I like that you distill what you find antagonizing (“imbecility”) to issues of “offense” and who has the right to give it, take it. Anglo Quakers thought speaking plainly and treating everyone with equal respect was what Friendship meant, and thereby offended nobility, used to obsequiousness as a birthright. However, over time, Quaker ways became more fashionable and indeed were accepted as “good business sense” (equal treatment speeds transactions among anonymous strangers, obviating the need to determine relative rank or class). I’d say it cuts both ways though: “offensive today, normal tomorrow” sure, but “normal today, offensive tomorrow” is just as real a phenomenon. English speakers (including ethnic Anglos) have a hard time keeping up sometimes, but don’t we all. Best we keep learning from one another.

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