Tuesday, September 11, 2007

After You...Non, Pleeze After You

From Instructions for British Servicemen in France 1944, a great little book issued to every Tommy before the Normandy landings and now reissued by the Bodleian library:

'The French are more polite than most of us. Be sure to address people as 'Monsieur', 'Madame' or 'Mademoiselle.''
From a brochure issued by the Paris Chamber of Commerce to businesses anticipating increased foreign trade during the Rugby World Cup:

'The Anglo-Saxons, as well as being largely amiable, are also notable for their politeness.'

Curiously the 'Anglo-Saxons' comprise the Scots, Irish and Welsh but not the Americans or Canadians, who are afforded their own rubric. I wonder have manners changed that drastically in the past sixty years?


Primal Sneeze said...

I don't know if manners have changed or not, but I am worried that we Irish have become Anglo-Saxon.