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

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8
votes
8answers
983 views

A polite substitution for “lamer”

Is there a polite word that can be used to designate someone who didn't really understand what he or she was doing? Or, in general, someone who is intentionally ignorant of how things work. A "lamer" ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

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

Could native speakers tell the first expression of meaning "No screenshots any more from your phone" Does it sound rude?
8
votes
7answers
8k views

Is “grammar nazi” politically correct?

I'm not a native English speaker and I'm puzzled where the use of grammar nazi would be appropriate. I have seen it numerous times around the SE network and was wondering when the use would be ...
5
votes
5answers
19k views

“Much obliged” — Old-fashioned? Polite? Pedantic?

I've heard someone say "Much obliged!" a couple of times, instead of the usual "Thank you!". A common phrase in Portuguese ("Muito Obrigado") and maybe other languages, but certainly unusual in ...
4
votes
1answer
126 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
1answer
44 views

Proper response to “how is your cold?” [closed]

If a friend who knows I had a cold (or mild illness) asks me "how is your cold?" and I feel better or am nearly over it, I always say: "Oh, my cold is much worse, it is nearly gone entirely!" Is there ...
11
votes
12answers
12k views

What do you mean when you ask “How are you?”

I have been asked one simple question many times by Americans: "How are you?". I know this does not mean that the person I am talking to wants to know how I feel, but sometimes I see that they repeat ...
2
votes
5answers
6k views

Can “your reputation precedes you” be used as a negative statement?

I have always considered "your reputation precedes you" as a gesture of complement and respect. However it occurred to me if it is possible to use it for a notorious person with a bad reputation? ...
1
vote
0answers
92 views

Differences between “How are you?”, “How are you doing?” and “How do you do?” [migrated]

What are the main differences between the three sentences written below? When should we use these greetings? 1) How are you? 2) How are you doing? 3) How do you do?
0
votes
3answers
72 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Formal way of saying “when you are in need”

How can I write following in a formal way? It will help you when you are in need. It will help you when it is required. It will help you when needed. It will help you when you required to be helped. ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How does one address a blended family in which the members have different surnames?

I am confused about how to address a family in which all the members have kept their original surname. What is the proper way to address such a family in a note to a family which consists of a single ...
43
votes
17answers
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 ...
28
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 ...
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
41 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
4answers
308 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. ...
0
votes
1answer
76 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?
2
votes
1answer
93 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
92 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
4answers
162 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? ...Looking for something a little higher in register and more accurate ...
3
votes
7answers
26k views

Is the expression “see you when I see you” impolite? [closed]

Once, I have received feedback that using "see you when I see you" is not very polite. Do you have the same opinion? What other expression should I use in case I have no clue when I will see the ...
8
votes
4answers
38k views

When do I use a question mark with “Could you [please] …”

A sentence like Could you please pass me the pepper shaker is not really a question. Should I use a question mark or a period to end this sentence? What about: Could you let me know when ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

“Dear Sir” or “Dear John” if you are addressing the VP of a company

How to address the VP of a company or department? I have been told that addressing by name was not polite. Any clues?
4
votes
3answers
285 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
7k views

“And to you” or “you too”?

I really like to chat with English folks, so I have wished them Merry Christmas. To my surprise I have noticed the following pattern — the British answered "and to you", but Americans "you too". The ...
8
votes
3answers
22k views

Is “I'm screwed” a rude expression?

Is "I'm screwed" a rude expression, or can it be used when someone tries to say they made a mistake? I overheard it from someone who seemed to have failed at his task.
3
votes
4answers
9k views

“May I know your good name?” [closed]

"May I know your good name” is a typically Indian way of honouring another person by asking their name using an adjective like sweet, good, beautiful, et cetera. Of course there won’t ever be any bad ...
0
votes
1answer
73 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
3k views

Is using the last name of a person without a title an accepted way of addressing?

I always heard people use Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms before people's names and that is how, I thought, it was done until I watched one of those Harry Potter films in which Malfoy (Sr) addresses Albus Dumbledore ...
59
votes
7answers
8k 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
674 views

Is asking “come again?” to a complete stranger over the phone rude?

My Irish colleague told me that when talking to a customer over the phone asking:"come again?" is considered rude and even offensive since it is very informal and almost demanding. Now I did not ...
0
votes
1answer
102 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
4answers
5k views

Meaning of various valedictions or closing expressions

Related to, but I believe distinct from, the following questions: What does the "yours" in "yours sincerely" mean? What are some expressions that can be used to end an email? ...
0
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
583 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
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Telling someone that they are rude [closed]

I happened to tell a co-worker today "I'm sorry to say this, but I think you are being rude by asking me to do XYZ despite me telling you repeatedly that I'm not going to be able to do it". I ...
0
votes
4answers
95 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
711 views

How to say “I don't believe you” in a more academic way?

How to say "I don't believe you" in a more academic way? I need to say it to my teacher and I do not know how to say it, not to make her mad...
0
votes
2answers
133 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" ?
4
votes
1answer
100 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
6k views

Is “Can I have a cup of coffee?” polite?

Is "Can I have a cup of coffee?" polite? What if I ask a store employee, "Can I have something?"
2
votes
1answer
113 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
3answers
25k views

Is it rude to say “Thanks for asking”?

My manager recently asked me "How I was doing? Everything Ok?". I felt happy that he asked me that question, and felt that he was really concerned about me. I was doing good. So I told him that and ...
2
votes
1answer
441 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
15k views

How do I ask for advice politely?

I came across the following phrase: I was wondering if you might be able to give me some advice. Is it a natural construction for a conversational context? Can I use the following instead in ...
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 ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the “superlative” way of expressing “thank you”

On rare occasions, you are in a situation where a simple Thank You seems like you're undermining the other person's help. You know, instances where you are too grateful to express your feelings of ...
2
votes
3answers
199 views

Using the word “doc”

Merriam-Webster obviously says that the word is an abbreviation for doctor, and I also acknowledge the fact that it's less formal than doctor. My question is: when talking to your doctor, would it be ...
0
votes
2answers
201 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?.