1. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by erebh, Dec 4, 2013.

    I've noticed while here in the US, people refer to each other, in company, as him or her, or he or she and they point a lot at who they are talking about. In Ireland, and the UK this would be the height of bad manners and scorn will shower down. "Who's she? The cat's mother?" or "Point that finger again and you'll find it in the bin!"

    My wife would tell you, when I am in the room, even at the table, and someone refers to me as "him" and points it really freakin' bugs me and no-one sees the ignorance. I was amused to see Russell Brand being interviewed on MSNBC and he comes across this exact scenario - in the studio! - fast forward to 6 minutes if you like http://www.whydontyoutrythis.com/2013/06/russell-brand-shatters-hypnosis-of-mainstream-media-with-hilarious-high-iq-domination-of-dumbfounded-msnbc-hosts.html

    I'm just wondering what have you experienced which is considered good/bad manners in your home town/city/state and completely the opposite in some other place you have visited.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Here in Puerto Rico, when you are out to eat, be it fine dining or Mickie D's, as people pass your table they will say buen provecho, which is a bit like bon appetit or simply enjoy. You're expected to reply with a thank you. Every time. Every. Single. Bloody. Time. Else people look at you funny. To me, it's a pain in the ass. I'm trying to finish my Filet-O-Fish, I've got my Kindle in front of me, I'm actively, aggressively engrossed. It's like when the waiter always seems to come and ask you how your food is right when your mouth is full, but it's over and over again with strangers. I'm the rude one for not answering and clearly putting up my invisible wall of "I'm reading". *shrug*
     
  3. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    That reminds me, I would've have got slapped down by my parents for reading at the table, oh and elbows - no elbows on the table - big no-no!
     
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  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    *shrug* I take my Kindle everywhere. I wouldn't read if I'm in company, but I'm out and about solo quite a bit.

    Also, and even more annoyingly culturally different than the buen provecho thing, the culture here does not include a no staring rule. As soon as people hear me speaking English, or for any other random reason, people will stare, at me, at each other. And it's an open, juvenile, unmasked kind of staring. I'm like, who raised you?? :mad:
     
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  5. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Here in Finland, if you smile at someone you don't know (stranges, even acquaintances etc), people will think you're some creep / weirdo.

    Likewise, at least in the more densely populated areas, not greeting your neighbor in the hallway is generally more acceptable than greeting them (same reason as above: only dangerous weirdoes express their happiness by smiling at / greeting people they don't know).
    Oh, and by "know," I mean knowing someone like a friend; if we don't know someone, we don't usually greet them even if we see them every day (say, at work, school, grocery store etc).

    Of course, some people break these conventions, nowadays more than 20 years ago, but some habits die hard. As far as I know, this kind of behavior may come off as rude in some countries.
     
  6. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    @Wreybies , I feel you on the staring issue. I was always taught that it is RUDE to stare, yet all to often I find people staring at me. I can forgive children sometimes, especially little white kids who look like they've never seen a black man before, but teenagers and adults who stare really get on my nerves. >:/ "What are you looking at Homie? Can I help you with something? No? Then keep those eyes moving!"

    Now it's one thing to casually let your gaze fall on someone for moment as you look around, but if you are blatantly staring across a room and the person see's you and you just keep looking, with no acknowledgement or break in your gaze, that's rude. I know it seems arbitrary, but it is one of my pet peeves to find someone staring at me. I swear, black people got staring issues sometimes! Can't walk past colored kids without them stopping errthing just to watch you go by. And some adults, too! I was in a donut shop one day and this dude walk past the window, which extended around the corner, and he watched me as he walked around both sides of the shop. I'm like "Dude? Fix your neck and quit lookin' at me. Sheeiit."

    @T.Trian It's that way in a lot of the US as well. People can get freaked out sometimes when you smile or great them at random, especially if you're a guy. It's just socially awkward to leave your personal bubble to communicate with strangers. Heaven forbid you talk in the elevator, even if you and a friend were holding a conversation before getting in. But it's not that way everywhere. A lot of people are really friendly too. We're a mixed batch.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I found something almost intolerable when I moved from Canada to the USA. It's that in Canada, requests are usually phrased as asking for a favor, whereas in the USA, they're phrased almost as direct orders. I'd be working with my roommate/partner in our lab, and he's say, "You need to bring me a soldering iron." In Canada, it would be phrased as, "Could you please bring me a soldering iron?" Honestly, I'd want to punch him every time I heard, "You need to ...". Then I realized it wasn't just him. Lots of Americans talk like that. In Canada it's disrespectful; it automatically puts the other person in a subservient role. Americans don't see that, I guess.
     
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  8. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    I guess we just like telling people what to do. I guess you need to get over it. ;)
    Sorry, sorry! Couldn't resist. But really, that would get on my nerves. I don't let my roommate talk to me like that. In fact, unless he speaks to me with respect, I don't let him talk to me at all. :cool:
     
  9. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    Maybe you are just so handsome, Andrae!

    Maybe it's just the white man's privilege, but whence I lived in Okinawa as a young child, it was very obvious that the Japanese children were held to a much more formal standards of interaction with adults than the American kids were by the Japanese adults. The thing that stands out in memory is the owner of the tiny corner grocery that had ice cream in the summers. The Japanese kids would form neat lines to the counter, count the money and use all the appropriate formal thank yous and honorifics whereas we would run up to the counter and shout "HI MISTER HIGA!" Of course it may just have been that they decided to humor the people who parked hundreds of fighters and bombers all over the island.
     
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  10. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Awe shucks, thanks buddy. I am fairly easy on the eyes the way I hear it, lol. Jk.

    And that is interesting. I can see the contrast though. We American's don't seem to like order that much. I was standing in the mob form of a line to buy a movie ticket, and just as I stepped to approach the open window, some dude just walks up and buys the last ticket for the movie I was doing to see. I had to wait for the next showing. Ah well, I got a better seat anyway.

    Now that I think about it, another thing that bugs me is people who walk/stand extremely close behind me. I like a little personal room and I don't want to feel your breath down my neck. Back up!
     
  11. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    I think that's an artifact of English cultural heritage. The big anglosphere countries, the US, Canada and Australia are all like that. I guess the old time English were just standoffish? Maybe we have a natural inclination to spread out and evenly fill the vast area our countries cover.
     
  12. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Looking at it historically, I think that's a viable argument.
     
  13. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I remember the first time I heard a waiter called with a "tssst". Sounded so rude, but it's common in some parts of the world. Meh, go with the flow, that's what I say. Don't sweat the small stuff.
     
  14. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Yes! That was enough to ensure a wee slap round the back of the head in my house. My grandmother was quite the disciplinarian.
     
  15. MmePlanetKIller
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    When I was in Andalucía, I would routinely hold doors open for people - as you do - and they would stop, look at me as though I'd just dropped off the moon, and then slowly walk through.

    Contrast that with whenever I'm in the Texas, people stop and then very loudly thank me. Usually calling me sir. 'Thank you sir!' 'No problem sir!'

    Contrast that with when I was in Andalucía, I was out on my weekly shop and this man approaches me and says, forcefully, ¡Joven! ¿Dónde está la Casa Colón? Which is like 'Young man! Where is [some tourist attraction]?' Seriously, just shouts in the street, ¡Joven!, and walks over to me.
     
  16. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It's not because you're black, Andrea. It's because you're a good lookin' guy. Own it. ;) I saw a picture you posted the other day of you and I think your niece playing face-paint. You have a very engaging, enviable smile. Just think of the ones who stare as your paparazzi. :cool:
     
  17. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This reminds me of a similar thing in Finland: my dad (originally Bulgarian) experienced a bit of a culture shock when he first moved here just shy of 40 years ago: he was about to step into a bus and an old woman with shopping bags was also getting into the same bus. She had a cane and everything, so he helped her into the bus, as is normal where he came from, but the granny reacted like he was about to mug her or something. It took some time befor he grasped the spirit of Finnish stoicism: "I see your hand got stuck between the doors of the subway about to speed off. Oh well, it happens, good luck with that."

    Since I was born and raised in Finland, I'm comfortable with this relatively cold way of treating your fellow (wo)man, but sometimes even I'm surprised by how far some people take it, like when I had a bit of an accident and sat in the hallway of my appartment building, bleeding out (forgot keys home, didn't have anything to use as a tourniquet), waiting for the ambulance in a pool of blood, and a guy walked past me, taking out his garbage. He asked what had happened, and when I told him, he went "oh" and left. :D I wasn't angry or upset about it, but even back then it made me laugh 'cause it was such a Royston Vasey situation.
     
  18. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Interesting--I suspect that that's regional or industry-cultural, because I've never heard it. I've lived in the US all my life, and I too would find it incredibly annoying. The urge to say, "Well, no, you NEED me to bring it to you; I don't care if you ever get that soldering iron." would be all but irresistible.

    In the parts of the US I've lived, it would be either, "Would you bring me that soldering iron?" or it would be phrased as an order with the intonation of a question: "Bring me that soldering iron?"

    If the person were helping you with your problem, at your request, it might be closer to an order:

    You: "Can you help me with this? I flip the switch but it doesn't turn on."
    Them: (putter putter putter poke at gadget) "Hand me that soldering iron."

    Or

    You: "Can you help me with this? I flip the switch but it doesn't turn on."
    Them: "OK, I need the wiring diagram and a soldering iron."

    I suppose a moderately rude person with authority over you would state it this way under normal circumstances, but the "you need to" is new to me.
     
  19. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I have to echo @ChickenFreak in this. Where were you living when you noted this manner of speech, @minstrel? I spent the better part of my adult life in The South where such presumptive syntax would have have been as unacceptable to us as to you.
     
  20. TessaT
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    TessaT Contributing Member

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    I was taught that it was rude to stare, rude to not ask, rude to not apologize, use your please and thank yous, don't interrupt others when they're trying to talk (if you need to speak to them and they're in the middle of a conversation, you politely wait until they notice you and say "I'm so sorry to interrupt, but I need...."), don't show your bra (what are with these see-through shirts?!), make sure you ask and don't order (even if it is an order), don't pick your nose in public, don't pick your butt in public... I think that covers a good majority of them. At least that I can think of at the moment.

    And I agree with @ChickenFreak and @Wreybies , it's just rude to order someone when asking. I see it being framed as more of a question 'Hey, grab that for me?' put to straight up 'Grab that for me.' is not okay.
     
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  21. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This is in Southern California, though I heard it among some local crews when we were doing a project in Las Vegas as well. It might just have been a figure of speech floating around the amusement park / attraction design and construction industry. I haven't heard it in the industrial control industry (where I've also worked, in both SoCal and Georgia). It's almost like the phrase "go ahead" here. Everyone goes ahead. I constantly hear, "Let's go ahead and replace that valve" where in Canada it would be, "Let's replace that valve." Here: "Let's go ahead and review the schematics." Canada: "Let's review the schematics." Sometimes it sounds weird: "Let's go ahead and stop doing this because it isn't working." Or: "Let's go ahead and back up so we can see where we went wrong."

    Strange.

    Another thing I used to think was rude, but kinda isn't, is this: In Canada, if you say "thank you," the response is "you're welcome." Here, if you say "thank you," the response is just a quick "mm-hmm."
     
  22. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    In @minstrel's roommate's defense, once you've known someone for a long time, you tend not to say "please" or "thank you" or whatever. Being rude is the sign of a close relationship. That's a fact. :p
     
  23. TessaT
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    TessaT Contributing Member

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    That bugs me, though saying "you're welcome" can be wordy at times. I like 'no problem' or, 'I'm glad I could help'.
     
  24. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This wasn't after we'd known each other a long time. It was right at the beginning of our relationship.
     
  25. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Well, perhaps you're just an endearing sort of chap? :p He took to you like a bee to clover!
     
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