My title may not completely reflect the meaning I am trying to get across.

I am writing a card for my dad (who is 58 this year) to go alongside a gift I am getting him. I know he enjoys shooting, but he is finding is harder due to a lasting injury to his left arm he sustained some time ago, so am getting him a shooting stick (specifics not really relevant).

Basically, he could take it that I am patronizing (this is the word I am unhappy about) him, and I would like to make a jokey reference to this in the card. So far I've written;

Have a great day - I hope the present is suitable (and not too ...)

I would like to write something along the lines of patronizing or belittling, but these do not feel right to me, but I cannot think of the word I would actually like to use.


closed as not constructive by FumbleFingers, MetaEd, Matt E. Эллен, Kris, user11550 Sep 22 '12 at 0:15

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  • 3
    Is your dad into puns? How about paternizing? – JAM Sep 18 '12 at 17:49
  • 2
    - I've read that these can be good for dealing with shooting pains - – Edwin Ashworth Sep 18 '12 at 19:02
  • "I hope the present is suitable (and not too liable to over-analysis)". – Erik Kowal Apr 26 '14 at 10:50

Perhaps one of the following









focused on your advancing decrepitude

  • Ha - I'm sure the last one would go down a treat ;) Thanks for the suggestions. – Luke Sep 18 '12 at 17:56
  • I'm not too fond of several of these alternatives, in that they seem less suitable than the O.P.'s original suggestions. The context here is a good-natured jest; if it were my birthday card, I'd wouldn't think much about patronizing or belittling, but humiliating? "I hope this present is not too shameful?" Degrading or debasing? I'd advise the O.P. to stick with belittling or patronizing before choosing from among these. – J.R. Sep 18 '12 at 20:36
  • 1
    @J.R. The level of denegration acceptable in familial repartee is idiosyncratic to the relationship. I do not presume to know the scope of their respective japes. And I find your scathing criticism patronizing, belittling and humiliating and I am therefore leaving this site forever! You won't have bib to kick around any longer!!! (See, the level of offense is in the eye of the beholder.) But I (and Luke, I suspect) get your point. – bib Sep 18 '12 at 21:49
  • I feel compelled to upvote this now, just because of your brilliant comment. BTW, not to sound patronizing, but I did think condescending was a decent choice (which is why it was conspicuously absent from my "belittling" criticism). :^) – J.R. Sep 18 '12 at 22:01
  • @J.R. Well, maybe I'll come back. Actually, all but the last of the list came from various thesaurus references for condescending, which was the first term that came to my mind. (With my family, I'd be harsher.) – bib Sep 18 '12 at 22:05

Possible additions to the list by @bib

  • mortifying
  • undignified
  • tactless
  • inelegant
  • tasteless
  • I like #3 & #5 (not too keen on the others, though). – J.R. Sep 18 '12 at 20:22

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