This tag is for questions regarding the polite use of words or phrases.

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20
votes
11answers
6k views

Why doesn't the English language have distinct words to use when talking to elders? [on hold]

In many of the languages that I've studied there are separate distinctions in the words to use when talking to elders and when talking to someone of your age or younger. For e.g. in Hindi, if I ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

Tell customer politely that interruptions during meetings will not be allowed [closed]

In my previous business meetings with a customer, I have mistakenly allowed the customer to go to some task during our meeting and I waited for him. The customer now considers breaking our meeting to ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

How much is idiom “chew the fat” acceptable and neutral?

Does the idiom have strictly negative meaning or is it neutral? Can it be used to talk not only about close people so that not to insult anybody?
1
vote
2answers
36 views

Résumé: Additional details can be provided (if required / on request)

I'm a freshman applying for internships. I previously had a detailed résumé with appropriate information regarding my projects and areas of expertise. However, I want to tailor it down and keep it as ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Do “Care to do something” and “Would you care to do something” sound equally polite?

Today on one of other stackexchange sites I've been reached with following comment: "Care to add some references for your claims?". This sounds to me not only formal but a bit rude, so I've ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Is there a rule regarding the placement of “please” in a sentence? [duplicate]

Both written or spoken? For example: Please have a seat. Have a seat please. And how would the use of commas change the meaning or tone of the request? Are there other options that I've ...
1
vote
1answer
95 views

Polite Answers to “What else can I do for you? ” [closed]

Suppose that I call a company's call center for help. And near the end of the conversation, the staff asks a question like "what else can I do for you ?". How can I give a polite answer to this sort ...
3
votes
2answers
467 views

What is happening to “Thank you”?

What is happening to the phrase "Thank you"? Related questions: Is thank you considered formal nowadays? Is thanks used more often? Is there a decline in the usage of the phrase thank you ...
-3
votes
2answers
54 views

The right word to show honour for president or such dignitaries while addressing them

what is the right word to show honour while addressing president or such dignitaries. Is "respected president" sufficient?
0
votes
2answers
388 views

How to respond to someone who says “Pleasure to meet you”, but you don't feel the exact same thing? [closed]

It is not that I hated meeting him, but it wasn't a "pleasure" either. Not because I have some problems with him but because I don't get usually enchanted when meeting someone for the first time. I ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Is “would you be keen to consider___?” too cheesy to use?

On a formal / professional email, is the following question acceptable, or is it too much politeness it looks unprofessional? The intention is to ask someone, who is not a subordinate, to do ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Does “No screenshots any more from your phone” sound rude? [closed]

Could native speakers tell the first expression of meaning "No screenshots any more from your phone" Does it sound rude?
4
votes
1answer
151 views

Which dialects of English consider “would” to be a polite form of “will”?

My recent trip to India exposed me to many sentences using "would" as a polite substitute for "will", as in Please make sure to leave on time. The last bus would depart at 8PM. Thanks for ...
0
votes
3answers
109 views

Non-vulgar way to express that you “f-word love” something

So I wanted to say that I really love some web service, (I could pretty much say this about stack exchange too!) and I wanted to keep the power of my words, but I have a bad habit of using f-word in ...
0
votes
1answer
128 views

Best use of wondering if “there was something” or “something was”

I would like to ask whether an object is included in a package or not, which of the following expressions should I use: I was wondering if there was any chassis support in the package? I was ...
0
votes
1answer
117 views

Ask politely if there is any fee for a training [closed]

I am attending a training, but they did not mention if it is free or not. How to ask politely if there is any fee for this training?
18
votes
7answers
6k views

Asking female employees to come to my room [closed]

I have a few female employees working at my office, and being a manager, I need to text them via Skype or Messenger to come to my room. How can I ask them politely to come? Please come to my room ...
2
votes
1answer
282 views

How to start and end an email politely? [closed]

I'm trying to write an email to professor because I found a mistake on his book. Should I start the email with just "Dear professor, There seems to be some problems in ..." and end the email as "best ...
-1
votes
1answer
106 views

Is mentioning full name on email replies considered offensive? [closed]

For example: If someone replies me "Sure Deepak Mishra :)" or "Sure Deepak :)". Should "Sure Deepak Mishra :)" look offensive to me or is it not a good email etiquette? Adding to this question: I ...
2
votes
5answers
433 views

Is there a politically correct term for illiterate people?

The question says it all. What is the standard, compassionate/politically-correct term for those who lack a literacy education? I'm looking for something a little higher in register and more accurate ...
4
votes
3answers
468 views

What does “talk to the hand” mean?

I saw the phrase "talk to the hand" on many funny stickers which seems like expressing the idea that you want to stop the topic or conversation which you feel uncomfortable or not interested in. But ...
0
votes
1answer
94 views

Removing offensiveness from swear word [closed]

Is there a consensus in terms of the ranking of offensiveness given by the word "damn" and its derivatives? Damn Darn Dang Ding (as in ding-busted) I assume that the less a word sounds like the ...
62
votes
7answers
11k views

What happened to “You're welcome?”

Quite often (9 out of 10 times?), on radio (NPR), when the interviewer says "Thank you" to the interviewee, the reply is also "Thank you." What has happened to "You're welcome?" Why is "You're ...
0
votes
1answer
299 views

Most Appreciated [closed]

I've received a nice comment from a friend, on a work of art that I posted on my Facebook page. I responded with "Most appreciated, amigo!" Is this an acceptable 'thank you'? Or should it be 'much ...
2
votes
2answers
697 views

Are the 'Imperatives' used without 'please' or 'kindly' considered to be rude in the west?

Are imperatives considered rude if they are used without "please" and "kindly"? For example: Go ahead OR Please, go ahead. and Give me the eggs OR Please, give me the eggs
0
votes
2answers
158 views

How do I respond politely to a salesperson? [closed]

When a sales assistant asks "Can I help you?", can I respond with "No, thanks" ? Or are there more common ways of responding, instead of using "No, thanks" ?
0
votes
4answers
104 views

What's the oral address of “fellow student”?

I have known "fellow student" is a formal address and we used this in somewhere formally. But in oral situation, how to introduce a senior student to my friends when we face to face? If I say "this is ...
4
votes
1answer
254 views

Is saying “can you do this for me” rude? [closed]

I recently got into a conversation with a freind who said it's rude to directly ask people without using the word "please" or converting the question to an indirect one. In the US this is the norm and ...
2
votes
1answer
194 views

“Can I Help You?” - Considerate Language, Polite Lead-Ins and Euphemisms

One day I tried to ask a question on a different StackExchange site and got a message: It looks like you might need a break - take a breather and come back soon! What an awfully nice suggestion! ...
0
votes
4answers
519 views

Is it rude to say “none of your business”?

I'm often asked in shops variations of this question: Where are you from? (Which country, zipcode?) Frankly, it's none of their business, but I feel it's somehow rude to say that so directly. ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How to politely begin an email to a professor and a doctor? [closed]

Suppose I need to write an letter (email, actually), addressed to two academicians. One is a full professor, and the other does not yet have this title. What is a polite way of opening the letter? If ...
0
votes
2answers
414 views

How should I (or Should I) reply to 'Enjoy' mail?

I sent out a vacation mail to my office group. And a colleague of mine replied to the mail with "Enjoy!". Now Should I reply to this mail?. If yes what would be a proper response to this?.
1
vote
1answer
393 views

How to politely decline to take someone's help? [closed]

So I was looking to take someone's professional service and he offered me a quote. It was too high. So I declined it. Then he offered to give me some unofficial service as a courtesy. All of this ...
44
votes
19answers
6k views

Alternative expression for “xyz Nazi”

I'm not a native English speaker, but I do understand and personally appreciate the use of the term "xyz Nazi" to say that someone is a bit dogmatic about their point of view, without necessarily ...
0
votes
1answer
279 views

Will that be fine?

Quite a few times now, a waiter or shop assistant has asked me: Will that be fine? I've noticed that I've only ever heard Indian English speakers use this turn of phrase. To my (British) ear, ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

Is “could use” rude?

Is "could use" considered rude? For example: "We could use some extra information" "For this task we could use some help from..." Thank you
8
votes
6answers
3k views

How can I ask, “Why did you send me this link?” in a polite way?

The context is I told someone I'm looking for meetups in my area to network with certain people and this person sent me a link that does not seem relevant at all. How do I ask, "Why did you send me ...
0
votes
1answer
381 views

Is it rude to tell someone “do whatever you want”? does it mean you care less?

Would it be impolite to tell someone "do whatever you want" if you have been asked "what was the right thing to do"? does it mean you care less?
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Way to ask interviewer (/speaking examiner) to repeat slowly its question [duplicate]

The accent of a speaking examiner is sometimes difficult to understand completely. Asking him to repeat his question is a delicate action that should be handled correctly, in my consideration. ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

saying thanks to someone answering your email ASAP who is important for you [closed]

Which of these sentences sounds more american? and which sounds more polite against who is important for you like a professor or boss? first: Thanks for your prompt response second: Thanks ...
-1
votes
1answer
63 views

What verb goes with “mood” in the context of a polite social inquiry?

How would I best ask someone to share their mood with me? It needs to be snappy and easily understood. For example, given these three choices of verb: share your mood express your mood convey your ...
26
votes
9answers
6k views

What is a polite way of talking about a recently-deceased person?

In my language (Arabic), we say things that can be translated to: Mr X, God have mercy on him, was .. Mr X, God puts him in heaven, was. . . . Mr X, God forgive him, was. . . . How does one talk ...
2
votes
1answer
589 views

What should we call our elder cousin's wife? [closed]

We don’t call our cousins cousin Somebody the way we do with uncles and aunts; we just refer to them by their given name directly. But sometimes we cannot use their name to address them, such as if ...
0
votes
4answers
136 views

Nice way to say “exclude”

I have a bunch of components I have included into a new project. I drew a pretty picture showing all of them, color coding the ones I selected, then showing the conglomeration. I went to write up the ...
1
vote
2answers
366 views

Difference beween requests “can”, “could” and “may”? [duplicate]

We can use can, could, and may for requests and permissions, but is there any difference between the meanings of the following three versions? May I go? Can I go? Could I go?
29
votes
13answers
9k views

How do I politely say I have used my mouth while drinking water from a bottle?

Is there a one word substitute for the scenario below, and what is the politest way of saying it to another person or colleague? I drink water from my bottle by touching my mouth When someone ...
1
vote
6answers
12k views

“At my earliest convenience” [closed]

I'm quite used to using the phrase "at your earliest convenience" to express urgency but also polite sensitivity to others' schedules and deadlines. It means "Please do this as son as you can without ...
0
votes
0answers
86 views

Is it polite to say 'thank you guys' if both genders were involved? [duplicate]

Related: Is "guy" gender-neutral? Discussion about more formal version: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1620575 Thank you (thank you guys)
0
votes
0answers
72 views

Do vs. did in “do you want to join us?” [duplicate]

What exactly is the difference in meaning between the questions Do you want to join us? and Did you want to join us? in the context of a group of people asking asking another person who ...
5
votes
3answers
512 views

Is addressing a guy as “guy” rude?

Non-native here, is addressing a guy as just "guy" considered rude? Like, while addressing a pet-store clerk: "Hey, guy, how many mice will $13 buy?" Also, how long has it been in use?