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On civility: Our shared space requires respectful speech, behavior



While walking down the street last week, I heard a young man behind me on his cell phone using sexually explicit language. I turned and looked at him. “Wha’?” he said. I tried to explain that in my opinion this is a public place and that his was a private conversation that needed to be in sequestered space. Novelist Amy Tan says linguists tell us, “We are what we speak.”

In his book Civility: Manners, Morals, and the Etiquette of Democracy (NY: Basic Books, 1998), Stephen L. Carter’s says fellow passengers on a train need courtesy in order to get along in deference to each other in such a small shared space. Continue Reading →

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