Etiquette School is in session! > "So kind of you to take an interest."


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I find the wording "So kind of you to take an interest" problematic. For one thing it doesn't just trip off my tongue. It seems stilted and overly formal and sooo not like me. Plus, I have the feeling that it will seem stilted and snobbish to most everyone I know, and I suspect it would become something else for them to comment on and be rude about. Well they would if they even understood what I was getting at. :P I get around it by using "Thanks for your concern" but that's not quite the same is it? It does work for me though.

Anyway, my post is prompted by a comment by another poster which suggests that the phrase is mocked by the rude people it's used on and my first thought was "I knew it! That's what will happen if I use it too!"

Does anyone have any thoughts on or experiences with "So kind...etc"?

The phrase itself is designed to be a conversation ender-a nuclear option-and should only be used for that purpose. It is stilted and overly formal, and being that it exists to tell people that [whatever] is none of their bees-wax, even to shame them a little, I usually think it is unnecessarily snarky and amounts to retaliatory rudeness.

Like you, I've found that "Thanks for your concern" accomplishes the same without making me feel like some overly-corseted Victorian lady who just slapped someone with her glove. What I've found works even better is "Thanks, but this doesn't concern you."

"Thanks a lot" or "Thanks for your concern" is more like my normal vocabulary and get the message across.

I would never say "So kind of you to take an interest" because it would be completely unnatural for me.

Somewhere or other I read that the complete phrase, from Miss Manners, is along the lines of......

"How kind of you to take an interest *in my private business.*"

I should think that would stop just about everyone, except perhaps the terminally clueless.

I haven't had an occasion to use this since I learned it on ehell.  I can think of some instances in the past when it would have come in handy, and been deserved.  It is a very strong statement, and can probably be reserved for the pesky people who won't give up.

I think that most people who ask unwanted questions or make personal comments aren't really thinking very carefully.  Those people would probably stop if told politely something like, "I just can't discuss this," followed by bean dip.

I find "that's nice" or a simple "thanks for that." works well.     Said in a firm tone that clearly implies that it is in fact *not* nice, but you're not going to say so, and succinct enough to indicate a change of subject is now required.   It's hard to convey the exact tone I mean, but let's just say it's perfectly polite and not at all sarcastic/hostile, while still fitting in with the way people here actually talk. 

If I were to use the phrase beginning with "How kind of you..." I would be mocked from here to the other end of the earth.  It would certainly distract them from the topic at hand, but down another rude route unfortunately.  Most people around here do not have an extensive enough vocabulary for that type of phrasing.  There are a few people I could use "how kind of you to take an interest" on, but in most circumstances I'd end up looking ridiculous.


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