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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

12
votes
5answers
769 views

“God bless you” equivalent for fart?

In response to someone sneezing there are a few possible phrases you can say as a form of polite acknowledgement: "God bless you" "Gesundheit" And others. But with a fart you laugh, deride ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

Beg to differ - Why is there a need to beg for differ

Wouldn't 'Wish to differ' be better than 'Beg to differ'? A friend of mine asked me why I like to 'beg to differ', instead of 'wish to differ' or 'want to differ'. Any insight on the history of 'Beg ...
-1
votes
0answers
29 views

Integrity during job Interviews [on hold]

Say you applied for a certain position at a particular job. The next day, you were called in for an interview.....to find out it is not the particular position you wanted, but at least it is a start. ...
6
votes
2answers
80 views

What is the proper response to “Excuse my language”?

What is the proper response to "Excuse my language"? I don't want to say "not a problem", because honestly, it is a problem. However, I can't think of any other appropriate response. I'm looking ...
0
votes
3answers
80 views

Is “not very” considered polite? [closed]

I've heard that if you want to describe something in a negative way but polity, use "not very" + "negative" adj. For example, describing a bad thing would be: This is not very good. Or talking ...
-1
votes
0answers
39 views

I'm still confused about “come on” and “let me”

I already asked this. But I'm not trying to duplicate, I just need more explanation. Is saying "come on" rude or just "not very well-mannered". When I asked the first time, someone said it depends ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Are these things rude? [duplicate]

Ok, I know I already asked this stuff but I thought that I should've organized it. So here it goes. By the way, quick shout out to people who answered my original question. I guess it was off-topic ...
4
votes
2answers
102 views

Is it rude to say commands or imperatives without saying please? [closed]

I've been wondering that for a long time. And if it is rude, then why does everyone say commands/imperatives without saying please? I personally phrase them into questions, or say "you have to","you ...
2
votes
0answers
76 views

Can “keep up the good work” be used for praising a co-worker? [closed]

Is "keep up the good work" a polite thing to say to your co-workers? I'm under impression that only someone from higher position has the privilege to say this. When replying the emails to a ...
1
vote
2answers
87 views

The Kids are All Right

As I was reading some of the responses on Should I use “the wife” or “my wife”?, I agreed with many of the posters stating that using the wife as opposed to my wife was slightly less personal and ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

How to request to be addressed by one's title and surname [closed]

I am wondering if anyone might have a suggestion about how to request to be addressed by a personal title and one's surname. For example, I prefer to be addressed as, "Mr. Redgate," but I do not wish ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Should I use “the wife” or “my wife”?

I am not sure whether the best form when speaking of my spouse in everyday English is "the wife" or "my wife". I commonly read "the wife" (or "the girlfriend") in reference to the author's ...
23
votes
11answers
2k views

Is it okay to use the word “Negro” in a historical context? [closed]

In a few days, I have to do a class presentation project about the 1920s Harlem Renaissance. I want to say that the movement's original name was the "New Negro Movement," but I'm not sure if that's ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

Is “thank's” an alternative correct spelling?

My colleague who is American spells "thank's" (with an apostrophe) and when I ask him why he said because it's "more formal" and "he uses American English". Is this true? Can you really spell ...
3
votes
4answers
18k 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 ...
23
votes
14answers
3k views

Less vulgar alternative to “bee up my butt”

In my corner of the world, the two exressions given in the accepted answer to this question have become conflated. Now, to "have a bee up one's butt" is to have a sudden and obsessive need to do ...
24
votes
8answers
208k views

How do you respond back to “Hi, How is it going?” [closed]

I have observed that people from America, greet by asking, "Hi, how is it going?". I usually say, "It is going good" and return a smile. Sometimes, I have observed people saying "Thank you" and ...
10
votes
8answers
11k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
152 views

Is responding 'maybe' to an opinion or statement of fact rude?

When telling someone a statement of fact (i.e. something you know, without a doubt to be true), if they respond "maybe", which to me suggests the possibility that you are wrong, is this rude? ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

To indirectly and politely ask about something “I wanted to” vs “I would like to” [closed]

When asking someone for some information indirectly which one is preferable? "I wanted to" e.g. "I wanted to ask your advice on ..." "I would like to" e.g. "I would like to ask about your advice ...
-1
votes
3answers
64 views

Politer way of saying “Your discussion is invalid”

Someone is criticizing my work and they are using arguments that are not correct. I have explained the reasons why their argument is not correct and I want to conclude by saying: because of these ...
13
votes
2answers
83k views

Is “nice to meet you” an appropriate online salutation?

When one makes a new acquaintance with somebody in person, you may say “it was nice to meet you”, e.g. when you leave. What if you make a new acquaintance over the internet, what do you say when you ...
0
votes
4answers
91 views

Is “fatty” a proper word to use?

The most intuitive word to describe a person rich in fat seems to be fatty. However, I'm not sure whether it's commonly used in a derogatory sense in English. Do I need a more appropriate word ...
-1
votes
3answers
141 views

What is the proper way of addressing a professor? [closed]

I am a graduate student. Some part of my master thesis requires me to contact a professor from another university. In the first email I addressed him as "Dear Professor Smith". He started his reply ...
1
vote
2answers
69 views

What is the equivalent of this Arabic expression?

In Arabic, when someone tells you "You look good today," or "Thank you for the flowers, they are beautiful," the polite answer is: It is not the flowers. Your eyes are so beautiful everything appears ...
4
votes
1answer
129 views

How do I ask a waitress to “wrap the rest of the food up” to bring home?

I went to a restaurant for a meal and didn't manage to finish it, so there was some food leftover. How do you politely ask a server/waiter/waitress to wrap the food up? And is the expression "wrap ...
0
votes
4answers
125 views

Does “Could I …?” always sound more polite than “Can I …?”?

For example, if I say Could I borrow your pen? Does it sound more polite than Can I borrow your pen? I am not a native English speaker, but I rarely hear someone says "Could I ...?". ...
1
vote
2answers
59 views

Is there any difference in politeness or formality between the following sentences?

Is there any difference in politeness or formality between the following sentences? Please can I borrow your pen? Can I please borrow your pen? Can I borrow your pen, please?
19
votes
20answers
23k views

What is a less offensive synonym for “retarded”?

I occasionally use "retarded" when chastising myself or other friends. I know it's not Politically Correct, but am I only allowed to say stupid? How long before we can't say that anymore? Other ...
2
votes
4answers
156 views

How to frame a polite sentence without using “please”? Is it even possible? [closed]

I am just wondering that, are there any alternatives to make a sentence look polite. Instead of using "please". Kindly help me with examples.
0
votes
2answers
204 views

What should I say when people say “thanks a lot” [duplicate]

When I help others, they say "thanks a lot". What should I say to reply to them?
2
votes
2answers
89 views

Adding Mr/Ms/Mrs to a signature [closed]

Suppose one has an unusual or foreign name, or a name which traditionally belongs to the other gender. Is it inappropriate to add one's title (i.e. Mr/Ms/Mrs) to the signature of a letter/email so as ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

Thank thou or Thank thee

How would Shakespeare have said "Thank you"? Can't decide if it is thee or thou, since it isn't really a sentence.
0
votes
1answer
138 views

I think I believe I feel statements should be introduced properly

In English, a subjective statement or a likewise question is often introduced by either of these phrases: I reckon [that] … – Do you reckon [that] …? (dialectal) I think [that] … – Do you ...
2
votes
2answers
523 views

Object pronoun: me and John, or John and me?

When using ourselves and another person as the subject of a sentence, we use their name first (like "John and I"); but when the same two people become the object of a sentence, which order should the ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Do you prefix every e-mail in a chain with a greeting? [closed]

Clearly, norms on etiquette dictates that you should prefix an e-mail to someone with "Dear Alice" or "Hi Alice" or something. But when engaging in an e-mail conversation chain, should I prefix EVERY ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Is “master-slave” polite name for software library? [closed]

I am going to write an opensource software library for web sites developers. With help of this library, web application opened in several tabs will be able to hold connection to server from one ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Alternate, polite word for “Fee”

I want to inquire about fee for Tai Chi course. But, the word "Fee" would not be polite for such martial art. Would there be any alternate word I could use, which is more polite and kind to ask about ...
65
votes
14answers
13k views

Is there a polite alternative to “No thanks, I'm full”?

English is not my native language, but when I was studying in the US, I was always trying to find an alternative to I'm full! I felt that it was a very improper way to express that I have eaten ...
2
votes
7answers
25k 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? ...
3
votes
2answers
181 views

How to politely say “I don't know you”?

I received an email from someone I haven't known. It's a letter related to my job, in other words - a business one. How would you write him an answer highlighting that you don't know this person and ...
5
votes
4answers
305 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
6k views

Correct response to “Pardon me”

My young son recently started saying "Pardon me" after, for example, burping. We try to praise, or at least respond, when he does something right, as encouragement and as a form of learning. This ...
1
vote
4answers
794 views

“thanks to (command)”

A friend who works in business says that she has been hearing a lot of polite commands worded as e.g. "thanks to ask any questions at the end of the presentation" (she has also seen this written a few ...
3
votes
2answers
201 views

Polite alternatives to “Whatever you say” [closed]

I wish to convey that “I will comply with your request, because I have to, although I am extremely offended that you made such a request.’ in a more concise (or passive aggressive) phrase. How? I am ...
-2
votes
1answer
44 views

Use of the Word APPRECIATED [closed]

I would like to know , if its ok to use the word Appreciate in a Email to a Senior Managers....?? Eg. Dear Sir, Appreciate if you could intervene and resolve the issue asap...
2
votes
3answers
395 views

What part of speech is “thank you”?

Can anybody please tell me the subject, verb, and object of this sentence: Thank you all for conducting a landmark experiment. I would also like to please know what part of speech thank you ...
0
votes
0answers
95 views

How to politely ask a man or a woman's chest size?

For a lady: What's your bust measurement, Madam? For a man: What's your chest size, sir? Are these correct and polite? Thanks.
1
vote
4answers
263 views

Opening-conversation for requesting a service over the phone

As a non English speaker with a non English name, I find myself opening quite a long question before I even get a confirmation about the fact that, the person in the other side can even help me in ...
0
votes
2answers
67 views

Colloquial terms for “[please do X] according to your own ethical assumptions”?

When I want to ask someone to do something that has some costs (like personal involvement, time, money), but want to leave it to that person to decide how much to spend on that - how do I express that ...