‘What would you like for supper, darling?’ said a rather silky sounding man to his companion in my local supermarket the other evening.
Lucky wife, you might be thinking. Or lucky girlfriend. Lucky boyfriend, even.
Alas, none of the above applied. The sad truth is the man was talking to his son, aged approximately 12.
Now I’m sorry. Maybe it’s just me but I think a dad calling his son darling is plain weird. Even when the son is a baby, it still sounds odd.
What about daughters? Can dads call them darling? Personally, I’d still say no. Mums can get away with it more easily. But even they’re pushing it.
Let’s be honest. Isn’t the word darling just so smug? Doesn’t it get your goat? Shouldn’t it only ever be used, in fact, as a joke?
I say ban it from the English language.