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Thursday, December 30, 2010

When Good Etiquette Goes Bad: a short short story

I'm currently living in an area where manners mean a lot. By and large, people are friendly and polite as a matter of course. They smile at me on the street. They make small talk with strangers. After living here for over a year, I've started addressing older strangers as "sir" and "ma'am". It's a little old-fashioned, but it goes over well.

Unless I'm at a play party, in which case it is very bad form to assign those titles to someone with whom you don't actually have an existing power dynamic. Anyway, I don't want to be giving anyone ideas.

So I do a lot of "Excuse me, si... uh, 'scuse me."

I am going to be putting my foot in my mouth one of these days.

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