Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 22:01:32 -0400


Subject: Re: Politeness (Was: Bless You)

On Thu, 23 Oct 1997, Andrew & Diane Lillie wrote:

Andrew and Diane, Precisely! you are on the same wavelenth as me. The

debate is considering the definition of politeness. It obviously means

something different to everyone. Saying "you're welcome" is polite in my

manners but for you it may not be. Well, this society today needs to be

a little more open-minded, and as I said before a little less selfish,

and respect whatever manners and "polite gestures" offered towards them

by other individuals. Open-mind!

On the topic of politeness, I believe the real debate is a difference in

the definition of what is "polite." To some, being polite means

following traditions like saying "you're welcome" and making small

talk. For others, it means minding your own business. When I was in

Africa recently, I got hit by a difference in definition for

"politeness" when I didn't say "thank you" along with EACH "yes" or

"no." Among other things, I was considered quite impolite for switching

my fork from left to right hand after cutting meat. The difference

wasn't actual "politeness," but what was considered polite in a certain


Carrie Susann Addington


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