Re. ‘I’ll swear to you I’ve only once, and ever once, heard one person in the world say, “Here you are, son” to their own child. And frankly, that person was a weirdo.’ So, in the culture I’m from, you very much hear people say ‘my son’ in common speech as in, “You’re gonna fall down and get hurt, my son.” Now, you don’t hear ‘my daughter’, but you do hear ‘my maid’ (as in ‘maiden’) – ‘Can I get you a cup of tea, my maid?’. We’re not weirdos. We’re just not Americans. 🙂
Likewise, while listening to an ad on TV, I realized that Americans don’t use ‘this one’ the way my culture does — as a term of close familiarity that, at the same time, is purposefully indirect. When an American says ‘this one’ they’re talking about picking out one thing or object, but when I do, it’s at least as likely I’m talking about a person I’ve gotten close to, but in an indirect way, as in, ‘This one’s art is so good it’s shocking.’ or, ‘This one will break his neck, left on his own’, and ‘this one’ is right beside when you say so.
I can’t rule myself out, but I don’t know that the *entire* culture is made up of weirdos! ;D
Does anyone actually call their kid “child?” Or refer to their son, to his face, as “son?” How about calling their daughter in conversation “daughter?”
If books were to be believed, we do this constantly, but I’ll swear to you I’ve only once, and ever once, heard one person in the world say, “Here you are, son” to their own child. And frankly, that person was a weirdo.
For that matter, I’ve never, in English, called any other woman “sister” except as a joke, and ditto for “cousin.” Old people are not “grandmother” and “grandfather.” I have not once of my own volition used the word “pooch,” nor have I ever worn a “frock,” and I’m too young entirely to wear “slacks,” as is anyone else under the age of forty.
Yet these words persist in books as a Thing We Do.
Who the hell is this “we”? Ain’t me, kemosabe.
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