Sweet Talkin Saturdays · Uncategorized

Sweet Talkin Saturday: My Dear

I like “my dear.”

In my mind there are four tones for the phrase “my dear” which all offer different meaning to it.

1. The spousal tone.

Grandma: Did you fix that chair yet?
Grandpa: Yes, my dear.

Rhett Butler: I’m leaving you, my dear.

2. The condescending tone. (Is often merged with the 1st tone.)

Sir Percy Blakeney: La, m’dear! you don’t say so… who was the bold man who dared tackle you–eh?

Oscar Wilde: My dear boy, no woman is a genius.

Willy Wonka: Impossible, my dear lady! That’s absurd! Unthinkable!

3. The friendship/loving tone.

Gandalf: My dear Frodo. Hobbits really are amazing creatures.

Mortimer Lightwood: And you, my dear Eugene, are the express picture of discontented idleness.

John Harmon: My dear girl!

Percy Blakeney: It’s a dangerous game, my dear. Falling in love with a phantom.

4. The devious tone.

Here the possessiveness of the “my” can be taken in its full context while the “dear” gives the speaker a syrupy kind of I’ve-got-you-cornered vibe.

Ursula: My dear, sweet child, it’s what I live for!

Erik: Wait! I think, my dear, we have a guest!

In all tones it carries an old fashioned charm, I think. I rather like it myself as I’ve never yet heard–or read it defiled by the flippant carelessness of a love-sick teenager. It’s for more mature, refined, intellectual, or delightfully eccentric speakers. What say you, my dears? ;)

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8 thoughts on “Sweet Talkin Saturday: My Dear

    1. Have you heard the musical?? Be still my heart! Unfortunately it makes me like Chauvelin a leeettle too much because Terrence “The Mann” played him, but the Pimpernel songs are just as amazing, and Marguerite is fantastic! Seeing that musical live is on my list of things to do before I die.

      1. There’s a musical? I must see that sometime! I only ever saw the movie, or one of the movies, if there happens to be more than one. The movie I saw was based on not just The Scarlet Pimpernel but also another book that I didn’t read, which is called Eldorado, if I’m remembering correctly.

      2. There are a few movies. I’ve seen three of them. My favorite is the Anthony Andrews/Jane Seymour version. Although the black and white is also brilliant.

        Oh yes, YouTube has a few scenes you can view, I think. I can’t find the musical tracks there or I’d share the link. But I have them all on my computer, so let me know if you’re interested. ;)

  1. I say that I agree! I’ve never thought about it, but you are right. It is the sort of thing that has probably never been “defiled by the flippant carelessness of a love-sick teenager”, as you so prettily put it. Mature and eccentric speakers all the way!

    (And I <3 Sir Percy Blakeney, too.)

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