Discussion in 'English Only' started by namlan, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. namlan Banned

    - My friend and I are sitting on a bench, suddenly a woman comes and sits between us so I get angry and I can say these, right?

    " Excuse me! Do you know what politeness is?"
    " Excuse me! Do you know How politenesss is?"

    Thanks a lot!

  2. The Slippery Slide Senior Member

    The first sentence is correct (grammatically). The second is incorrect.

    The first one is not very natural, though. It might be better to say:

    "Excuse me. Where are your manners?"

    If you want to express your anger, it's better to be polite and let the women feel embarrassed: "I'm sorry, do you mind if I sit next to my friend?"
  3. cropje_jnr

    cropje_jnr Senior Member

    Wollongong, Australia
    English - Australia
    You would want to be very angry to say this, as it would be extremely offensive when said to a stranger. :eek:

    I agree with TSS's suggestions and that the first one is correct.
  4. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    There are two issues here:

    1. Is it appropriate to express your displeasure in this manner and
    2. Are you doing so witrh good English.

    You haven't said whether the woman knows you are together because presumably there was sufficient space between you for her to sit.

    If I unknowingly sat between two people who did not appear to be together and somebody asked me if I knew wat politeness is, I would reply: "Certainly, but apparently you do not."

    As suggested by the other contributors, I regard your suggestion as inappropriate, even if expressed in proper English.
  5. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
    Yes, it rather depends on the circumstances.
    (1) You and your friend are sitting at either end of an eight-foot bench, facing in opposite directions. Woman comes and sits between you.
    You: Excuse me! Do they not have good manners where you come from?!
    Her Justifiable Answer: What the f___ are you talking about?! How am I supposed to know you're together?
    (2) You and your friend are sitting at either end of a six-foot bench, deep in conversation, sharing a picnic, etc. Woman comes and sits between you.
    You: Excuse me, would you mind sitting at one end so we don't have to talk over you?
    Her hoped-for Answer: I'm very sorry, I just couldn't stand up another second longer. No, I don't mind at all ~ just let me catch my breath then I'll move.
    (3) You and your friend are sharing a four-foot bench with a gap of (say) 12 inches between you. Woman comes and squeezes herself into that gap.
    Your justifiable response: Oi! can you not see there isn't room for a cat to sit down here!? Try finding another bench.
    In other words, try to tailor your response according to the severity of the discourtesy. And always remember: good manners cost nothing.:)

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