Most Courteous and Polite

Guest Editorial

– By Kate Lowish –

Did any of you catch the little ticker tape news update at the bottom of the TV screen on Good Morning America last week that announced South Carolina has the most courteous and polite people in the nation?  I didn’t have time to sit and watch the program so I don’t know if anything else was said about the statement.

However, curious, I checked online and sure enough, there was a study done by Marchex, a company that specializes in mobile ad technology.  They studied 600,000 phone calls to businesses over a one-year period looking for curse words and polite phrases, and listed both spectrums polite and profane. States that were more often using polite words, like please and thank you, were, in order, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland and Georgia. Worst cursing states were Ohio, New Jersey, and then Louisiana and Maryland (who must have cursed politely).

I’m quite proud of South Carolina coming in at the top of courteousness and politeness.  Ever since moving here I have been aware of the good manners I have observed in so many people I have met.  Transplanting from Massachusetts I quickly learned that swearing was frowned upon and made an effort to clean up my profanity.  I also found being called Miss Kate from the production folks at the company I worked at in North Charleston as well as by my children’s friends, endearing.

Politeness and courteousness can be part of first impressions of someone and are important.  Knowing how to properly introduce yourself and shake hands with a new acquaintance is also important, especially for first impressions.  My mother, who passed away 6 years ago, ran the middle school of a private school in Connecticut.  Every Friday she would have all of the middle school students line up and one by one shake her hand while looking straight in her eyes and wishing her a pleasant weekend.  If they didn’t meet her standards, they went back to the end of the line to try again.  Our children learned from her as did I, and over the years when they have friends they want us to be impressed with they actually teach them their handshake and the importance of looking someone in the eyes.

In a world where there is so much violence and bullying, I think it is grand that we here in South Carolina are known for being courteous and polite.

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