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Доклад: American character


American society seems to be much more informal than the British and, in some

ways, is characterized by less social distinction. Students do not rise when

a teacher enters the room. One does not always address a person by his title,

such as "Major" or "General" or "Doctor" in the case of a holder of a Doctor

of Philosophy degree. The re­spectful "Sir" is not always used in the

northern and western parts of the country.

However, it is best to use a person's title when first meeting him/her, and

then allow the person to tell you how he/she wishes to be called.

They use first names when calling each other, slap on the back, joke and are

much freer in their speech, which is more slangy than the conventional

British English. You will often hear the word "Hi" (a form of greeting among

friends) used instead of the usual "Hello," and "Howdy" instead of "How do

you do?"

Those who don't easily show these signs of friendship are called "snooty" or

"snobbish." In contrast, people who show such simple signs of friendship,

particularly to their own economic and social inferiors, are praised as

"regular guys," or as "truly demo­cratic." As a description of character,

democratic is generally used to signify that a per­son of high social or

economic status acts in such a way that his or her inferiors are not reminded

of their inferiority.

Yet, in spite of all the informality, Americans, even in the way they address

each other, show consciousness of social distinction. For example, one is

likely to use some­what more formal language when talking to superiors. While

the informal "Hello" is an acceptable greeting from employee to employer, the

employee is more apt to say "Hello, Mr. Ferguson," while the employer may

reply "Hello, Jim." Southerners make a point of saying "Yes, sir," or "Yes,

Ma'am," or "No, sir," or "No, Ma'am," when talking to an older person or a

person in a position of authority. While this is good form all over the

United Stales, "Yes. Mr. Weston" or "No, Mrs. Baker" is somewhat more common

in a similar situation in the North or West.

Certain other forms of politeness are observed on social occasions. Women may

wear hats in church. in restaurants, and often when attending luncheons in

public places and other public social functions except those that take place

in the evening. Men who do wear hats ordinarily remove them in elevators,

churches, restaurants, private homes, business offices — in fad, in most

public situations when they wish to show respect.