Myth and truth
Little progress has been made in modern politeness studies despite mountains of publications that have been bombarding the politeness market over the past three or so decades, rendering the latter in much a mess. It is argued in this paper that (1) politeness does not necessarily entail sincerity, and sincere politeness and insincere politeness should be distinguished; (2) there is no need to develop two different frameworks to account for politeness and impoliteness respectively; any framework that can be used to examine politeness phenomena should also aim for dealing with impoliteness phenomena; (3) polite language is not necessarily equated with politeness, and impolite language is not necessarily equated with impoliteness; and (4) though there is some need to differentiate between polite behaviour and politic behaviour, between politeness1 and politeness2, Watts’ (2003) work is problematic.
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