Politeness in American English

Modern American English has few official rules for how politely you should address a given individual in a given situation. In French, Portuguese, and Spanish, for example, a second person singular pronoun takes different forms depending on who you are addressing. This formal/informal pronoun distinction is entirely absent in English, though there are some basic…

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Politeness in Modern American English

Modern American English has few official rules for how politely you should address a given individual in a given situation. While there are a handful of basic courtesies that you should consistently employ (please, thank you, you’re welcome, etc.), the structure of the language itself contains none of the signifiers of politeness commonly found in…

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