101

I think "you're welcome" means one person gave to the other. In situations where both parties perceive that they are receiving, they both say thank you.


93

According to linguist John McWhorter the answer is indeed history. Older terms accumulate baggage and are replaced by new terms in what is called the Euphemism Treadmill: Crippled began as a sympathetic term. However, a sad reality of human society is that there are negative associations and even dismissal harboured against those with disabilities. Thus ...


90

This may be subtle and comes down to inflection and intention. I suspect that your manager was not being rude but trying to refer succinctly to a particular trade. If you were talking about a construction site you might talk about the "concrete people" or the "drywall people" to refer to the particular trades that were expert in those parts of the project. ...


86

The previous answers are well and good, but you can also be respectful when talking about a recently-deceased person by referring to them simply as: "The late Mr. Smith..." This is a formal (and thus, respectful) indication that Mr. Smith has recently passed away, and also avoids any reference to religion, in case others might take offense or discomfort.


78

"I drank straight from the bottle. Do you mind?"


76

The phrase you are looking for is "may he rest in peace". "Robin Williams, may he rest in peace, was..." The phrase "God put him in Heaven" would sound charmingly exotic. The person you are speaking to would likely have never heard it before, and your sentiment would sound all the more touching and sincere for its unfamiliarity. "God forgive him" implies ...


76

No, it wasn't because it was a child saying it. It's because in (British) English the 'correct' way to greet someone you have never met before is to say 'How do you do', not 'Pleased to meet you'. The Daily Mirror has a rather tongue-in-cheek article about how to tell whether you're 'Posh', and using the phrase 'Pleased to meet you' is one of the key ...


74

I believe 'can' is more appropriate in a restaurant. Firstly it is quite possible that you cannot have something that is on the menu because it is no longer available. Asking if you 'can' have the swordfish is valid because the answer may be no. Secondly using 'may' implies you are asking for permission which I don't think is appropriate in a restaurant. ...


69

The first problem, at least to a native English speaker, is your use of the phrase my room instead of my office. Native English speakers use my room most often to mean my bedroom or my hotel room. Your use of room to mean the room in which you work will sound strange to any native English speaker, male or female. As others have also pointed out in comments ...


69

In the dilemma "may" vs. "can" and which form is preferable, it depends on how old the speaker is, where they live and which dialect of English they speak. There is an age-old debate that can in requests, is asking if something is "possible", e.g. A: Can I have a glass of water? B: Yes, you can (=it is possible). Whereas may, some argue, is asking ...


64

English is polite by default, it's other languages that are optionally rude. You raised the polite/rude second pronoun example; well English used to have thou in addition to you. Thou was used by superiors to inferiors, or if you wanted to be rude, whereas you was used when respect is given. Over time, upper class people tended to use polite pronouns like ...


61

As @Araucaria says in the comments, Grammar Police is an excellent alternative that conveys the fascistic tendencies of a police state without the genocidal implications.


61

You have it wrong. Nothing has happened to "you're welcome." While it is certainly reasonable for the interviewer to thank the interviewe, it is not unreasonable for the interviewee to appreciate the opportunity to speak. The interviewee's thank yous should be interpreted as "no, thank you [for letting me speak]," rather than as 'you're welcome."


48

On a quick look through the concordance, it appears that Shakespeare rarely wrote Thank you and never Thank thee without a subject. He often wrote I thank you and we thank you (and forms such as to thank thee and shall thank thee); but for a shorter form without a subject he usually used Thanks. Thank thou would be ungrammatical, unless it was followed by ...


45

The "...or not?" phrasing seems to imply that your correspondent has been undecided for a while, changing decisions back and forth and you are now urging them to make up their mind once and for all. -- Let's go for a walk. -- OK. But give me 5 minutes. -- OK. // 5 minutes later -- Hey? Are you coming? -- Umm... I don't know. I ...


43

Pedant comes to mind A pedant is a person who is excessively concerned with formalism, accuracy & precision, or who makes an ostentatious and arrogant show of learning. Wikipedia


42

If you say you drank "from that bottle", with a slight accent on "from", most native English speakers will know what you mean.


40

English is not intrinsically rude, it's just that certain social assumptions are not built in, as they are in Hindi. Instead, deference is optional. As user21820's answer states, there are various ways of showing deference (to one's elders, if one wishes), such as honorifics. Choice of words means a lot, as does various phrasing choices. For instance, "I'm ...


37

I would substitute the verb drink with sip, the latter sounds more gentlemanly/polite and it implies you quenched your thirst directly from the bottle, instead of using a glass or a straw. I'm sorry, I've already sipped from that bottle. sip v. 1. drink (something) by taking small mouthfuls.


34

Too complicated and long-winded is one thing, but it also doesn't sound right - I think it may be because you're repeating "you" twice, though I'm not sure. Try one of these:   I would like to kindly ask you to check ...   Would you be so kind as to check ...   Could I ask you kindly to check ...   Could I kindly ask you to ...


34

If your concern comes from attributing an action (or lack of thereof) to the other party. Then it is safe to go with: I called you, but could not reach you.


33

Fascist (in its informal sense of someone who believes in authoritarian, dictatorial control) is a slightly less-charged term, although it's still fairly charged. [Merriam-Webster] Stickler ("a person who insists on something unyieldingly") is a good uncharged term that still carries a solid meaning. Being uncharged, it lacks the ... impact ... of the other ...


30

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 ...


29

"I've taken a look at the link you sent me, but there must be something about it that I missed. What was it that you were particularly wanting to draw my attention to there?"


29

From A Midsummer Night's Dream Act 5 Scene 1. PYRAMUS Sweet Moon, I thank thee for thy sunny beams. I thank thee, Moon, for shining now so bright. For by thy gracious, golden, glittering gleams, I trust to take of truest Thisbe sight.—


28

This is very subjective to what message you want to send across. In a formal setting, you could say "I am very well, thank you." If you'd like to inquire about the other person, you could follow that with "How are you?" or "I hope you are well too." In an informal setting, you could simply say "I am." There is no rule to this. It completely depends on you....


27

It depends on the implication. If you assume "floor" to be a metaphor for "the lowest strata" or "beneath my feet" then certainly, it's derogatory. However, I don't think this was your manager's intention. Instead, in his question, "floor people" is an ellipsis of the people whose job it is to clean the floor This use is much the same as saying "the ...


25

I wouldn't agree that either is necessarily "more genuine" as @JohnPeyton has suggested. Intonation and emphasis can affect the intended meaning as much as the actual words used. Additionally, I think usage will differ between different English-speaking regions and countries, with some nationalities being naturally more reserved, and others naturally more '...


22

Vacuous The Free Dictionary says a. Lacking intelligence; stupid. b. Devoid of substance or meaning; inane ...


20

The simple expression I am humbled is full of emotional, relational, and cultural complexity with ancient connotations. To some extent, saying I am humbled is tantamount to saying I am in touch with my humanity, because the English words humble and human seem to share the same Latin root humus: human mid-15c., humain, humaigne, from Old French ...


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