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Politeness is the practical application of good manners or etiquette.


  • Take care never to speak what you have not weighed and pondered beforehand; nor interject your own words on the spur of the moment and in the midst of another’s; for you must listen and converse in turn, with set times for speech and for silence.
  • Politeness and a sense of honor have this advantage: we bestow them on others without losing a thing.
  • Politeness, however, acts the lady's-maid to our thoughts ; and they are washed, dressed, curled, rouged, and perfumed, before they are presented to the public
  • Christian piety annihilates the egotism of the heart; worldly politeness veils and represses it.
    • Blaise Pascal, Thoughts on Religion and Other Subjects, translated by E. Craig (1829), § 81
  • Politeness is a tacit agreement that people’s miserable defects, whether moral or intellectual, shall on either side be ignored and not be made a subject of reproach.

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