London: A judge in Yorkshire has come under fire after banning defendants from referring to female court staff as “love”.
The traditional term of endearment was outlawed at Barnsley Magistrates’ Court, where women must now be called “ma’am”.
It follows a case when newly-appointed district judge John Foster blasted a defendant for saying “Yes, love” when a legal adviser checked his identity.
Judge Foster, 64, said: “It is important anyone who comes to court shows proper respect. Courts must maintain standards.”
But locals are angry at the attack on the “affectionate” regional term.
“If the term is used in the right way I see nothing wrong with it. We’ve got to be careful we don’t lose our regional dialects,” the Sun quoted Keith Madeley, a Yorkshire Society spokesman, as saying.
Graeme Garvey, of the Yorkshire Dialect Society, accused the judge of discriminating against Yorkshire people and their centuries-old language.
“Love is a non-sexual term which is used by both genders to both genders,” he said.
The word “love” is listed in a dictionary of slang as “a friendly term of address (informal)”.’’