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Awkward Social Situations(?)

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  • Awkward Social Situations(?)

    What do you do when you're caught in an awkward social situation?

    Example: You're having a company dinner and one of your superiors starts slurping her soup loudly. The other colleagues from other departments are sniggering at her, so do you tell her about it or just keep mum?

    My own real-life example:
    My superior likes to pepper her speech with the word 'irregardless' - a word which doesn't exist in the dictionary and is a common error. It's kinda embarrassing as she always prides herself on her good command of English (and always tells other so too)! I really thought it over for a long time before I finally gathered up enough courage to tell her the error. Luckily, my honesty didn't backfire on me as she didn't get upset.

    Have you ever encountered such similar situations before where you're caught in a dilemma and am not sure if honesty is the best policy?

  • #2
    i'll just keep quiet. unless i know she's the kind that can take critcisms. if not, i'd rather err on the safe side.

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    • #3
      e.r.h? since school-ing, i thought there's this word irregardless? thought i often heard this word in sch.

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      • #4
        Many people think so, but there's no such word!

        As taken from dictionary.com:

        Usage Note: Irregardless is a word that many mistakenly believe to be correct usage in formal style, when in fact it is used chiefly in nonstandard speech or casual writing. Coined in the United States in the early 20th century, it has met with a blizzard of condemnation for being an improper yoking of irrespective and regardless and for the logical absurdity of combining the negative ir- prefix and -less suffix in a single term. Although one might reasonably argue that it is no different from words with redundant affixes like debone and unravel, it has been considered a blunder for decades and will probably continue to be so.

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        • #5
          That's a common mistake to make; regardless is a "negative" already, so there is a redundant negative prefix in irregardless. How many times have we heard "repeat again"?

          Anyway, for speech errors like this, if it's the first time I notice, I would not correct them cos it may be a fluke and they know that it's wrong. If they do it all the time, it's better to correct them and save them some embarrassment. With friends and family, it's definitely easier; with colleagues, I would give them a "look" and they usually would ask "Is that wrong?" cos they know I am stickler for such stuff.

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          • #6
            I wouldnt correct people's pronunciation. Cos every single day, i hear peeps make mistake. And i myself make mistakes sometimes too. I dont think it's a significant problem. But if it's something more serious, I might inform my boss.

            as for the "slurping soup" scenario, I would think it's more of amusing rather than awkward. If it's someone that's close to me, i will just tease her like saying, " wow,, i can really HEAR you enjoying your soup!" If it's someone not close to me, i wouldnt be bothered and i would just pretend nothing's wrong.
            Last edited by limme; 01-02-2006, 09:43 PM.

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            • #7
              Yeah, I think pronunciation is something that's not very nice to correct cos everyone speaks differently. And as long as it does not impede communication, it's not a big deal.

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              • #8
                usually i'll let such things pass..
                dont have the habit of correcting people's grammer or pronunciation..
                mainly as i'm uncertain if they can accept the embarassment..
                and secondly, it rather irritating to be interrupted a few times when u are trying to get a point across...
                i knew someone who kept stopping another person at almost every word just to correct him
                but if the situation does really calls for correction, i guess it would be better to correct them in private rather than in front of an audience.. give them a little face..

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                • #9
                  I have a male colleague who eats with loud slurping noises. I can understand that sometimes guys make some noises but his was really not very pleasant. Its sounds like those watery noises of pigs gorging on scrapes. In addition, he has the bad habit of using his fingers to pick on common shared food. Geesh.. really puts me off.

                  I am not a cleanliness freak, but his presence actually affects my appetite. yucks..
                  during company events i'll try my best not to be too close to where he is.

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                  • #10
                    Haha, he reminds me of a disgusting former schoolmate of mine, who has poor (or should I say, zero?) social skills. I shall name her 'Jasmin'.

                    Last year during CNY, a bunch of my friends & I went visiting at a friend's place. We ordered KFC and when the bucket of chicken arrived, Jasmin used her fingers to dig through all the pieces of chicken as she wanted to take the drumsticks for herself. Everyone else was so stunned by her lack of hygiene and selfish behaviour that we ended up eating pizza instead.

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                    • #11
                      If my superior is slurping loudly, I will look at her till she realised and feels conscious about it then I will smile at her and continue to eat my food. If she doesn't get the hint, I will still not confront her. I will just imagine that i'm eating with an old granny with no teeth.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mochaccino
                        I have a male colleague who eats with loud slurping noises. I can understand that sometimes guys make some noises but his was really not very pleasant. Its sounds like those watery noises of pigs gorging on scrapes. In addition, he has the bad habit of using his fingers to pick on common shared food. Geesh.. really puts me off.

                        I am not a cleanliness freak, but his presence actually affects my appetite. yucks..
                        during company events i'll try my best not to be too close to where he is.
                        yes, this is quite off putting.

                        if they are unhygenic, it's a diff thing. i may speak up. like tell them to use the serving spoon instead etc. but if it's just noises like above, i may just shut up n control!

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