How to be polite
In order to be a popular guest, and to make a good impression on his British hosts, the foreign visitor needs to learn how to apologise. In the street. On the bus. At the hairdresser’s. In the bedroom. Going out and coming in. Sorry is one of the most important words in the vocabulary of any true Brit. And it’s a word which should be always on the lips of any foreigner moving amongst us. Sorry prepares a path, excuses faults, calms nerves and wipes the slate clean so that we can all be jolly together and not get upset. Together with ‘Sorry’, the words ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ are perhaps the most useful in any foreign visitor’s lexicon. ‘Please’ belongs to a family of words that includes pleasant, pleasure and pleasing, which is further proof that it’s nice to be polite. ‘Thank’ comes from the Old English thonc , which has the same root as the word think. Thus, being polite is the same as being thoughtful!
Expression to learn:
… what you really think.
From The How To Be British Collection, M. Ford & P. Legon, Brighton 2003
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