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Old 01-18-2008, 04:43 PM
 
108 posts, read 281,255 times
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Seattle is rated one of the most polite cities in the United States in 2004 according to the late etiquette expert Marjabelle Young Stewart. Although no one seems to have picked up the torch on rating manners in cities, I'd imagine Seattle is still in the top 10 at least. The surrounding areas are no slouches when it comes to manners, either.

That said, what are some people's observations on politeness here in the Emerald City.

Here's my list of things that stand out about Seattle:
1. Many people will step back and let others onto the elevators first
2. You hear less car horns in traffic
3. Few people seem to talk loudly or disruptively
4. Most people have their coffee orders memorized and ready before it's their turn in line
5. Lots of people are gracious about letting other cars merge on the freeway

What else? Any particular do's and don't for people new to the area? I've noticed to my amusement that people will sometimes get called out for rude behavior like appearing to cut in line or forgetting to clean up their own table at restaurants that don't bus the tables for customers. That's kind of quaint.

Last edited by Fallingwaters; 01-18-2008 at 04:45 PM.. Reason: Wrong forum, state instead of city, changed title
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Old 01-18-2008, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Happiness is found inside your smile :)
3,177 posts, read 10,204,654 times
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You should post this on the Seattle board - they'd get a kick out of it
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Old 01-18-2008, 04:57 PM
 
108 posts, read 281,255 times
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Default I meant to

But accidentally posted it here. Anyway, it's not just the city, the manners are about the same in the surrounding suburbs and smaller towns also.
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Old 01-18-2008, 07:31 PM
 
Location: PNW
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I'm thinking other cities must have really BAD manners then...I don't think Seattle people are all that polite, especially in traffic!
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Old 01-18-2008, 08:06 PM
 
108 posts, read 281,255 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxyKnox View Post
I'm thinking other cities must have really BAD manners then...I don't think Seattle people are all that polite, especially in traffic!

Well, that rating a few years ago was arbitrarily given by an etiquette expert -- it wasn't a residential survey. Given the author was in her 80's when she last ranked the cities and may have been qualifying her opinion differently. She rated Charleston, SC the most polite place, if I remember correctly. I remember it well because I was doing this sort of research before moving out here.

Still, I think the Greater Puget Sound Area as it's now called on this thread (sorry) has its own cultural norms of what good etiquette is that probably differ from some other parts of the country. I figure it has to stand out in some way to have gotten notice.

Littering or smoking in public are likely to get someone a lecture from a stranger (or, in the case of smoking, fake coughing fits from passing strangers) -- so those are bad manners here (probably tied closely to health and environmental consciousness). However, not saying excuse me when you walk past someone is a norm. It's okay to make audible comments about someone in their presence as long as you have plausible deniability that you were talking about them if they confront you about it.

You know, stuff like that.

Last edited by Fallingwaters; 01-18-2008 at 08:19 PM..
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Old 01-18-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FoxyKnox
I'm thinking other cities must have really BAD manners then...I don't think Seattle people are all that polite, especially in traffic!

You are right on there. Seattle drivers have a terrible streak of passive/aggressive behavior on the road - things like speeding up when you signal to change lanes so you can't! It is really tiresome to deal with every day.
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:12 PM
 
Location: WA
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I believe the driving got worse after the area grew like crazy in the 90s. Seattle was full of super polite drivers when I first came here (the 80s).

Often they were so polite that everyone paused at a 4 way stop and waved "you go" "no you go." Now I notice that I'd better take my turn at the 4 way stop quickly or someone will barrel through.
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Old 01-19-2008, 03:59 AM
 
108 posts, read 281,255 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayfair View Post
I believe the driving got worse after the area grew like crazy in the 90s. Seattle was full of super polite drivers when I first came here (the 80s).

Often they were so polite that everyone paused at a 4 way stop and waved "you go" "no you go." Now I notice that I'd better take my turn at the 4 way stop quickly or someone will barrel through.

I'm not sure I like that "you go, no you go" routine at intersections with 4 way stop signs. It just seems to hold traffic up and take longer than if people just used the legal right of way. Still, I do appreciate that people are courteous about letting others merge onto the freeway.
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Old 01-19-2008, 10:03 AM
 
7 posts, read 23,990 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fallingwaters View Post
Still, I do appreciate that people are courteous about letting others merge onto the freeway.
Yea, just don't try to change lanes once you get on the freeway. About one in ten are still courteous when they see a turn signal, the rest speed up to fill the gap and keep you from getting in front of them.

Let's teach our sons and daughters courteous driving habits when it is their turn to start driving and maybe we can take our roads back to a kinder environment. The current bunch on the roads can not be saved, IMHO.
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:07 PM
 
108 posts, read 281,255 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick49 View Post
Yea, just don't try to change lanes once you get on the freeway. About one in ten are still courteous when they see a turn signal, the rest speed up to fill the gap and keep you from getting in front of them.

Let's teach our sons and daughters courteous driving habits when it is their turn to start driving and maybe we can take our roads back to a kinder environment. The current bunch on the roads can not be saved, IMHO.

You know, I've noticed that too. Isn't that weird how people will do that sort of thing? It's as though it offends them that someone needs to change lanes. Merging appears to be okay, because everyone has to merge at some point, but how dare somebody change lanes.

Also, what's with the people who drive slowly in the left lanes and don't move over. It's almost like they're trying to regulate the speed limit or something.

Anyway, these are some examples of how the sense of etiquette and manners here is a little bit different from the rest of the country.
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