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To think saying "What?" is rude?

(115 Posts)
dollydoops Tue 26-Jul-11 11:54:15

Typical conversation between me and DP when she is watching tv or on computer:
me: DP?
DP: (silence)
me: DP?
DP: (silence)
me: DP?
DP: (annoyed tone) WHAT?
Me: why are you saying what? I don't like it when you say that Dp, can't you answer me nicely?
DP: you keep calling me! It's annoying!
Me: oh, never mind (by now feeling sad, angry and not wanting to say whatever it was any more)
is this normal? I find it very rude and disrespectful to say 'what'- is it just me?

Birdsgottafly Tue 26-Jul-11 11:57:27

Why are you bothering her when she is watching TV or on the computer?

Go and find some DIY to do grin

My DP does the same and it drives me mad, just ask the bloody question.

SenoritaViva Tue 26-Jul-11 11:58:13

I think it's the situation and tone rather than what he's saying. Yes, if he only uses what to be rude. That said, are you interrupting her when she's busy for something important? Sounds like she's annoyed, especially if you don't follow through with what you were going to say, which confirms to her that you didn't have anything important to say IYSWIM.

I use what when I can't here, in a nice tone. I don't think that's rude, it's what I was taught to say growing up.

MinnieBar Tue 26-Jul-11 11:58:17

YABU. Posh people don't say 'pardon'. Don't you read Jilly Cooper?

<waits for back-up from SarahStratton>

biddysmama Tue 26-Jul-11 11:59:20

ignoring you is pretty rude aswell

dh says "who?" when he hasnt heard what you said, that annoys me so now i reply with "no one"

goes like this

me- "what times dinner this week"
him "who?"
me "no one" grin

SenoritaViva Tue 26-Jul-11 12:00:00

Minnie you can have back up from me, I am 'posh'. My parents would recoil if I said pardon which I regularly did as a teenager to wind them up - ah the humour of the well to do!

schomberg Tue 26-Jul-11 12:00:01

YABslightlyU. It really gets under my skin when people say my name, pause to wait for a response, then ask a question. Just say what you want to say. It's not nice to snap but I can sympathise with your DP.

eurochick Tue 26-Jul-11 12:01:21

I don't think it's that rude. And to be frank you do sound quite annoying....

fanjobanjowanjo Tue 26-Jul-11 12:03:03

It is rude and ignorant.

Sarsaparilllla Tue 26-Jul-11 12:04:58

Just ask the question instead, although saying that, I do that, then sit there waiting for an answer, and then have to say 'hello??????' to get any response sometimes before he decides to answer me

dollydoops Tue 26-Jul-11 12:05:03

Thanks for the responses so far. Schomberg I have tried the other way you suggest and the conversation then goes like this:
me: DP, what time are we going out later?
DP: (silence)
me: DP, what time are we going out later?
DP: (silence)
me: DP?

fanjobanjowanjo Tue 26-Jul-11 12:07:45

I was taught that it's more polite to say pardon if you didn't hear what was said.

This sounds like dp is busy with something, and ignoring the op on purpose. It would be very easy for the dp just to say "hang on a sec until I've done this" instead of being ignorant and then shouting "what?" at the op. It doesn't take a sec to say you are busy.

PedigreeChump Tue 26-Jul-11 12:08:49


I read on MN that the very upper end of society says "what?" and if you say anyting else you are common as muck. I can't get my head around it, "what?" is terribly rude to my ears.

And I ALWAYS say someone's name and then wait for a response. Always.

Spuddybean Tue 26-Jul-11 12:09:27

If i don't hear something i say 'sorry?' what does that make me?

My DP purposely ignores me so he can deny hearing it. He knows once he has acknowledged me we have a verbal agreement!

Me 'dp will you take the bin out while i do dinner'
him '....'
Me 'please dp take the bin out'
him '...'
Me 'dp why are you ignoring me'
Me 'well answer then please...'

ShowOfHands Tue 26-Jul-11 12:10:30

Well the capitals suggest shouting which is rude. But then interrupting somebody when they're busy is also rude.

Nothing wrong with 'what' btw. Only commoners say pardon.

Me? I say 'eh?'

ShowOfHands Tue 26-Jul-11 12:11:13

What does that make you Spuddy? Unnecessarily apologetic and weak.

What? is fine.

porpoisefull Tue 26-Jul-11 12:15:34

I don't think it's the 'What?' that's the problem, it's deliberately ignoring you, which IMO is very rude. Some time when she's not engrossed in something else, ask her why she does that and tell her how it makes you feel - that will probably be more constructive than a lot of strangers trying to analyse your interactions!

Spuddybean Tue 26-Jul-11 12:16:13

oh dear, haha.

i don't say it like i'm actually sorry tho, more like a question 'sorry, i missed that?' 'sorry lovely, what did you just say?'

dollydoops Tue 26-Jul-11 12:16:34

Hmmmm. It isn't the sort of what? With a rising tone that you would use if you didn't hear. It's more like WHAT! in an annoyed loud tone which gets my back up and makes me feel as though DP doesn't want me to be there or talk to her at all.

fanjobanjowanjo Tue 26-Jul-11 12:18:09

Nothing wrong with 'what' btw. Only commoners say pardon.


Nancy66 Tue 26-Jul-11 12:18:19

I say 'what' - 'pardon' makes my skin crawl.....deliberately ignoring you is fucking twatish though. Throwing things at him might get his attention.

DoMeDon Tue 26-Jul-11 12:19:44

I imagine she doesn't want to talk to you when engrossed in TV/net. Think it depends why you want to talk to her at those times?

DH often starts talking as soon as i try to do something (TV/text/MN) - infuriates me. It is like an attention seeking child.

HowlingBitch Tue 26-Jul-11 12:22:04

Ohh "Supddy" I have one of those <grits teeth>

HowlingBitch Tue 26-Jul-11 12:22:29

Spuddy * Doh

limitedperiodonly Tue 26-Jul-11 12:43:20

DH asks permission to ask questions. Drives me mad but his mother taught him it was polite. She says pardon, too.

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