Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 08:55:20 -0600 From: Andrew & Diane Lillie Subject: Politeness (Was: Bless You) 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 society.