A negative review of Poppy Z. Brite’s Soul Kitchen takes issue with her dialogue:

dialog—atrocious. do you realize that Rickey never once calls G-Man, his life partner, by his name? its always “Hey, dude.” “Yeah, dude?” “Dude!” between them. holy Bill & Ted! is that believable? is this how lovers talk?

A whole bunch of peoples—including Poppy Z. Brite—show up to say, “Yeah, Dude, that is what I call my lover/spouse/life partner/best friend/random acquaintances/vet/dog/neighbour etc.”

It is funny.

Personally, I do not call Scott “Dude”; I call Scott “Scott”. But he calls me “Dude” and a billion other things, but almost never “Justine”. Americans seem to have this weird allergy to calling their spouse/partner/lover by their actual name. It’s all “sweetie” and “sugar” and other weird things I can’t even bring myself to type. I am not much for cutesie names. I prefer “Dude” to “Darling”. But I like being called Justine best of all.

What do you call your main squeeze?

And, by the way, the reviewer of Brite’s book is smoking crack. She couldn’t write a bad sentence if she tried.