Miss Manners: I don’t like the way these kids say ‘you’re welcome’

DEAR MISS MANNERS: In response to “thank you,” I have been hearing a lot of “of course” or “certainly,” especially from the younger generation.

Since when has that been acceptable? I find it arrogant and rude. Do you agree?

I do not find “any time” rude, especially after thanking someone who did you a big favor. “Of course” just really gets under my skin.

GENTLE READER: Would you be less offended by “Of course you are most welcome — I am so very happy to be able to do this for you”?

Perhaps. But Miss Manners does not see a substantive difference between it and a shortened form. She would never say that the words chosen when conveying conventional politeness do not matter — but she does not share your imputation of ill intent to these particular examples.

GENTLE READERS: There is a disturbing trend in Miss Manners’ correspondence that she wishes to address, lest Gentle Readers give up hope of a more polite future. It concerns letters that begin:

“When did it become OK to …?”
“Am I just being hopelessly old-fashioned or …?”
“Am I being too sensitive when …?”

What follows is an example of something that was never OK. Miss Manners’ field is external behavior, not internal squirming, but her concern is the implication that the victim has, or should have, given up hope of improving society.

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A fourth type of letter underscores the point: It seeks a polite response to a slight, real or imagined, that the Gentle Reader already answered with a taunting rejoinder, a rude gesture or worse.

Miss Manners does, on occasion, supply responses which, though faultlessly polite, cause an offender to explode in a burst of mortification and apology. But she more often counsels more subtle responses, which, even had the reader known them when the event occurred, would not have required a fire extinguisher.

This is because the goal is not to strike someone who struck you first — the goal is not to get hit in the first place.

This should be apparent, as even Miss Manners’ most caustic advice is too late to touch a driver who has long since sped away, a line-cutter who is off offending …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News

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