In a comment to He must be asleep for there is no light in his room. What does “for” mean here?, tchrist writes to me:
Calling a stranger dear is at best horribly patronizing with condescending paternalism -- and at worst super-creepy like an internet stalker someone should report to the authorities. Never do this again, honey, for it's far too liable to be taken for micro-aggressions bordering on sexual harrassment.
to which I replied:
I was using 'dear' like billions use it in Asia, including India, Bangladesh, Iran, etc. Its use is ubiquitous, friendly, natural, normal, and does not include any sort of the things you mention. I find your objection to be provincial (maybe you can learn an English not restricted to 10 miles from your house) and bordering on harrassment.
Notice it was tchrist who used the word honey when talking with me, which in some places and among some people (although not all people in the southern USA) may find offense and replete with the sort of stuff he mentions.
As for dear, I make no apologies and expect that asker of the OP received the word in the way it was intended by me. If that is not the case, then yes let's delete my comment.
On dear, let us look at this answer dated October 30, 2015 to the question What is being translated as "hello dear", and why from SE: Linguistics, and note the following about "dear". My list contains direct quotes from this answer.
1 such an expression is common in many languages of Europe, Central Asia and South Asia
2 In Turkey, Arabia, the Caucasus, Iran and Central Asia and South Asia, words like habibi, aziz, can (Turkish spelling) that can all be translated as dear are very common.
3 It is fine between men, even those who don't know each other, a bit like brother.
This is backed up by my personal experience actually talking and chatting with people (including "men who don't know each other") from areas such as, again, Iran, India, Bangladesh.
Rather than be taken to task for my choice of word to the asker, I think I should be congratulated and even--in this case at least--emulated, for