Politeness theory  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Politeness theory is the theory that accounts for the redressing of the affronts to face posed by face-threatening acts to addressees. First formulated in 1987 by Penelope Brown and Stephen Levinson, politeness theory has since expanded academia’s perception of politeness. Politeness is the expression of the speakers’ intention to mitigate face threats carried by certain face threatening acts toward another (Mills, 2003, p. 6). Another definition is "a battery of social skills whose goal is to ensure everyone feels affirmed in a social interaction". Being polite therefore consists of attempting to save face for another.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Politeness theory" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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