London opera company bans 'darling' as term of address
April 23, 2004
The English National Opera has banned its employees from
addressing each other as "darling", ending a long-running tradition
at the 100-year-old institution just off Trafalgar Square.
The edict came in a re-education document enforcing government
guidelines on sexual discrimination at work, The Times reported
"The use of affectionate names such as 'darling' will also
constitute sexual harassment," the ENO document says.
It bans "suggestive remarks or lewd conduct that denigrates or
ridicules or is intimidatory or physically abusive of an employee
because of their sex".
A spokesman told The Times the rule would apply primarily to new
staff, but that "existing staff who call each other 'darling' can
continue to do so".
The term is common among London's large thespian community and
is used almost indiscriminately among men and women, although when
used between men it often has a gay connotation.
The ENO opened in 1904 in a bombastic Edwardian building called
the Coliseum, which reopened this year following lavish
The company is dedicated to staging operas in English
translation, as opposed to the nearby Royal Opera House at Covent
Garden, which presents operas in their original language. – Sapa-dpa
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