Questions tagged [politeness]

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

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1answer
60 views

Is the word “awful” offensive if used to describe someone's skills? [closed]

I recently read something like: Mr X was able to get the job even though his English is awful. In the above, suppose the background is Mr X landing a job for which good English skills were a ...
0
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1answer
40 views

Is it correct to write: “I would appreciate it if you could inform me when you could contact my manager” in a formal email? [closed]

I want to know if someone has eventually contacted my manager. I therefore want to send him a formal email to ask him very politely. Is it correct to write as follow ? "I would appreciate it if you ...
4
votes
1answer
117 views

Is using “if you would” instead of “if you will” in the sense of “if you wish/want/like” technically “correct”?

I may be wrong here, but I think of the verb "will" as in the set phrase "if you will" as an actual verb, with the rare sense "wish, desire, want", not as a mere future marker. Therefore, in this ...
0
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1answer
37 views

Pointing out customer's mistake politely in customer support setting [closed]

If someone sends in a support request with a mistake that they clearly made, what would be the polite way to answer? I initially used the term It seems that you have forgotten to fill in this and ...
2
votes
2answers
82 views

“Bash her up” – offensive or just an idiom?

My girlfriend and I were having an argument over something that her female friend had said about me, which I found rude and displeasing. My girlfriend responded to my complaint by saying "What do you ...
1
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0answers
61 views

Polite way to ask a plan in spare time of the trip for PhD exam [closed]

I am going to visit a university in Europe in order to take an entrance exam of PhD course. The university prepared 15-days trip for me, but each of the written exam and the oral exam is going to take ...
1
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0answers
110 views

What do you call a married woman in a titled position? [closed]

I tried to search if someone has asked this question. The closely related to this I found here, but I am not sure that it is correct to my question beside the person who asked that question didn't ...
0
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1answer
67 views

is this answer rude? [closed]

recently some on in LinkedIn send a message to me: Thank you for connecting with me! I am recruiting for an Android Developer role (multiple levels) for a company whose product mostly likely impacts ...
0
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1answer
147 views

Is it rude to say 'You're actually cute for a person'? [closed]

You're actually cute for a person elitedaily says it is rude to say so. Well, I never heard someone say it. When someone says that you are pretty, or that you are cute, is it rude or is it a ...
2
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0answers
75 views

Is it okay to say “Excuse me, Ms.” to get attention from strangers who are women? [closed]

I was wondering that above sentence on title, “Excuse me, Ms.” is rude or not. I’ve watched a video on youtube about English titles, but “Excuse me lady.” is very rude to get attention from women, ...
0
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1answer
61 views

What should I say when my friend will have a new baby soon? [closed]

As titled. There are a ton of examples to congratulate newborns, however, is there anything similar before the birth of a new baby?
1
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1answer
64 views

How can I express that I have completed task given somebody in polite manner?

Somebody asked me to rebase my github repository with his repository and I did it as per his/her request. How can I express it in polite manner? Some sentences running in my mind are: I did rebase ...
0
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1answer
88 views

“to whom it may offend” vs. “to whom I may offend” [closed]

In my opening speech, is it right if I say I apologize to whom it may offend" or "I apologize to whom I may offend"
0
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1answer
410 views

“Could you please deal with it” sounds rude

My friend with a C2 in English says that "Could you please deal with it" sounds rude and it is better to use "Could you please take a look at it" or "Could you please fix it" because that's more ...
1
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1answer
68 views

Proper way to refer to someone that previously held an official title, but is no longer in said title

I’m trying to figure out the best way to refer to someone in a resume. I once received an award from former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld when he was still the Secretary of Defense. I use this ...
2
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2answers
160 views

Elon Musk’s “thanks for being awesome”

In a recent open letter to “everybody”, famous visionary entrepreneur Elon Musk uses the closing statement “Thanks for being awesome” (emphasis mine): From: Elon Musk To: Everybody Subj. ...
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2answers
71 views

Does one party involved in the action of “introducing someone to someone else” have a higher authority?

When you use the sentences such as "Kate introduced Joe to Ellen", "My former colleague introduced me to his boss", "My brother introduced them to me", is there one side of the introduction that has a ...
0
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1answer
103 views

How to properly refer to a person who had changed their name in the past tense?

A person changed her name from A to B. "My 6th grade English teacher was A" sounds right, but when I alter the sentence structure to "B was my 6th grade English teacher" it sounds right. These are ...
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2answers
1k views

Hi, Hello, Dear in answer to client’s Hi

We’re are a small atelier on Etsy and usually get questions from clients starting with Hi, Hi Roman (they sometimes see my name before composing a question) or Hey there. What would be the safest way ...
1
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1answer
112 views

Using “Would you like” vs “Do you want” between friends

Does it sound normal or overly polite to use "Would you like" between friends, for example "Hey Bob, would you like to play chess with me?"
58
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16answers
18k views

“Can I” vs “May I” in restaurant setting when ordering

A while back, while we were getting fast food, my friend commented on my usage of "can" versus "may" when asking to take my order. I said: Can I have a ....... and my friend argued you're ...
0
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1answer
385 views

Is it impolite to say hello to a doctor as “Hi, First Name”? [closed]

I'm based in Canada and I'm not a native English speaker. Is it impolite to call doctors and dentists by their first name instead of "Dr. Last Name" when answering a phone call?
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1answer
51 views

First names or surnames?

Writing out an interview with two Americans, in US English. It's an interview with 'brothers and sisters in the field' of medicine, semi-scientific, slightly formal but in a friendly kind of way. So ...
1
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0answers
73 views

“Osteoarthritis patients” vs “people with osteoarthritis”

In the scientific literature, I've seen two different preferences to refer to "people who have disease X". For example: Osteoarthritis patients People with osteoarthritis What are the actual ...
2
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2answers
126 views

'Do' as a one-word short answer

Example: - It's stuffy in here. Shall I open the window? + Do. Example: - Do you mind if I look at your paper? + No, please do. What is the grammar behind this structure? When can it be used?
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0answers
3k views

Is “keep my fingers crossed for you” polite or impolite?

Email is critical to business today. I'd like to write business email. Is "keep my fingers crossed for you" polite or impolite? ex:) I will keep my fingers crossed for you. Good luck to you.
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1answer
105 views

Email: addressing the users in CC [closed]

I am in a corporate setting, replying to an email from company's client. The email contains multiple participants in CC. I've never spoken to the client nor to anyone in CC. Is it normal to start my ...
4
votes
3answers
300 views

Should she have said that I stole the drink?

I'm Japanese and I live in US now. I can speak English a little. Today I went to a cafe and I mistook taking someone's drink. (I already purchased, and it was same matcha). A staff realized that and ...
0
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1answer
216 views

Was I being impolite using this phrase “Add our John Doe in the copy :)” at the end of a business conversation? [closed]

Some context: English is not my native language and I had a chat with my colleague from a remote location. She asked my team lead to add two users in some system and since the team lead was off the ...
1
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1answer
109 views

Global socially acceptable way of acknowledging that I'm being a “pedantic w****r”?

I'm Australian and would not hesitate to call myself a "pedantic wanker" in public (because, well... I often am!). There is a very small chance that someone (most likely elderly or particularly ...
1
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4answers
5k views

“Take care, sir!” - how formal/informal is “take care” in the meaning of “goodbye”?

According to oxforddictionaries (and also e.g. What does "Take care sweets" mean?), take care used at the end of a conversation has the meaning of goodbye: Said to someone on leaving them....
0
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1answer
4k views

“Yes sir” usage [closed]

I have heard "Yes, sir." used by a client or by the older participant in a conversation and it seems to me that this goes against the common usage. What is the connotation of "Yes, sir." in a ...
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0answers
126 views

Is it polite to ask someone if they're “on track” with something? [closed]

Today I received a colleague's feedback saying that my email's expression was overly harsh. This was the expression which caused the confusion. "... Are you on track with this? ..." For my ears ...
0
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1answer
253 views

Shoud I use a new line after Hi (someone's name) in e-mail? [closed]

In an e-mail, suppose we start with Hi John. Should I follow with Hi John, some content (i) or Hi John, some content (ii) Is there any etiquette behind choice (i) vs (ii)?
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0answers
5k views

How to write an email to a police officer? [closed]

So, a family member got into a car accident. The police officer told me to notify her where our car will be towed. She gave me her office number and email. But she's out on dispatch. I was told it's ...
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1answer
1k views

How informal is “I am fond of”? [closed]

As said in the title how informal is "I am fond of", can I start a cold-email to a design studio like I am fond of your works or designs?
3
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2answers
4k views

Polite alternative to “I don't give a damn about etc.”?

I need a strong statement of rejection of a concept, thing or practice, that means X doesn't give a good goddamn about etc., or X doesn't give a flying f___ about etc. but with no vulgar words so ...
3
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1answer
481 views

How to say no politely and friendly to recommendations from waiters/staffs at a restaurant/cafe? [closed]

I am not a native English speaker and have a question about alternative expressions for "no thank you" especially in a Cafe/restaurant. When I order something over a counter or at a table, sometimes ...
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votes
2answers
461 views

Saying condolences if relative is hospitalised?

Is it offensive to say 'condolences' to people with a relative who is hospitalised? Please explain answer and provide sources.
0
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1answer
229 views

polite tag in questions : for me?

in the question "What's your last name for me?" asked by a clerk for a registration, does the prepositional for me soften it? 00:12 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFjrerZ-EWo
3
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1answer
9k views

How to tell customer that you have a tight schedule without sounding rude? [closed]

I would like to explain a customer that during the next two months we will be very busy with a tight schedule, but I don't want to sound rude or put him in a rush, as I only have certain day available ...
0
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2answers
17k views

“Could you please answer this question” [closed]

In email correspondence with my team I use the wording and punctuation: Could you please handle this. As a polite form of: Please handle this. To be clear, it is an assignment, this is not a ...
1
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1answer
538 views

How to politely restate instructions [closed]

What is a better way to say "and again" when you are repeating instructions to someone? When you just went over how to process something and the client doesn't seem to get it. You start to tell them ...
1
vote
1answer
128 views

How to politely tell my personal tutor that I'm going to give her the tutoring fee?

What I'm looking for is the most polite way to tell my personal tutor that I'm going to give her money without her feeling that she's selling something and I'm buying it. To put it another way, I'm ...
49
votes
6answers
36k views

What is wrong with saying “pleased to meet you”?

I read an article1 in The Telegraph, where it mentions that the phrase "pleased to meet you" was used inappropriately. When I was little, my mother collected me from a school friend’s party. As I ...
13
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4answers
3k views

Is it rude to ask questions ending with 'or not'? [closed]

I'm not a native speaking English person. I asked questions like this "You want a drink of water, or not?" "You want to have a pizza, or not?' Then I was criticized by a native English speaker who ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Polite word or short phrase that means “this isn't a high enough priority for us to work on now”

I'm not looking for a technical term, but a more polite way of saying that the user's request is a lower priority and we may or may not get to it once higher priority issues are cleared out. The ...
4
votes
1answer
459 views

Is there a way to determine how offensive a word is? [closed]

Outside of slang, I'm looking for a list of words that have been co-opted by society to mean something derogatory. In some senses, they are also "trigger words" and phrases. The word cult, for ...
1
vote
1answer
660 views

Asking a small group of two or more people a personal question? [closed]

So, I visit casual group chats regularly, both in person and over internet messaging, and often a question is asked, "How is everyone doing?" Or, something along those lines. Now, this all seems ...
1
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3answers
486 views

Is “you can't have it both ways” impolite? What's a polite alternative?

When I've said "you can't have it both ways" to my boss, and my former professor, they reacted negatively. This leads me to wonder if this phrase is considered impolite. Is it? If so, what's a polite ...