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Are Americans Ruder Than They Used To Be?

Living 2012/03/18 23:41:47
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The magic words ("please," "thank you," and "you’re welcome") may be going out of fashion. But does that necessarily mean that Americans are getting ruder?

These days, it has become increasingly common to hear phrases like “sure,” “no problem,” “you bet,” and “enjoy” replace the traditional “you’re welcome.” In place of “thank you” people now say “got it,” “have a good one,” or sometimes nothing at all. “I’m good” has taken over the domain of the more formal “no, thank you.”

A recent NPR story examined this trend and posed some interesting questions: “Are we just finding new ways to say old, polite phrases? Are good manners merely morphing? Or are they fading away altogether?”

Lisa Gache, co-founder of Beverly Hills Manners, is troubled by this shift in American colloquialisms. "The slow erosion of the 'magic words' in our everyday vernacular 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," she said.

However, Cindy Post Senning, granddaughter of etiquette maven Emily Post and a director of the Emily Post Institute, believes that the principles of respect, consideration, and honesty are more important than the actual words used.

“It is respectful to make requests rather than demands, to show gratitude and appreciation, to greet others, to give our complete attention, to acknowledge appreciation shown, to acknowledge and show respect for age, standing, importance," she said.

Yet, she went on to explain that manners evolve over time and vary from culture to culture. In some cases, it may even be impolite to use outdated phrases. Senning explained, "Today it would sound a little stilted and perhaps even disrespectful if a sarcastic tone is used to say 'How do you do?'"

Words and phrases certainly aren’t the only elements of polite behavior. However, the shift away from traditional manners may be indicative of a larger trend. In 2011, a Rasmussen Reports poll revealed that 76% of respondents believed that Americans were “becoming more rude and less civil.” (Don’t even get us started on cell phone etiquette!)

What do you think SodaHeads? Are Americans ruder than they used to be?

Read More: http://www.npr.org/2012/03/09/148295675/please-rea...

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  • Jack Henry Kraven 2013/10/22 16:15:52
    Yes
    Jack Henry Kraven
    Americans are Ruder today, is it not obvious? And the loss of the magic words: please, thank you, and your're welcome, is proof. When you purchase anything nowadays the reply to you after they take your money is usually, "And there's that" or "there's this" or "that's one", etc. I for one think this is not only rude but a detachment from taking responsibility for what one is doing. I call it the "Sesame Street Syndrome".
  • Margaret Jacobson 2012/05/18 17:41:59
    No
    Margaret Jacobson
    not really.........just noticed more these days............doesn't appear to be any REAL change
  • Professor Wizard 2012/05/03 18:21:20
    Yes
    Professor Wizard
    I'm older - - and my observations over the years, is Chivalry is definitely dieing. I see it every day in the interactions between generations of young people.

    A general social change if you will.

    It seems people are more projecting that they need not "Thank" others, for things the feel should simply be.

    I was raised, and I raised my kids on "Please, May-I, and Thank you". But my two oldest do not use those words near as often as I did at their ages.
  • TheMicky 2012/05/02 22:01:06
    Yes
    TheMicky
    I think it's a reflection on the greater issue of how parents raise their children today. My parents raised me to have manners, to hold the door for people, to say "please" and "thank you," to treat others with respect and dignity, etc. I turned out to be a pretty good person because of the level of interest invested and the ideals instilled in me by my parents as I was growing up. I went on to take a year off after High School, then served 8 years in the Army, and after another year off I started school last fall at age 30.

    Just in the 9-11 years of age difference between myself and most my classmates, there is a profound difference in behavior. Many of them are snotty, disrespectful of themselves and others, believe that they shouldn't have to work for anything, and generally could care less about others around them. While there will always be exceptions to the rule and parents that care enough about preparing their children for how to live as adults, for the most part the growing trend is that parents generally are investing less in their children's lives and doing less to teach them these important character traits.
  • February Babes 2012/04/21 12:50:02
    No
    February Babes
    I'm Australian, however I think the same principle applies here - courtesies are different nowadays, people generally aren't too worried about offending strangers so they don't apologise if they don't think they are wrong. Maybe the 'magic words' are used with a tad more sincerity.
  • Karen 2012/04/18 22:36:40
    Yes
    Karen
    The substitute for "your welcome" doesn't bother me, but not saying "thank you" does. When I see someone receiving a gift and not being gracious enough to say "thank you", I just I cringe...lol Having manners is essential if you want to be successful in life, and having them keeps us civilized. The words (please & thank you) haven't gone out of style. Well-mannered people use these words all the time.
  • ♥♥♥AznGurl92♥♥♥ 2012/04/13 23:16:43
    No
    ♥♥♥AznGurl92♥♥♥
    sometimes people just tends to forget to say 'please' or 'thank you' but it doesnt mean they're being rude
  • niviongo R ☮ P ☮ 12-20 2012/04/10 12:45:35
    No
    niviongo R ☮ P ☮ 12-20
    The feeling(s) inside the voice speaking the words is what matters, not the letters used to describe or no, that feeling.

    Words meaning are givien by the receiver of listener, not the originator of that words.
    Ther are more humans than before; hence more variety to express the same feelings.
  • Elizabeth 2012/04/10 09:18:20
    No
    Elizabeth
    Just because some teenagers and young adults act like that doesnt mean all of them do. I will admint my high school in Virginia has a lot of horrible, disrespectful people who dont care how much people do for them at my age and older. But its not just the specific generations, its people in general.
  • Bear 2012/04/06 04:57:49
    Yes
    Bear
    +1
    And dumber as well. They seem to go hand in hand
  • DesiBoo 2012/04/01 21:32:41
    Yes
    DesiBoo
    +1
    Only if half of u go to linton middle skool kids r cusing yelling at teachers smokng weed papper and cigarattes its krazi ppl r failing slobinh each.other in the hallwqys even the smartest kids are getting lasier its discracful
  • Bear DesiBoo 2012/04/06 04:59:40
    Bear
    Obviously you never went to middle school
  • aaroneb63 2012/03/27 18:35:19
    Yes
    aaroneb63
    Not only has the last 2 generations become ruder, they are also inconsiderate,lazy,selfish, self-centered, and filled with inordinate affection. To no surprise though, because the WORD of GOD stated how people would be in "the Last Days/ Second Coming of JESUS'
  • Elizabeth aaroneb63 2012/04/10 09:17:01
    Elizabeth
    Your assuming it is the generations of people and it truely isnt. Im almost sixteen and i say please, thank you, and your welcome to people all the time, i hold doors open and i even help the ladies/gentlemen at the store bag my parents groceries and it doesnt have anything to do with how my parents raised me, they werent around too much, i just choose to be a better person then others my age as many other teenagers and young adults do to. People just see the bad ones in todays world and assume everyone around that generation is just like that.
  • MissNovemberTuesday 2012/03/27 07:54:36
    Yes
    MissNovemberTuesday
    +1
    God YES! Parents do not teach kids manners anymore. No discipline. They allow them to scream and make all sorts of noise in public places. When I was a kid, anyone old enough to understand words was not allowed to cry and throw a tantrum in a restaurant, for example. Last year, a friend was trying to eat and the table next to him was nothing but kids, with all the adults @ the table NEXT to them. The kids were actually hitting him in the head with their toys and neither the parents, nor the staff of the diner would do ANYTHING to stop it. It was a disgrace!
  • Dave 007 2012/03/25 11:59:03
    Yes
    Dave 007
    Nobody cares about anybody anymore. It's all about themselves. In the old days, the immigrants worked together. These days, the immigrants only work to get themselves entitlements. And the government just hands it to them.
  • red 2012/03/24 11:09:59
    Yes
    red
    Hollywood and the music industry seem to contribute mightedly to a general dumbing down of America!
  • 2585661 2012/03/23 02:05:40 (edited)
  • Ole SGT Joe 2012/03/22 17:20:27
    Yes
    Ole SGT Joe
    +2
    Saying please, thank you, good morning, smiling, etc., appears to alarm most people. I think America is getting paranoid. Causation - I believe we are picking up the traits of the people we are allowing to transplant to our great Country - nuff said..............
  • The polite zombie 2012/03/22 17:14:59
    Yes
    The polite zombie
    +1
    We are a smash and grab society.
  • lyteweaver.starchild 2012/03/22 11:04:16
    Yes
    lyteweaver.starchild
    Americans have always been known for their rudeness but i dont blame them for getting ruder. if we had a president like o-bummer, we too would probably react as such from frustration. oh...actually we do...grrrrrrrrrr. lol. x
  • saje.wi... lytewea... 2012/03/25 03:34:53
    saje.williams
    You're blaming rudeness on Obama? Seriously, man, what's wrong with you?
  • dkoppy saje.wi... 2012/03/28 03:06:53
    dkoppy
    I agree with you and trust me I am no Obama fan but the rudeness has been coming long before him. But I do blame liberalism and the media and Hollywood,
  • Domenic... dkoppy 2013/01/12 13:31:36
    Domenic Stagno
    That is very interesting, so having liberal views and caring for people other than yourself and your own little world makes someone rude, I am very liberal and I am considered to be a very polite and caring person. I was taught to be polite always when I was a raised as a child in a poor and somewhat conservative neighborhood. My mother had an eighth grade education, but had the wisdom of Solomon! She taught myself and my brothers to be polite and caring and open to others and not to discriminate against others. My parents are deceased but my brothers and I retain all the good things like politeness that she taught us. If caring about others,makes me a liberal, so be it!
    I agree that the media and Hollywood can contribute to rudeness along with a couple of generations of parents who didn't bother teaching their children to be polite and also how to survive well in the world. Put the onus where it belongs on parents!!! Stop blaming everyone else! Some of Hollywood clearly does its share with violent movies. There is not need for this and we need to put pressure on Hollywood when they make unnecessarily violent films to just make money. People have become accustomed to high level action films full of violence. I remember seeing a wondeful movie that told a beautiful storywith go...
    That is very interesting, so having liberal views and caring for people other than yourself and your own little world makes someone rude, I am very liberal and I am considered to be a very polite and caring person. I was taught to be polite always when I was a raised as a child in a poor and somewhat conservative neighborhood. My mother had an eighth grade education, but had the wisdom of Solomon! She taught myself and my brothers to be polite and caring and open to others and not to discriminate against others. My parents are deceased but my brothers and I retain all the good things like politeness that she taught us. If caring about others,makes me a liberal, so be it!
    I agree that the media and Hollywood can contribute to rudeness along with a couple of generations of parents who didn't bother teaching their children to be polite and also how to survive well in the world. Put the onus where it belongs on parents!!! Stop blaming everyone else! Some of Hollywood clearly does its share with violent movies. There is not need for this and we need to put pressure on Hollywood when they make unnecessarily violent films to just make money. People have become accustomed to high level action films full of violence. I remember seeing a wondeful movie that told a beautiful storywith good life lessons and shared that with another person. her response was I saw it, but it was boring because it was not high level action! Not very mature! even worse what will she teach her children about values and politeness and many things that make us grow as individuals?
    (more)
  • Domenic... lytewea... 2013/01/12 13:09:32
    Domenic Stagno
    Your hatred for Obama has nothing to do with this question of rudeness in Americams. Your anger is misplaced! I often find that hatred for Obama is based on Racism! I'v eseen it in co-workers and acquaintances. If its true of you,then you are much worse than rude!
    STARCHILD, yopu need to get it together for your sake first and then for others. You need to take your own inventory, before you critiize a man that believes in equality for all and puts his life in the balance for Americans. Why don;t you use your starpowers to brighten the world instead of trying to smear good people. Take a deep look inside yourself!!!
  • Mighty Mouth 2012/03/22 09:44:08 (edited)
    Yes
    Mighty Mouth
    Please and thank you are the cornerstone of etiquette and gentle sensibilities - little words that carry great power and despite their enormity, good manners cost nothing!
  • P. Sturm 2012/03/22 08:20:57
    No
    P. Sturm
    +1
    It's an illusion, the French are just getting politer.
  • Lordy :D 2012/03/22 00:25:51
    No
    Lordy :D
    People are just hypersensitive. I see that more people have voted 'Yes' and that got me thinking. How is this majority doing anything to resolve the issue? I mean, if all of them were using traditional good manners, then there wouldn't have been an issue--most of them would have voted 'No,' too. So see? Hypersensitivity.
  • dkoppy Lordy :D 2012/03/28 03:07:51
    dkoppy
    I can only teach my family, and the law is working at removing that right from me as well
  • Lordy :D dkoppy 2012/03/29 00:45:22
    Lordy :D
    ...ouch....o.o
  • dj 2012/03/21 22:46:34
    Yes
    dj
    +1
    Maybe the younger people are ruder but I notice as you age people seem to get nicer. Also notice in many retail stores, the people that work in them are much nicer, saying hello, good morning, are finding what your looking for and can I help you. Sure makes shopping a lot nicer
  • danny dj 2012/03/26 07:21:33
    danny
    That's because it is a requirement of our jobs to say those phrases. I say them all the time but I never hear anything back from the shopper.
  • dj danny 2012/03/31 12:02:43
    dj
    O come on. I always say a few words to these people and if I need their help they always get a smile and a thank you. At checkout at some stores I actually get to know the checkers pretty good and that's nice
  • Nate Hubert 2012/03/21 20:52:30
    No
    Nate Hubert
    +2
    But honestly though, have Americans *ever* been civil? Things are no worse than they were back in 1912. Still arrogant, still ignorant, still self-righteous. What's new?
  • Myopinionmatters 2012/03/21 20:25:35
    No
    Myopinionmatters
    +1
    I myself am polite, but thats just my personality, otherwise I think we are not getting ruder, just conventions are changing.
  • Deirdra 2012/03/21 20:11:54
    Yes
    Deirdra
    +1
    Working in retail can tell you that
  • dzzshadz 2012/03/21 18:01:58
    No
    dzzshadz
    +1
    No more rude then anyone else.
  • mk, Smartass Oracle 2012/03/21 16:20:42
  • Nan 2012/03/21 15:02:13
    Yes
    Nan
    +2
    Sometimes at work, I'll be trying to speak to a manager over something and another worker will sashay right up and take over the conversation cutting me out completely like I don't exist. That really upsets me.
  • Incognito4Now 2012/03/21 09:15:50
    Yes
    Incognito4Now
    All one has to do is spend a day driving on Utah's freeways! We have the RUDEST AND DUMBEST drivers in the nation!
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