Luke from UEA in the UK here, sharing some amusing instances of English politeness.
Linguistically speaking, politeness is marked by lower lexical density (spreading the same message over more words), like the difference between ‘Go away’ and ‘Excuse me, but if it would be amenable to you, would you be so kind as to please consider moving in a direction that is oriented away from my current situation?’
Well, I’ve found signs and packaging to be interesting markers of this kind of politeness in English society. From this:
to the ‘lightly salted tortilla-flavoured Mexican-style maize crisps’ that we would call ‘corn chips’, to this:
or the email I got from UEA Accommodation the other day:
Now this is new — Coupons that you redeem for CASH at clubs… there are two that I’ve seen in Edmonton and its insane that they give you money at the door, Hudsons is a 10min walk from my room and I can get 10 bucks every tues, fri and sat. Its $30 a week that Ienjoy…. Apparently it is how they get around liquor laws cause they cant sell drinks too cheap.
This is a car with a power point sticking out the front, I couldn’t understand it because it clearly wasn’t a hybrid… Mmmm… its because its so cold that the oil in the engine becomes so viscous that if u run it off the battery it will just drain it! so you start the car from mains power to save your battery.
Just something quick I’ve found odd about life in the UK (besides all the Queing!! -something on that to come later as soon as I can get a sneaky photo at uni..)
So people in the UK really seem to have a problem with the name Erin – that being my name. I’m not sure if this is because of the accent or the way I say my own name upon introduction, but everyone tends to look at me like its a really odd, new and strange name, often asking me to clarify several times. Erin originates from Ireland… so being pretty close by.. you wouldn’t think it would be that odd. I have people call me emran, ermna, enna, arna, ernie, iner etc…
the most common response seems to be a er…. followed by a trail off into nothing.
the reason I found this particularly strange was because in Australia Erin is not an uncommon name, and having derived much of our culture from the British, I assumed this would also be case over here. Its not 4 letters that are particularly difficult to put together..
One of the things I found quite interesting is this Parking Spot reserved only for women. 😀
One of my friends said that it was to encourage and promote gender equality on women, since Korea is still a glass-ceiling society I think. Another said that it was courtesy.