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
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.