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Baby Talk and “Elderspeak” Disturbingly Related

"Here you go, Hon. Anything else?" Though cringing inwardly, I smile outwardly and say, "No thanks."  The waitress, perhaps in her early thirties, is just trying to be nice to me. I understand that. I happen to be a small person, rather short, tiny bones - the kind of person where, when the prairie winds invade our metro area and tall buildings create wind tunnels, I could use a few rocks in my pockets to hold me down. However, that, plus the fact that I'm old enough to be this woman's mother, doesn't give her a right to talk down to me. She, of course, doesn't realize she is talking down to me. She's just being nice and thinks I'm "sweet." But would she call a twenty-something woman "Hon?" I doubt it.

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