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to say "pardon?"

(295 Posts)
matildamatilda Wed 29-Jan-14 19:24:55

So I'm American and in the US it's not rude to say "What?" when someone calls you or when you didn't hear something.

It's informal, but not at all rude. Especially if you say it in a pleasant tone. So kids wouldn't be told off for answering "what?" the way they are here. It's just "what" as in "what did you say?"

Since I've lived here I've been training myself to say "Pardon?" but I just can't get the hang of it. It sounds kind of... supercilious maybe? Huffy? Am I just not pulling it off?

I usually end up saying, "Here I am, " or "Sorry did you say something?"

Do you say "pardon"?

drbartlet Wed 29-Jan-14 19:28:10

"what?" is perfectly acceptable in the uk as far as i'm concerned. or "sorry?" as in "i'm sorry i didn't hear what you said"
i'm a snob and could never say "pardon?"

drbartlet Wed 29-Jan-14 19:28:34

forgot to say that i'm english.

StrawberryCheese Wed 29-Jan-14 19:29:47

I say 'pardon' because it was drilled in to me as a child that 'what' was a very rude thing to say. But I find myself saying 'sorry' too, I think because that's what most people around me will say if they haven't heard something.

AntsMarching Wed 29-Jan-14 19:31:48

matilda. I'm American but have lived in the UK for eight years. I still say what and teach my children to say "what, mummy" because I think "pardon" sounds like I'm trying to be posh and I feel like a wanker using it.

Dawndonnaagain Wed 29-Jan-14 19:32:05

If you're not asking for forgiveness, you say What? Pardon is wrong, you're asking what somebody has said.

shushpenfold Wed 29-Jan-14 19:33:18

Most definitely 'pardon' here. 'What' gets a glare and a correction (for my else!!)

matildamatilda Wed 29-Jan-14 19:33:45

Yeah, that's why I think I sound supercilious when I say it, like, "I beg your pardon, are you addressing me?"

QOD Wed 29-Jan-14 19:34:02

We often say "sorry?" But yes, "what" is considered quaite rude

Also, "I want" is a perfectly acceptable statement in America speak , as in "I want candy" but we force our children to say "please can I have" ... We are a weird bunch!

MoominIsGoingToBeAMumWaitWHAT Wed 29-Jan-14 19:35:26

It was drilled into me to say "pardon", but lately my manners have deserted me and I just say "hmm?" or "huh?" if I didn't catch something.

Lottiedoubtie Wed 29-Jan-14 19:35:36

What or sorry here too (SE England).

Dawndonnaagain Wed 29-Jan-14 19:35:36

What isn't rude. I don't understand this. Pardon is the wrong word. Why would you correct somebody who uses the correct word?

KittensoftPuppydog Wed 29-Jan-14 19:35:39

Pardon is just awful. I am not snobby about most things but pardon makes me wince. It's like someone is trying to sound posh.

matildamatilda Wed 29-Jan-14 19:36:28

Hm, I don't remember much "I want..."

And if I said "Can I have..." my dad would have answered "I suppose you could but I don't know if you may..." Because being a nerd was his job.

ProfondoRosso Wed 29-Jan-14 19:37:13

I'm Scottish and I say 'sorry?'

LaurieFairyCake Wed 29-Jan-14 19:38:02

It's 'what' if you're UC

It's 'pardon' if you're middle class nouveau riche wink

ToffeeWhirl Wed 29-Jan-14 19:38:29

Pardon is not posh. Quite the opposite. You can say, "What did you say?" or you can say, "Sorry?" The latter is an abbreviated way of saying, "I'm sorry, what did you say?" which you can also say if you have the energy grin.

SuckItAndSee Wed 29-Jan-14 19:38:30

I say "what?"
not rude in the slightest.

SwedishEdith Wed 29-Jan-14 19:38:49

I'm fairly sure I was taught "What?" is rude - too abrubt. But I don't think I say "pardon"; pretty sure I say "sorry" usually.

I love, however, that Ants has used "wanker" grin

Imsosorryalan Wed 29-Jan-14 19:39:09

Ok, we usually say sorry? But have been known to say pardon. Why is it wrong?

Oakmaiden Wed 29-Jan-14 19:41:37

Dawndonna - Pardon isn't the wrong word, though? You are asking for forgiveness - if you have misheard them, when you say "Pardon" it is an abbreviation for "I am sorry, would you mind repeating that for me".

matildamatilda Wed 29-Jan-14 19:42:51

Thank you, I knew there was a thread to be pulled here. I see kids getting corrected all the time here, being told to say "pardon?" But very rarely do I hear adults saying it!

Funny, just writing that makes me remember that saying "kids" was frowned upon when I was in school, especially from the older teachers. "Are we talking about goats? And don't say okay, say 'yes ma'am!'"

mymatemax Wed 29-Jan-14 19:45:04

Its Pardon here & my children are drilled with the same mantra as I was.
"Don't say what it's PARDON"
or they are ignored completely until they remember to say it themselves.

I do often say "sorry" or "sorry I didn't catch that"

But "what" I would think very rude

& I am the least posh person I know, born & bred in a very working class area of east London, rough as but with manners smile

Dawndonnaagain Wed 29-Jan-14 19:46:05

It is the wrong word, you're not asking for forgiveness, you are asking for something to be repeated.
It's also one of those horrid horrid words that people use because they think it's posh. 'tain't.
<old battleaxe emoticon here>

dawntigga Wed 29-Jan-14 19:48:11

Pardon is non u, sorry or what did you say are the proper responses to not being able to hear somebody. Pardon is, however, commonly accepted as being a suitable response.

PardonSetsMyTeethOnEdgeBecauseI'mASnobTiggaxx grin

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