Social etiquette/quirks in your region/country

Sleepy Sol

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Title is rather self-explanatory. Are there any trends or expected consistencies of social interaction in your region or country that you think are notable compared to others?

For myself, living in the southern United States for most of my life, I've picked up a definite tendency to refer to many folks older than me as "Sir" or "Ma'am" without fail. Like every affirmation being "yes, ma'am" or "yes, sir." I'm not sure if it's exclusively a Southern thing, but my family sort of beat that particular tendency into me all through childhood to the point that it's continued to stick.
 

Zontar

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As an Anglo Quebecois, my English is filled with French terms, expressions, and at times sentence structures. It's to the point that my Ontarian cousins sometimes have no idea when my brother and I are saying (ok, that only happened once, and it's because in Quebec we use a different term for corner stores).
 

Johnny Novgorod

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Well, everybody greets each other with a kiss on the cheek. Or rather, lining up cheek with cheek and making kissing noises. You get the picture. This applies more or less to friends, family, friends of friends and broadly speaking any member of your karass, if anybody gets that. So it's always awkward when you travel abroad and you naturally try to kiss a guy that's offering you a handshake. Countries where you do two kisses - one for each cheek - also weird me out. Seems like a bit too much. One kiss is good enough.
 

Elfgore

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It's called pop!






It's not soda! It's not soda-pop! It's pop! Come to accept it, everyone that doesn't live around Ohio!
 

Sleepy Sol

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Elfgore said:
It's not soda! It's not soda-pop! It's pop! Come to accept it everyone that doesn't live around Ohio!
Oh shit, we're gonna throw down right here, right now.

It's soda. ALMOST EVERY CARBONATED DRINK IS SODA!

...but at least you don't call water fountains bubblers or something even more stupid than just calling soda pop.
 

Elfgore

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Solaire of Astora said:
Elfgore said:
It's not soda! It's not soda-pop! It's pop! Come to accept it everyone that doesn't live around Ohio!
Oh shit, we're gonna throw down right here, right now.

It's soda. ALMOST EVERY CARBONATED DRINK IS SODA!

...but at least you don't call water fountains bubblers or something even more stupid than just calling soda pop.
Don't start what you can't finish, son!



Pop rolls off the tongue much easier and takes one less letter type. And who calls it bubblers? Sounds like a professional group of bubble blowers. Not a nice refreshing drink of POP!!!!!
 

Thaluikhain

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Solaire of Astora said:
Elfgore said:
It's not soda! It's not soda-pop! It's pop! Come to accept it everyone that doesn't live around Ohio!
Oh shit, we're gonna throw down right here, right now.

It's soda. ALMOST EVERY CARBONATED DRINK IS SODA!

...but at least you don't call water fountains bubblers or something even more stupid than just calling soda pop.
Pft. It's "fizzy drink". It's a drink, and there is fizz. End of.
 

Jux

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For New Orleans: If it isn't mardi gras and you're not on bourbon street, don't flash the naughty bits. Don't fuck with the cops' horses, you will be arrested for assaulting an officer. Drinking on the street is ok, just don't do it with glass.
 

StriderShinryu

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In Canada we really are generally almost overly polite to each other, including apologizing in cases where an apology probably isn't required.
 

Sleepy Sol

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thaluikhain said:
Pft. It's "fizzy drink". It's a drink, and there is fizz. End of.
Well, that at least sounds less blatantly offensive than just calling it pop. I'll let it slide.

Jux said:
For New Orleans: If it isn't mardi gras and you're not on burbon street, don't flash the naughty bits. Don't fuck with the cops' horses, you will be arrested for assaulting an officer. Drinking on the street is ok, just don't do it with glass.
Not that it's related much to the thread, but walking down Bourbon Street as a kid was...an experience, for sure.
 

Bob_McMillan

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As a Filipino, everyone has some sort of title. Every person who is older than you and are familiar with are called "Tito" or "Tita". Some guy on the road is either "Po" or "Bossing", or maybe "Pare" or "Pre". "Mama" and "Manong" are also acceptable. Women are called "Miss" or "Manang". Older sisters or older people who aren't old enough to be your parents are called "Ates", while guys are called "Kuyas". Grandparents are called "Lolo" and "Lola". People younger than you are "Iho" and "Iha". If you call someone older than without affixing the right title to their name, you are frowned upon.

Another thing we do is use our faces for everything. We say yes by raising our eyebrows as if we are nodding and we use our mouths to point at things.

Lastly, we make noises instead of words sometimes for some reason. "Tsst" is for calling someone's attention, as is clicking. "HOY" is shouted if you are angry.
 

VanQ

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Warning: This post has naughty words in it. If you're easily offended, avert your gaze, lest your sensitive virgin mind be sullied.

Here in Australia, the words "**** and mate" actually mean the opposite of everywhere else.

You see, here in Australia we call our mates **** and we call anyone we think is a **** mate.

Examples:
"Oi, mate!" means you've pissed me off.
"Oi, ****!" is a standard greeting.
 

Twoflowers

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If you empty your beer in one of the more traditional pubs around here the waiter just puts another glass on your table. What some peole don't know is that the signal for "I'm finished drinking" is putting your coaster on the empty glass. It's really funny to watch tourists struggle with that.
 

Dr. Thrax

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IT'S SODA DAMN YOU!! -Shakes fist-
Bob_McMillan said:
As a Filipino, everyone has some sort of title. Every person who is older than you and are familiar with are called "Tito" or "Tita". Some guy on the road is either "Po" or "Bossing", or maybe "Pare" or "Pre". "Mama" and "Manong" are also acceptable. Women are called "Miss" or "Manang". Older sisters or older people who aren't old enough to be your parents are called "Ates", while guys are called "Kuyas". Grandparents are called "Lolo" and "Lola". People younger than you are "Iho" and "Iha". If you call someone older than without affixing the right title to their name, you are frowned upon.

Another thing we do is use our faces for everything. We say yes by raising our eyebrows as if we are nodding and we use our mouths to point at things.

Lastly, we make noises instead of words sometimes for some reason. "Tsst" is for calling someone's attention, as is clicking. "HOY" is shouted if you are angry.
Oof, yeah, I remember a few of these.
Half-Filipino, father's side.
I was generally allowed to get by with "Lolo" and "Lola" for my grandparents, and "Uncle"/"Aunt" for the rest of the family, but I wasn't raised all that closely to them. Really I never ever called my grandparents by their names, on my mother's side it was "Grammy"/"Poppy", and "Lolo"/"Lola" for my father's side. It was a weird-ass dichotomy, 'cause I was born and raised in Central Florida, so I'm just a little Southern, plus since I wasn't raised in the Philippines I didn't have to worry too much about the other titles.

Here in the South, more than 1 person is "Y'all", when you're being insulted it's "Bless your heart", and that's all I can really come up with right now. Too tired.
 

Lucifiel

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Johnny Novgorod said:
Well, everybody greets each other with a kiss on the cheek. Or rather, lining up cheek with cheek and making kissing noises. You get the picture. This applies more or less to friends, family, friends of friends and broadly speaking any member of your karass, if anybody gets that. So it's always awkward when you travel abroad and you naturally try to kiss a guy that's offering you a handshake. Countries where you do two kisses - one for each cheek - also weird me out. Seems like a bit too much. One kiss is good enough.
Ahahahaa! I'm from one of those countires and for us it's weird to kiss on one cheek only. I remember going to Brazil once on a business trip and I got to know the people there quite well so the second time I went, we were on more that just strictly business hand shake basis. You approach the other person and it's like smooch smo... wait wha? Just one? .. Ok... Ackward... Cause you stop half way through the second one fairly confused and looking ridiculos.

In my region, we also salute with "Ciao" as both "Hello" and "Goodbye". This also confuses others because most people use it as just for "Goodbye".
 

Kerethos

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Assume that anyone you don't know hates you and will murder you and take your boots if you as much as try to interact with them. Greeting a random stranger makes you strange, and dangerous - probably working with the bears to conquer us.

The only exception is in case you lock eyes for a bit and need a greeting to break the awkwardness of prolonged staring, and you're not ready to fight. And don't smile at strangers either. Showing your teeth or making faces means the predators are close and we have to get ready to fight or use you as a human shield or distraction depending on the number of predators and available escape routes.

We stand in line when there's a queue to something, and you will respect the line and keep it straight and orderly or they'll never find the body - you've been warned. There's a lot of wilderness here to hide bodies in. You try to cut ahead, and we will cut a head - off you. Don't even think about it. We got ways to make you disappear. RESPECT. THE. LINE.

Also Swedish people don't date, we just hang out together. Sometimes people do so for a prolonged period of time and then it's a relationship at some arbitrary point of mutual agreement.

All this is apparently odd to foreigners, or so I'm told.
Okay, in all seriousness though what I said above is actually mostly true.

We don't talk to strangers or smile at strangers, unless there's been awkward eye contact.

We respect the line and keep it orderly, cutting ahead is a big social no-no. In fact if you think you've kind of cut ahead the best thing is to let the person you might have cut off pass. Or just to save the person buying 1 pack of milk some time when you've got like 10 things in the cart. We take standing in line fairly serious, and that usually means doing so is nice and orderly. Breaking the unwritten rules of standing in line could get you punched in the face or kicked out, it could even get you arrested (probably because of the fight you caused).

It's also true that we generally don't date; we "Fika" or well "Fikar" would be the correct term.

The part about how relationships starts is actually 100% accurate. You hang out until such a time it's agreed upon that you are now officially in a relationship. Disagreements or confusion about when you've become a couple is not uncommon, even more so for other people - like friends or family of the supposed couple. Just ask and you might get a reply that makes sense to you - no guarantees though.

Essentially eat cookies and other baked goods and drink coffee or whatever you'd like (mostly while talking), only unlike a date it's fine to do in groups or just as friends. I can totally "fika" with my sisters, my mom, my grandmother or a guy friend and it's social and nice, or I can fika with someone I'm romantically interested in and it's still "fika" but also kind of a date. I can even fika by myself, and there needs to be at least two fika breaks in the workday - nuances (with cookies, or pie or other great things you want in your life).

Swedish society would probably collapse without fika to make everyone get along keep us focused on the threats posed by large wildlife, strangers and cold weather. <- This sentence is wild speculation with little basis in fact added because it amuses me to make fun of my country's quirks, in case that wasn't already abundantly clear.
 

Chessrook44

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While not exactly "social", around here (Long Island/NYC) we generally take the "Don't Walk" signs at crosswalks as a suggestion rather than a rule. If you can get across the street before a car is going to reach you, you cross, and not necessarily at the crosswalk half the time. I learned this when I went to California with my folks, we crossed, and a car over a full block away started honking at us.

Hey, if you can get across at a reasonable walking pace without getting run over, why wait?
 

Relish in Chaos

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I dunno if it?s unique to the British, but whenever someone bumps into me, even if it?s their fault, I instinctively mutter ?Sorry? a couple times and slink off with my head down.

Same goes for when I refer to people older than me with ?Sir? or ?Miss?. Like, eve n in letters with people that say they?re fine with me using their first names, I just find it too weird.

I do conform to British stereotypes about queuing. Even when I?m standing in line for the bus and someone?s slightly out-of-line, I?m just thinking, ?What are you doing? You?re not making it entirely clear whether or not you?re in the line, and I don?t want anyone to push in, or people to think I?m pushing in because you can?t keep an orderly file!?
 

DementedSheep

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I live in NZ. It's not soda or pop, it's fizzy drink goddamn it!
Thong also means backless underwear here, the shoes are called jandels. Fanny = women's genitalia so the name fanny pack gives the wrong impression. Someone once said to me "park your fanny over here" and I'm looking at them thinking they were being rude until l realised they meant ass.

I have had some awkward moments with people from the US because they hug or kiss as a greeting and that's just so strange for me. Arghhh get our of my personal space! I don't know whether you'd consider that a US quirk or if it's a quirk for us not to do that.

VanQ said:
Warning: This post has naughty words in it. If you're easily offended, avert your gaze, lest your sensitive virgin mind be sullied.

Here in Australia, the words "**** and mate" actually mean the opposite of everywhere else.

You see, here in Australia we call our mates **** and we call anyone we think is a **** mate.

Examples:
"Oi, mate!" means you've pissed me off.
"Oi, ****!" is a standard greeting.
We have that in some places here to. If someone says "He's mean ****, ay?" it means "I believe he is a fine gentleman, do you agree?"