NPR - Listen to the conversations around you — colleagues at the office, customers in the coffeehouse line, those who serve you, those you serve, the people you meet each day. "Give me a tall latte." "Hand me that hammer." "Have a good one." Notice anything missing? The traditional magic words "please" and "thank you" that many people learn as children appear to be disappearing. Lisa Gache, co-founder of Beverly Hills Manners in Los Angeles, has noticed the gradual vanishing of courteous language. She blames the casualty on the casual. "The slow erosion of the 'magic words' in our everyday vernacular," says Gache, who coaches people to be more civil, "has to do with the predilection toward all things casual in our society today. Casual conversation, casual dress and casual behavior have hijacked practically all areas of life, and I do not think it is doing anyone a service." Other polite phrases also seem to be falling by the wayside. "You're welcome," for instance. Say "thank you" to someone these days, and instead of hearing "you're welcome," you're more liable to hear: "Sure." "No problem." "You bet." "Enjoy." Or a long list of replies that replace the traditional "you're welcome." Instead of saying "thank you," people say "got it." Or "have a good one." Or, more often, nothing at all. And in lieu of saying "no, thank you," reactions such as "I'm good" are increasingly common.
Dear Writer, stop being such a god-damn etiquette snob. Our bad, didn't realize that our modern diction was so offensive to your old-world sensibilities. Didn't realize that you didn't have your 21st Century English Diction thesaurus on you when I responded "no problem" after you thanked me. Sorry, we really just figured anyone bright enough to be able to write such a well thought piece would have no issues communicating with us commoners.
This column is just insufferable and out of touch, words and customs change, get with the times. These people aren't being impolite, they've just changed their etiquette to match societal expectations. Not everyone has the time to say, "Hello, how are you today," in fact I've never uttered those words. It's "How's it Going," or "Hey,"...Actually, it's not even "How's it going," it's more abbreviated, like "zit going." That's it, that's what you're going to get. And it's not being rude, its just, there's over 300 million people in this country, and most of us are just very busy. We've got shit to do. If we spent all day adhering to out of date social norms we'd never get anything done...Pining for the old way of greetings and salutations is like pining for the days of hand written letters as a form of communication, written with a feather and an ink-well, obviously.
While we're at it, I'd like to propose another change, another societal leap forward, lets stop saying "bless you" after people sneeze, it's getting out of hand (and not because we've shortened "God Bless You" as the writer of this column probably laments). It's to the point now where if you hesitate a second in blessing someone they get all holier than though on your ass, demanding blessings. Easy, settle down folks. I believe you asked me to bless you, I'm not obligated. Slow Your Roll. Plus, it's the only bodily function where the people around you are expected to behave according to your expectorants. If I burp, I get disgusted looks (maybe a laugh) but have to excuse myself, if I fart, I'm forced to pretend it wasn't me and look for a stranger to blame it on, but if I sneeze, suddenly I'm the next prophet with people bowing before me and blessing my health. It doesn't make sense and it's time to stop.
Or it's food for thought anyway.