"Please and "Thank You". Remember when those were referred to as "the magic words?"  According to a recent Rasmussen survey, being polite has taken a turn for the worse.

When is the last time you remember anyone thanking you or holding a door or saying excuse me if they walked in front of you?


Last year, fully 76 percent of people surveyed by Rasmussen Reports said Americans are becoming less civil — and more rude.

Lisa Gache, a “civility coach” and co-founder of Beverly Hills Manners in Los Angeles, says part of the problem is that we've become too casual. According to Gache,  “Casual conversation, casual dress and casual behavior have hijacked practically all areas of life, and I do not think it is doing anyone a service.”

Psychiatrist Gregory E. Smith agrees. “Simple things that we took for granted as children no longer seem to count,” he says. “Saying please and thank you, asking permission, offering unsolicited help, and following up on solutions to problems are no longer as important.”

He cites the recent example of an airport kiosk worker who rang up his purchase and handed it to him, all while having a conversation on her cellphone — something he calls “amazing” and “outrageous.”

Etiquette maven Cindy Post Senning, the great-granddaughter of politeness pioneer Emily Post, says norms, manners and mores change over time. Still, she added, “The principles of respect, consideration and honesty are universal and timeless.”