WOMEN
01/22/2014 09:07 am ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

It's Not Fake To Be Polite: A Defense Of Etiquette

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Over the past day or so (and constantly over the past several centuries), there has been a lot of talk about how people (mostly women) should and should not speak. First, there was Senator Kirsten Gillibrand slightly confusing bit of advice on how a woman who wants to be taken seriously should "speak less like a young girl and more like a young, aspiring professional" (which is to say she should talk in direct, declarative statements) and now there's this article from The Wall Street Journal on "verbal tee-ups," also known as the qualifiers people use to make themselves sound more polite (sometimes deceptively so) in conversation.

WSJ writer Elizabeth Bernstein writes:

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