Compliments to avoid

I was rather taken aback reading Anne McElvoy’s Diary in this week’s Spectator. Apparently ‘You’re a star!’ is to be avoided as “an apparent compliment but with the undertone of addressing a slightly simple housemaid”. Leaving aside the fact that I do not have a housemaid, simple or otherwise, it is a comment I used only recently to my secretary at work (I suppose the modern day equivalent of the housemaid). Let’s hope she doesn’t read The Spectator.

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