Is it rude to remind adults to say 'Please' ?

Pretty much as the title states.

Let’s say it’s something of little import, you’re going to do it anyway, you can pull it off with tact. Do you say something? Have you ever said something? Do you bite your tongue?

As an adult would you like to be gently reminded, should you fall into forgetting? Or would you be deeply offended? A little red faced and apologetic? Miffed and indignant?

I’m a smart-ass, so nobody’s surprised when I tut-tut and say “What’s the magic word?” very sing-songily.

“Is it rude to remind adults to say ‘Please’ ?”

Yes, it’s rude. It’s something you might say as a little payback if you think someone has already been rude to you.

Yes. I once politely asked someone, “Could you grab [nearby object] for me?” An older woman was nearby and admonished me for not saying please when making the request. I’m sorry, lady, I’m 24 years old and you’re not my mother (who wouldn’t have corrected me in public like that anyway at this age). I don’t need you monitoring my manners. I asked nicely, I don’t find it necessary to append “please” to every piddling question, it was implied in my tone. Meddling busybody.

Can you tell I was really annoyed?

I consider myself a pretty polite person. And when I ask for something to be done by a friend or coworker or family member I don’t think I say please very often. But my tone is almost always a nice one that implies a please and the statement almost always includes a “could you” and “thanks” at the end or a “thank you” after said task is completed. Or variations on that. When I am out an about in public I am always saying thank you or yes sir or no sir to people.

But it just occured to me. When its random strangers that I should not have to interact with (as opposed to somebody like the waiter or bank teller…) I will use a please when in reality I am thinking “why the hell should I even have to be asking you to do this you asshole?”.

Example. I’m in a theater watching a movie. “Sir, could you please quit talking on your cell phone?”

I don’t know if thats just me or another southern thing like “bless your heart” which sounds polite but sure as hell isn’t.

Back to the OP. I think telling someone to say please is okay if they sound like they are demanding you to do something and aren’t exactly appreciative of you doing it.

Yes, it’s rude. Granted, not saying please can also be rude, but pointing it out just makes you rude as well.

I prefer my Teacher’s Look ™ to a sing-songy voice. I don’t do it to strangers, but if you’re a coworker and you’re asking me to drop what I’m doing because you’ve suddenly realized your head is stored in your ass and you need me to play proctologist, you bloody well better provide latex gloves and say “please” and “thank you”.

I agree that tone/etc often has an “implied please” and so the word itself isn’t needed, though I think it is a good thing to include as much as you reasonably can.

I DO think a lot of adults need to be reminded of the words “excuse me” though, like when cutting in front of you in a store/etc. “Thank you” is also being forgotten when you do something as simple as holding a door for someone. More than once after getting no response I muttered “you’re welcome” as they walked by.

Nobody has taken issue with it yet. :slight_smile:

Something else just occured to me. I am now recalling a teacher of mine, late elementary school, or perhaps early middle school. She had this thing where using please could be considered quite rude, regardless of tone. IIRC it depended on where in the sentence it was. Something like “Please pass the salt” was fine but “Pass the salt please” was downright rude. Anybody else heard or know something like that?

Yes, it’s rude, which is why I only do so when I am being intentionally rude–something I try to avoid. Mostly I do it when the person has pissed me off sufficiently that I won’t do it unless they comply. If I was going to do it anyway, I don’t bother.

And similarly, I have no hesitation to remind people: “Excuse me, but we keep our voices down in the library.”

Especially when the person so reminded is the librarian! (Ooooh! The dirty looks I get when I do that!) :rolleyes:

Of course it’s rude. It’s not up to one adult to teach manners to another.

Okay. Who the heck is then? Those green guys from Roswell with the probes?

In my opinion, “please” isn’t necessary, it’s something added to a neutral sentence to make it sound nicer. So, if someone gets upset with me for not adding something extra to kiss their ass, the problem is with them, not me.

I say please all the time, but if I forget it, I’ve slipped to “business casual.” You can’t get offended until I slip lower into “offensive” territory.

Yes it’s rude. It’s rude to point out someone’s lack of manners. It may be appropriate rudeness in some cases. Some people may not consider that to be the same thing as rudeness.

Absolutely it’s rude. If it’s a close friend or family member, I’ll do what Taomist does and say either, “What’s the magic word?” or possibly, “Can I have some milk, what?” (To which my equally smart-assed children might reply, “In my cup.” Then I raise an eyebrow and wait.)

If it’s someone I don’t know I’m probably not going to say anything.

I think it’s rude, yes. As rude as correcting grammar in the middle of a conversation that isn’t grammar-related. And more than a little controlling. If someone hasn’t learned their Ps and TYs by adulthood, they’re not going to change now. You can decide what kind of relationship to have with them based on the affect it has on their attitude, of course, but that’s the extent of it. Personally, I don’t get along with people who aren’t gracious, but it would never occur to me to call them out on it. How petty.

I don’t think it’s rude. I think you’re doing them a favor.

But, really, though, it’s not just saying “please” that is polite. I know plenty of people who can use “please” and “thank you” when they mean “fuck you.” There is more to being polite and using proper etiquette than the “magic” words.

How is it a favor? Either they’re using the ‘implied please’ tone mentioned above, in which case correcting them makes you look like a jerk, or they’re the kind of person who is a rude dick, in which case correcting them is unlikely to get them to change their ways. Honestly, I’m having trouble imagining a scenario in which I’d be grateful that someone ‘reminded’ me to say please.

It is vaguely like correcting grammar, as Rachel says. The desire to correct someone like this seems to be rooted in the belief that one persons way of communicating is ‘right’ and the other persons is ‘wrong’, which is pretty offensive really. It reminds me of the apparently unsolvable quandary of whether or not ‘no problem’ is just fine or a terrible affront against humanity. Regardless of which side you’re on personally, telling someone else what is okay for them to say is just going to make you look silly.

In any case, I think in general correcting someone’s behavior in public is inevitably going to result in the corrector coming off as way ruder than the corrected. Better to just leave well enough alone.

If you told me to say ‘please,’ I’d be confused. I’d probably stare at you blankly for a while, then start speaking to you slowly with small words. I can’t imagine an adult telling another adult to use ‘please.’ That’s mind boggling.