View Full Version : Are there any lessons about politeness?

October 23rd, 2009, 15:46
I'm thinking about doing some sort of team-based quiz, where students have to work out whether actions/phrases are polite or not (or maybe ranking actions/phrases in order of politeness). But before I embark on some actual work, I was wondering if anybody had any better ideas, or if anybody had any ideas for some of these actions/phrases.

For example, in England, it's considered impolite to talk while eating something, even if someone asks you a question. In Japan, it seems to be more impolite to keep someone waiting for an answer, even if you're eating.

Another example, that gets me into a lot of trouble with my wife: if I need to go for a piss, I will say, "I might go to the toilet," instead of saying, "y'know what? I'm gonna go take a piss."

Asking for directions: "Where's the train station?" sounds more abrupt than, "Would you mind telling me where the train station is?"