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77

If you're looking for a single word that will express thanks at the same time, I would avoid both satiated and sated; with apologies to @F'x, "sated" is not at all common in conversation, and when it is used it usually has more to do with sex than food. (Not always, but often enough that your hosts will look at you strangely for a moment before relaxing and ...


59

To remove any chance of seeming presumptuous, you might say: Thanks in advance for any help you are able to provide. This acknowledges that their ability to help may be limited (or nonexistent), but it is courteous nonetheless. It is perfectly suitable for business contexts. (Note that according to the specific situation, you could swap out help with ...


50

Perhaps you could carry around with you this list of 125,000 Shakespearean insults, and just rattle one of those off, like: I'm such a bootless, beetle-headed boor-pig and call your friend a droning, doghearted bladder. http://www.ariel.com.au/jokes/Shakespearean_Insults.html


46

It doesn't at all mean "don't go around talking about this to anyone." It is in fact much closer to "you're welcome." When you are telling someone "don't mention it", what you are telling them not to mention is the 'thank you' itself -- you are saying "Your thanks isn't necessary. I was glad to do it, so you didn't need to mention your thanks." (Note: This ...


42

In common conversation in the US Midwest I rarely hear "Not at all" or "Don't mention it." "No problem" is very common, and "You're welcome" is also pretty well-used. My personal usage: I use "Not at all," "Don't mention it," and "No problem" when the activity I'm being thanked for was really no big deal. I use "My pleasure" when emphasizing that I'm ...


37

Since your name seems Indian, I'll also mention a common Indian-English idiosyncrasy that may clear up matters for you. There is a tendency in Indian speech to use "could" for "can", and "would" for "will". This is wrong (or, to avoid being prescriptive, certainly at variance with other varieties of English, and non-standard even in India). Properly, "could" ...


35

Anything can be offensive, or not. Offense is in the mind of the subject, and may take intent of the speaker into account. In my particular culture (Western Canadian Anglophone Caucasian, which overlaps with lots of other cultures, especially throughout North America), at this particular time (2010's, but extending back for quite a few years), I would ...


34

In the UK, people would be happy if you say loo. An alternative to loo is lavatory, which is something you might hear in higher class circles. Toilet is fine, but will make some, more old fashioned, people wince. If you say "bathroom" (as in MrHen's answer) in the UK, people will probably understand you, but if you are out and about (rather than in ...


33

I prefer: I would be grateful (or very grateful or perhaps even most grateful) for any help you are able to provide. "Thanks in advance" may be acceptable in an internet forum, but to me it seems too informal for business correspondence, and does run a risk of being interpreted as presumptuous.


32

No, it would be seen as unusual, perhaps archaic. The only reason I is capitalised is that i doesn't stand out visually, and needs added visual emphasis. He, Him, and His are capitalised when referring to God (or variations thereof) in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic texts. In that context, You and Your (or more typically Thou, Thee, Thy, and Thine) would ...


32

MT_Head's answer is spot on — saying "I'm full" isn't rude. I don't think there is another single word that is similarly polite and well-understood. If you want to avoid saying "I'm full", you could say things like, "I've had plenty," or "I've had too much already." Host: "Would you like any more?" Guest: "Oh, no thank you, I've had plenty. ...


30

While I don’t use that word myself, like most profanity, its meaning is not very precise. It is used to mean many different things which is only sometimes informed by the context. I’ve seen (or heard) the word used to mean all of the following. arrogant mean-spirited hateful rude self-centered/self-absorbed condescending inconsiderate intolerant ...


27

There is a tendency in informal speech and writing to use object pronouns when conjoined with other nouns or pronouns, even if serving as the subject of a verb. You never hear this usage if the subject is not conjoined; that is, no native speaker would say “me went for some ice cream” but “me and my friends went for some ice cream” is actually quite a common ...


26

So, the preferred method of addressing a professor in the US is not entirely consistent. Variations from university to university or even department to department occur, however, at the three universities/departments I've attended/been employed by, the following is true: If the professor holds a doctorate, calling him/her Dr. Lastname is the most common ...


26

Describing the person as inconsistent might be one option. Since most people will agree that being a hypocrite is a bad thing, I believe that a "softer" word that means the same thing will still be offensive. I suggest that a softening of meaning is required, and perhaps some obfuscation. Responding to comments: I argue that inconsistent it is not ...


25

The answer you are looking for entirely depends on where the child is being raised. In the Midwestern US, for instance, the most polite word is restroom: Where is your restroom? If you are in someone's house you can also use bathroom. Most of the US considers these two appropriate.


25

I grew up in the northeastern U.S., and spent 20 years in the military, moving several times along the way. In the northern states, the term is seldom used, and it's not considered derogatory. If anything, it's borderline patriotic, as in the song I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy. In the south, though, it's a different matter. I once had a colleague tell me, ...


23

The term "chubby" would generally be only used to refer to babies or small children and even then some parents may take offense. Some positive terms used to describe a pleasantly plump woman (in order of safety: safest to use first): Curvaceous: (esp. of a woman or a woman's figure) Having an attractively curved shape. Rubenesque: plump and sensuous ...


22

The most polite ways are probably: "May we have the bill/check, please?" "Could we have the bill/check, please?" "Could we get the bill/check, please? This has the meaning... "Is it possible for you to give us the bill, as we're ready to leave and wish to pay" Alternatively, when the server comes by and asks if you'd like anything else, a polite ...


21

As I learned it, "may" is about permission while "can" is about ability. "May we borrow your car?" "Can you say 'Irish wristwatch'?" So your mother was correcting "Do I have the ability to go to the store with Joe" to "Do I have permission to go to the store..."


21

I think that there is possibly confusion here between may, can and would. It is possible that she once used to say expressions like: Can I have ... Can I get ... and was taught that it was more polite to use may rather than can in that context. Although strictly, can relates to the ability to do something, whereas may concerns permission to do ...


20

Here are several examples: When referring to someone who has mental retardation Speaking as someone with a few years of experience working with people with developmental disabilities the current politically correct term is what I just used. "They are retarded" becomes "They are people with developmental disabilities.". When referring to myself "God, I'm ...


19

It is simply a matter of emphasis, which is why you can see it written both ways. For instance, if you had a visitor at your house, who was going to leave the house after you had left it, you might say: Please don't forget to lock the door when you leave. However, if this particular person had a habit of leaving the door unlocked, you would want to ...


18

There's nothing wrong with "Have a nice day" in itself. Paul Fussell is simply engaging in a bit of elitist, curmudgeonly nose-holding about the hoi polloi, whose membership in the great unwashed is marked by their use of the phrase, "Have a nice day." This excerpt from the book is telling: Dear Sir, My banker embarrasses me terribly by saying at ...


17

"Could" is the subjunctive form of "can." That means you use it to express possibilities and the like. "I could go to the movies, but I might just stay home." When "could" is used as the past-tense of "can," you're talking about something you used to be able to do, but can't anymore, so whatever action you're speaking of is hypothetical. "I could have gone ...


17

Well, I suppose it's slightly better than gay, which is now used derogatorily quite often, whereas homosexual has a more scientific detached feel to it. However, I wouldn't say that makes it ok to use in a context like that—it makes it feel like you know them only by their sexual orientation and not by who they are as people, so it is still sensitive in ...


16

The difference between "I and my friends" and "my friends and I" is purely a matter of courtesy - they are both grammatically correct. I would tend to stick to the latter though, as it's a) more common-place, b) considered more polite, c) seems to flow better. Indeed, your example of 'incorrect' usage is incorrect solely in that the first sentence uses the ...


16

To keep it simple, I answer you without complex grammatical terminology. There are five possible situations of using can. 1. Ability In the first situation, we use can with a meaning of ability. For example, "I think I can lift the box" means that the speaker thinks that she/he is able to lift the box. The past tense form of the sentence is "I thought I ...


16

Some sensitivity to age and formality is needed to answer this question. A formal note does not change in structure because it's being sent via email. There's nothing special or magical about email that gives one permission to be forward, rude, or insulting. When writing to older persons, persons in authority, superiors, et al, I recommend a salutation and ...



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