Mixing politeness levels

Seems like in writing it’s “pick one and stick to it”, but in speech not so much.

  • Somebody just didn’t finish their sentence.
  • Somebody is using mostly casual speech but wants to be more polite when saying something that might otherwise sound too forceful?
  • With gaming streamers it seems like a distinction between two interwoven threads of “talking to the audience” and “talking to oneself with an audience”.
  • In a polite conversation, do people sometimes throw in a few casual comments on purpose in order to test the response?

Any thoughts?

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I don’t feel confident enough declaring an answer. But I find the same thing you mentioned. One of the very early “rules” I feel like I heard was pick a politeness and stick to it. I get why they say that but it also doesn’t seem to be true in normal everyday speech.

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We talked about this in my Italki lesson today. My teacher agreed that in writing you use the same style throughout, while in speaking it’s very common to mix them. Sounds like as people become friends, they tend to switch over gradually, and they’re not really thinking about it most of the time. I’m not sure if there’s a pattern to which types of comments switch first or if it’s mostly random. And sometimes people will ask instead. Hope I understood right :wink:

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