys?" She used the reference fourteen times during the course of the meal and, being an English major, I found it inappropriate. Do you? I'm wondering if getting your P.O.E.M. shirt to wear in public might forewarn people to be more aware of their people skills. What is your opinion?
Niagara Falls, New York
The Professional Organization of English Majors shirt (short- or long-sleeves) is useful for all sorts of things but it isn't likely to change your waitress's word usage. Had she said it to me and my wife, I think we'd have been amused. This is how she'd talk to her friends "You guys want to hang out?" and her addressing us older people in that familiar way doesn't offend me at all. Au contraire, mon confrere. It's like the old bartender who used to call me "pal" though he didn't know my name. It was sweet of him, and sweetness trumps correctness. So says me, sweetheart.