DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was raised to believe that, in casual conversation, asking someone to pass an item by saying, “Could you get that for me?” and then saying “thank you” when it was received was acceptable. My husband feels that this is rude, and that every request must include a “please.”
People I’ve asked agree that simply asking, and then ending with a “thank you,” is fine, but my mother-in-law very pointedly corrects our children for doing this when asking each other for things.
Is it possible that my own dear parents taught me incorrectly, and I’ve been inadvertently being rude my whole life, and now have passed this on to my children? Your advice would be greatly appreciated!
GENTLE READER: Thank you, but would it still be appreciated even if it means telling you that your own dear parents taught you incorrectly and you have been inadvertently being rude your whole life and have now passed this on to your children?
And, as a bonus, that those you have queried are equally wrong?
Miss Manners prefers to believe that you misunderstood your parents. Otherwise they would be the first progenitors in history actively to instruct their children not to say please when making a request.