Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Being polite


Does anyone know what that word means anymore?

Well, let me look in good old Webster's, so we can all be on the same page.

In fact, we'll look at two of mine.

One from 1968 and one from 1978.

For reference on what a dictionary is and how to use it, please go 'here'. I don't want anyone to be confused ;)

Webster's 1968 dictionary says:

The 1978 version says:

Hmm.... not much difference.

How about Google?

adjectivepoliter, politest.

showing good manners toward others, as in behavior, speech, etc.;courteous; civil:
a polite reply.
refined or cultured:
polite society.
of a refined or elegant kind:
polite learning.
Still not much different, but the language changed a touch.

Now guess what the antonym is?


You know which one I've see a lot of and especially lately?

I'll give you a hint... 

It's not the nice one.

I'm not sure what has happened to society, but somehow we've forgotten our manners, and etiquette seems to have gone the way of the Dodo bird.

Yes, we all have jokes about people at Wally World (politeness includes dressing correctly), but it's most prevalent on the internet.

And yes, we've all experienced it there too.

Places like Facebook are a nightmare.

What I didn't expect is seeing it amongst us in Blogland. 

We all have seen trolls, but when one of our regular readers leaves us a rude comment or sends us a rude email, it throws us for a loop.

Especially, when it's one of our own.

By that, I mean another blogger.

I've seen comments that completely tear someone down.

I've seen words so rude that I want to cry for the person.

And I've heard of emails that are so downright nasty that I can't believe that anyone would send them.


Where are their manners?

What happened to being supportive?

When did this turn into a game of how bad we can behave towards each other?

If you disagree with someone, fine, but there's no need to be rude about it.

Put yourself in their shoes and think about how it would feel if it was you getting those nasty words.

Maybe buy an etiquette book to learn how to be polite.

Or borrow one.

God knows I have enough of them ;)

It doesn't cost a thing to be nice and as the old saying goes...

"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

Or as Mark Twain said:

"It's better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt."

Or how about...

"Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

Anyway, just be kind to one another.

Please :)



  1. Wonderful post and I totally agree with you! I cannot imagine leaving a rude comment of a blog. And, by the way, I love your vintage books! You have such a nice collection of etiquette books. Have a lovely rest of the week!

  2. I've seen some rude comments too but fortunately not many times. I think people hide behind their computers and say things they'd probably never say in person.

  3. Amen, little sister! I so agree with you. Even though we love our social media I think that has contributed to the rudeness of folks. Not seeing soneone face to face they left out the rude language. A few years ago I got an email telling me I was just too happy and no one could be as happy as me and I needed to be more real on my blog! I couldn't believe it! Anyway, you're right, I guess the ones being nasty and rude had a mother with no manners!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  4. My grandmother said to always be kind. I don't know what she'd make of social media, but I have an idea she would say be kind, even when you are completely alone, just you and your keyboard. Especially then. Because when we say rude things, we fill up with own venom. Rudeness rewires the brain. So does kindness. P.S. Love your vintage books. xxoo

  5. Here, here! Great post and I agree 100%. Kindness matters.

  6. I try to teach my grandkids that kindness is one of the best traits they can exhibit---I always think that people that are mean to others have some much deeper issues than we know about. The tear others down to build themselves up -sparing no one's feelings to accomplish that goal sometimes. It is truly sad when we see it in blogland---a place where we should feel to say what we want on our own blogs without fear of being judged. I think it is kinder to just sneak away and not leave a comment at all if there is something there that we don't like. Great post, Rue! xo Diana

  7. It takes courage to be kind. Have you seen the new version of CINDERELLA yet? That is the entire theme of this amazing new version: courage and kindness, and how it really, really matters...............I recently experienced my first unkindness on blogland - a bit secondhand, but I had an unkind response to my response when I saw another very sweet dear blogger REALLY treated rudely. My initial reaction was to fight fire with fire, but it was a Sunday so I waited until after church before answering, if at all. I prayed about how to approach it and found my sense of peace....and tried to convey it as well. And THAT is when I was treated unkindly, or it felt that way.

    I just decided to walk away, but I haven't forgotten it and it makes me sad, and sad for anyone hurt by these kinds of feelings.

    Nice post, good timing, and I hope it helps. But seriously, it may not.

    I hope it wasn't me being unkind when I said I used to have your refridgerator. I LOVED that house and my old fashioned appliances and cupboards. I even had one of those huge long apron sinks with the drainage I sure hope you know I was admiring your thawing yours out. Oh my word I never did it often enough and just the ice would build and build.....yours is so much nicer and SO much cleaner! : - ) I was giving you kudos, hope you know it from my heart! ♥

    1. I sent you an email, love, and no it wasn't you and it really isn't about me :)


  8. Yes. I've heard everyone of them, and have probably used each one at some stage in my children's life. There is a pleasure in being courteous even in hard times. Too bad some will never know.

  9. This is so timely, Rue! I saw a comment today on another blog that literally made me gasp! I wondered if the author of said comment was wearing a "On Wednesdays We Wear Pink" T-shirt...

    The world is a much better place when we all play nice. :-)

  10. I have been on the receiving end of some bloggy nastiness and it isn't nice at all. I hope that you never have to deal with anything like this. Shame on anyone who behaves badly. I like the Mark Twain quote! xx

  11. I use that Mark Twain quote a lot (in my head of course!). I'm lucky that the worst comment left on my blog, anonymously of course, was a few years ago when my granddaughter was in a local beauty pageant and she wore a pillow case dress I had made for her and went barefoot. In my blog post I mentioned that was a "southern thing" for little girls (of refinement LOL) to go barefoot.....every single comment with the except of Ms. Anonymous agreed but she said she was born and raised in the south and it was NOT a southern thing but a tacky and redneck thing to do and that no "good" southern girl would even CONSIDER going barefoot in public, that was for "poor folks". Not sure what part of the south she's from but in "these here parts" in the most exclusive places (church, etc) all the little girls go barefoot for portraits, weddings, etc. Oh well, guess we're just "tacky and redneck"!

  12. Great post Rue! The world is a scary, cruel world at times. It's not getting any better either. It's a give me society, a follow the crowd society, and niceness isn't one of the traits of this modern society. We all need to encourage one another, and we all need encouragement.

    Have a great day ~ FlowerLady

  13. Yes, great post Rue. I said something in one of my recent post that my Hubby calls people sir and ma'am when he does not know them. Some things are better in this age, but one of them is not and that is manners. So many are rude. We need more kindness in the world.

  14. Oh Rue, I just love your blog:) I've said for some time that common curtesy isn't very common any more. I have actually unsubscribed from a couple blogs in the past due to language - not vulgar, but crass. I'm not a goody-goody. I just prefer not to listen to (or read) something that makes me cringe.

  15. Rue, well said! I have been lucky to have escaped most of the ugly comments that can come to bloggers, but I know it happens and these attacks are awful. I don't get why people feel the need to be cruel. I make sure I am polite and kind in blog land and in real life.


  16. Oh, dear! The Internet and the media sure have changed things. They have made us more sensitive to criticism and more able to criticize as we please. I hope I never hurt anyone's feelings! So often we say things without realizing how they are being taken. If I ever offend someone, you have my permission to call me out on it (privately), Rue!

  17. You know how I feel. It's one thing to disagree, or even not like someone's approach. That's what the little red x in the upper right hand corner is for, isn't it?

    I don't mind constructive criticism. I don't mind lively discourse, even. But when it gets mean and ugly, ugh. :(

  18. Thanks for this, my friend. You and I know why! I laughed when I read your reference to the Dodo bird. I hadn't thought of the Dodo bird in ages. I love your books, your old-fashioned ways, and I think you are setting a trend that many of us, including me, will be following. Love ya.

  19. Oh, and I think you write your best posts when you have your "apron" in a twist! You need to get on your "soap box" more often. That or start writing a women's column.

  20. I love this post, Rue and it's a wonderful reminder for all of us, myself included! I have seen the nastiest stuff of all on Facebook. I love your collection of vintage books on manners. That first book - A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband - made me chuckle and wonder about it. I looked it up and it's very expensive (the vintage one) so I ordered the 2012 edition from for a few dollars. It still had a cute cover. :-)

  21. This about Facebook...

    This isn't the first time, I have heard this...

    It's another reason I don't "do" Facebook...

    Guess it has a 'no holds barred' feeling to it...


  22. Rue,
    Your gentle spirit, combined with your talent to write says it all!!

  23. Everything is so instant now and people can hurt your feelings, best thing is to say nothing at all.

  24. I love the Mark Twain quote and boy, is it true! Nothing is gained from being mean or rude to another person. It just shows how small-minded a person can be. I'm so thankful that I have met so many kind and encouraging bloggers while on this blogging journey! Kindness is so much more appreciated! Hugs!

  25. Rue, I'm sure I know the comment you are referring to and I was glad to see your reply. Well said.

  26. Hi Rue, Great post and I so agree with you. Nice, kind and manners still matter, now more then ever. As you might remember, from way back when, I've been blogging for 8+ years. A lot has changed since the beginning. I left and came back too. Missed everyone and the inspiration here. In all my years however I had one very unkind person write some awful remarks in an email. I choose to ignore them and consider they had a lot of bitterness, anger and problems to lash out at me. Being a strong person, I could overlook the mean spirit, but I felt so sad for the next person in the path that might have to deal with it and not be strong enough to take it. Yes, manners still go along way. I too love the Mark Twain quote. Thanks for sharing this post, your writings and your spirit. So glad you came back to blogging and continue to inspire.
    Have a nice, kind and mannerly evening. LOL
    Hugs. CM

  27. Couldn't agree with you more...and you said it so well! ;)

  28. Rue, I've never seen comments that were that hurtful any time in blogland, but I don't have facebook, so I wouldn't know about that. This is something that we all need to hear, thanks Rue. I love your hardcover books; I've always preferred them over the others.

    Have a good Friday, my dear.


  29. Hi, Rue, you are absolutely right. Sometimes I read a blog post and totally disagree with the message, but 99 times out of 100 I just move along. When I do comment it's with the intent of disagreeing without being disagreeable. Perhaps some of this vitriol on the internet comes from those whose parents didn't model or teach them to be polite, but you'd think they would figure it out at some point as adults if others were rude to them. And you can be diplomatic without being dishonest! My dear late MIL asked my opinion of what (to me) was a hideous permanent. I give credit to the Holy Spirit for the inspiration to say "Oh you must really love how easy and cool it is now summer's here!" which satisfied her completely. The scrupulously accurate response of "It's the ugliest hairstyle ever! Are you going to sue the salon?" probably wouldn't have been as welcome.

  30. Great post Rue! Especially the Mark Twain quote. I suppose the rise in rude and uncivil behavior can be attributed to a bunch of things-- the internet/social media (it's so much easier to be nasty and mean if you aren't face to face with someone); the crazy-fast pace and competitive nature of modern life and the pressure it puts on people; endless examples of rude, obnoxious behavior in the media, TV; and movies; and just plain bad upbringing. I've always felt that one should 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you' or however that saying goes.

  31. Back in the late 90's I was part of a very popular discussion board sponsored by BHG. In the beginning they allowed anonymous comments and boy, did it get dicey sometimes! But you know what? When BHG stopped allowing anonymity, everything changed to the point the board was shut down. Participation decreased, and overall things just got too predictable and boring. I guess when we see nastiness, it's like looking at a car accident...we wish it hadn't happened but we can't help but look.

    I haven't experienced any nasty comments on my blog, and I really haven't seen any on anyone else's either, but I have noticed FB is a bit different. For some reason, people seem to say what they really mean on that platform, and it develops into almost a mob mentality.

    Have you heard of 'getoffmyinternets'? Apparently it's been around for years but I just learned of it recently. Want to see rude?? Check it out.

  32. Unfortunately, "we're not in Kansas anymore". I'm showing my age when I say that society has changed for the worse and I don't know how we change it. But, a post like yours is definitely a step in the right direction.

  33. Rue, you are just the right spokeswoman for this subject and you wrote the post in a forthright and yet friendly manner.

    I remember a woman I used to know who prided herself on "speaking her mind". One day our very sweet and gentle friend, who happened to be our pastor's wife, quietly said, in response to that belief, "Did you ever think that other people might not want to hear you speak your mind?" It made her think, it had really never dawned on her before and it changed her.

  34. I hate that people feel like it's ok to tear people down on the internet. It's not ok. If you wouldn't say it in real life, to the person's face, then should you even be saying it at all? Mean comments and emails are one of the most hurtful things about being a blogger. I feel like we are all reaching out to connect, and to be rejected in such a fashion feels like being slapped in the face. I just have to remind myself you can't please everyone. And that other people's opinions don't matter. If you are like me, easier said than done :)

  35. I like the phrase "Always be kinder than you feel". Helps me remember to be diplomatic. But leaving rude comments on a blog? I don't get that at all! Why do people get their jollies from that? Boggles the mind.

  36. I don't understand why anyone would leave a rude comment.....
    Maybe it all boils down to a quote I once heard....
    "God gave us two ears and one mouth" seems to me that He was telling us to hear more and speak less :^)
    Thank you for the reminder...there are days when we all need that help.

    1. I don't get it either. Love that quote :)

  37. I agree about manners and some people--if you can't say something nice then just don't say it. I tell my daughter this all the time-teen! I do like your Twain quote!

  38. I don't read as many blogs as I would like to nor do I read every post simply because I don't have time. I did however read an unkind and judgemental comment and your reply a short time ago on another blog. Words can destroy heart and soul or they can be medicine. I do hope that what I read was a very rare exception and not the new norm. A very timely post Rue and well put.

  39. I discovered your blog today. First let me say your blog is lovely! And your home is just as lovely. Thank you so much for this post. I have this conversation almost daily it seems with my husband. I just don't understand.

    1. Thank you so much, Belinda! It seems I have that conversation all the time myself ;)

      Nice to "meet" you.



Thank you so much for leaving a comment. It means so much to me that you took the time and I read each and every one. If you don't have a blog, look for a response under your comment. I try to get to them within a few days :)

For some reason, the comment box doesn't always show up, so if you want to leave a comment, replying to someone else's comment seems to work. Also, I've had to switch from safari to chrome in order to comment on blogger, so that might be the issue. If not, you can always reach me via email, located on my side bar. Thank you!