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You probably weren't harassed if a friendly person told you, 'Hey, gorgeous'

You probably weren't harassed if a friendly person told you, 'Hey, gorgeous'
A commissioner at the city agency that oversees Olvera Street, above, has been hit with multiple harassment complaints. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Friendly, joyous people like Los Angeles city Commissioner Scott Crawford of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument Authority bring happiness to the workplace. When he greets someone ("hello, gorgeous"), when he compliments someone ("you look good"), he is acknowledging them. ("One of L.A.'s tiniest city departments is hit with multiple sexual harassment complaints," March 1)

In linguistics, it is called "phatic communion," which involves both verbal and nonverbal communication that has a social function, such as to greet someone. In all cultures of the world, such behaviors are meant to lubricate the friction of social intercourse and should not be misconstrued as sexual harassment.

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It is time for self-righteous snowflakes and nit-pickers to join the speech community and stop filing frivolous complaints about normal human behaviors.

Mary Bonnie Bray, Los Angeles

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