The Other I

September 12, 2010

Introduction to modern courtesies

Filed under: Just Stuff,The English — theotheri @ 8:00 pm

I have spent a lot of my adult life learning the subtleties of varying cultural courtesies.  “Bloody” might sound vaguely sophisticated in America, for instance, but it sounds simply vulgar where I live now.  It took me years before I got it straight that the answer to “would you like…?” is no if the person says “I’m not bothered,” but yes if they say “I don’t mind.”

I don’t use text messaging much.  I would, I suppose, if anybody with whom I communicate regularly spoke Text, but since the 11th century church tower in our village interferes with getting a regular cell phone signal, most of us still use one of the old-fashioned methods of communicating.

But I’ve learned a few of the niceties of the language.  Or thought I did.  “Lol” means “lots of love.”  I thought.  But it also can mean “lots of laughs.”

So best not use it when sending condolences.

It could be misunderstood.


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