Say the Magic Word

posted: November 25th, 2014 08:46 am | 5Comments

I’m a fan of please and thank you.

I tell my family to say please and thank you all the time.

“Hand me that spatula,” one will say to me.

“Please,” I respond.

Or after a stony silent carpool trip, I might say, “You’re so welcome for picking you up from school and giving you a ride home! It was my pleasure!”

Sometimes it’s all I can do not to mother my friends and schoolteachers and strangers. So many people who are basically nice and polite, but who don’t say please and thank you. Children of my friends who demand things without saying please and thank you drive me wild.

“Please,” I scream silently in my head sometimes. “Thank you,” the voice responds.

This morning, I had a subscriber email me, responding to a daily digest from me to him.

“Stop emailing me.”

That’s all it said.

No please. No thank you.

For all I know, someone signed this person up without his/her knowledge, and the emails were bugging him/her, and he/she resented it and was at his/her wit’s end trying to stop it. Some people get sick of the emails and want to clean up their mailboxes. I do that. I get it. I don’t really take it personally, that someone wants to stop getting my stuff.

But the mother in me, the Miss Manners in me, wished this person had asked nicely. Could you please remove me from the email list? Could you stop emailing me? Thank you.

I like to think it takes more effort to be rude than not to be, because our default way of communicating is to be polite, so we have to think hard and strive to be rude.

If I’m wrong, maybe we should work to make polite our default.

5 Responses to “Say the Magic Word”


Shannon Inouye

November 26th, 2014

I really enjoy receiving this daily news bits and THANK YOU for collecting, editing, and sending them.


December 16th, 2014

I second Shannon's comment. Thank you and I agree because I have people that subscribe to my mailings (all on their own) and then have an impolite hissy fit when they decide I've somehow added them and invaded their space. I am happy to unsubscribe people and a thank you or please should be the default.


January 18th, 2015

Yes. Yes. A thousand times YES! My personal pet peeve is people not able to simply say, "Excuse me" when shoving past me while I'm out and about. So I say it for them, "Oh, you probably meant to say, 'Excuse me', right?" Yes, I'm horrible.


March 30th, 2015

Wow! Thank you! I was starting to think I was the only one left! Excuse me, Sorry!, Please, Thank you, and You're Welcome should be automatic to all of us. To raise children and adults who cannot, will not, or simply don't know these are required statements one makes when participating in polite society is just plain sad. Be Polite. Raise Polite people. The world will appreciate you (and them) for it. Thanks!


October 19th, 2015

For the folks that have a business or website that sends information of all sorts to many e-mails. When I get tired of a website sending me things or information sometimes it's too often or too much that it takes over my e-mail. But, when I request to have the website stop, the website's mostly just have a box to click on and then it's all gone. So, depending if your website already includes the thank you or please in the box when you click. All your going to get is what you put in your box. So check your website box and see what it says. Maybe it needs a little update with please or thank you. Food for thought they say. Have a great day my friends

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