Archive for the ‘Etiquette’ Category

Just Use Your New York Instincts and You’ll Do Fine

Student: Um, would we really use the extremely polite form with random strangers on the street?
Japanese teacher, exuberantly: Oh yes, definitely.
Class: [Laughter.]
Japanese teacher: I’m not kidding, you don’t want to make them think you like them or want to get close to them… they’re a stranger! You want to keep as much emotional distance from them as possible.

–Japanese Class, Columbia University

Overheard by: Vicksburg