How many different terms of endearment are there? honey, baby, dear, sweetheart, muffin, sugar,...I'm sure you can help me out with this list. :0)
And I know they vary from language to language and culture to culture. I remember learning about pet names in a French phonetics class I took in college (from a professor from Belgium). She said theirs were chosen by how they sounded, not necessarily what they stood for. Le petit puce...because the p's were pleasing to the ears...not because a mother necessarily felt her little baby reminded her of a little flea.
I recently thought about my characters and what they refer to each other as. I haven't read the middle of Solstice in at least six months. I can't remember if my MC's dad uses any terms of endearment when he talks to her. I can't remember what Lawrence calls Dawn. In my current WIP (okay, so now I'm actually switching back and forth on a daily basis so I guess they're both my current WIPS, but whatever) my MC's not-so-best friend calls her "Love". You know like, "Oh, Love. I can't even believe you wore that atrocious outfit today." She never actually says that, but she's probably thought it.
So...just curious. What terms of endearment, or pet names, do you use in your real life? And which ones, if any, do you include in your novels? How do you decide which to use?