fred rosenberger wrote:Even that got some people upset...
I guess the search for anything that is universally acceptable is futile. Even addressing someone by their real name is not universally acceptable as some may prefer a nickname or "street" name or "stage" name. You'd have to be really brave to refer to the wrestler Hulk Hogan by his real name Terry. I heard that the real name of the British actor Michael Caine is Maurice Joseph Micklewhite. Michael Caine is his "stage" name. Last month, he changed his name to his "stage" name in order to make security checks at airports less complicated.
I guess how you address someone is down to the social circle you are in and what is acceptable in that social circle. In some social circles, "shorty" is an acceptable way to address a female. I find that derogatory though.
Within the working class guys will often call women "babes" e.g. "You alright there, babes?". There is no sexual connotation involved. I still don't use it, but I do use "man" quite a lot, even with women!