We cared about politeness then. We disdained rudeness. Perhaps it was because we had to deal with each other face to face and not go through the impersonality of some user name or avatar. When we chatted, we actually heard the voice we were speaking to and discerned by its reaction when we had offended or pleased. Polite society normally chose not to offend. That’s why it was polite. Yet now, in the guise of speed and expediency and professionalism and busyness, courtesy is jettisoned with nary a qualm.
As I write this, we in the Philippines wait tensely for Cyclone Hagupit (local name Ruby) to make landfall. Ironically, “Hagupit” is a Filipino term meaning “lash,” one of the five words we contributed to the international cyclone name database. Everyone’s on their toes. The national weather bureau has been keeping us updated since Hagupit