In another thread, I brought up the fact that a Brit friend of mine told me how a response to the question “How are you?” should include the word “thanks.” To my American ears, this sounds very formal. If I heard “Fine, thanks,” or “Not bad, thanks,” coming from a good friend of mine, the “thanks” would definitely stick out as being out of place.
The other thing that came up in that thread was using please. At a table with a friend of mine, I’d say, “Could you hand me the salt?” without adding a “please.” The “could you” has already added a level of politeness to the somewhat rude standalone “pass me the salt.” An extra “please” would sound odd. This makes me wonder if it would apply in slightly less formal situations than the dinner table, for instance “Could you hand me that hammer?”
Hell, with good friends, it doesn’t even sound odd to say, “Hey, lend me a buck?” if you realize you’re in a store without your wallet. Of course, the “Could you lend me a buck?” is acceptable, but again, adding the please would be a little strange to me.
Keep in mind that this is between/among people who are friends or close friends. It doesn’t apply to acquaintances or bosses.
- What country are you from, and how old are you?
- Do you say “thanks” with (all/most) pleasantries?
- Hi, Obama!
- Do you say “please” with (all/most) requests?
I’m not looking for this to be restricted to just a poll, so anything else you want to weigh in about on this would be appreciated.
I’m American in my mid 20s.