On Saying Please Essay

On Saying Please


Alpha of the Plough is the pen name of Alfred George Gardiner, an English journalist, biographer and essayist. He is a world famous personality in literature.

Good manners are valuable in life. Bad manners are not a legal offence. Small words of courtesy make the wheel of life greasy. While bad manners make the life repulsive and difficult to live on. Bad manners are not a legal offence, law does not permit us to hit back if we are the victim of bad manners. Bad as well as good manners create a chain of reactions.

The lift man while observing the bad manners also retaliated the same. He threw the man out of the lift because he said only top not as ‘Top Please’.  Discourtesy should never be responded with discourtesy. Otherwise the life would become difficult to live on.

If a burglar breaks into ones’ house, the law compels the house owner to knock him down. If one is assaulted physically, one can retaliate accordingly. But what is of misconduct and bad manners. In the both cases the pain is equal but law does not allow us to box the ears of the persons who bears bad manners. Because bad manners are not put in the category of legal offence.

Bad as well as good manners are infectious. They create a chain of reactions. Once the writer had a chance to travel in a bus. Unfortunately he was with zero money in his pocket. He thought that the conductor might throw him out off the bus. The conductor gave him the ticket and requested the author to pay the money later on. All the way long, the conductor amused the passengers with his jolly mood and words of courtesy.

 That was the reason the people waited for his bus to board on.

One day sitting on the top of the bus the author was reading a book. Suddenly his sensitive part of the toe was trampled on rather heavily. The writer looked up, it was his friend conductor who was already humbled with his sense of sorry. Although the author was hurt badly but good behavior of man healed his pain.

Important questions

1.       “If bad manners are infectious, so also are good manners.” Elaborate.

2.       What is the importance of saying, ‘Please’?


On Saying Please

2277 WordsFeb 2nd, 201310 Pages

A. G. Gardiner - On Saying Please
Alfred George Gardiner (1865–1946), a British journalist and author, is highly regarded in the literary arena. From 1915 he contributed to The Star under the pseudonym (pen name) Alpha of the Plough. The story behind the choosing of the name is interesting. At the time, The Star had several anonymous essayists whose pseudonyms were the names of stars. Invited to choose the name of a star as a pseudonym he chose the name of the brightest (alpha) star in the constellation ‘the Plough’. His essays are uniformly elegant, graceful and humorous. His uniqueness lay in his ability to teach the basic truths of life in an easy and amusing manner. The Pillars of Society, Pebbles on the Shore, Many Furrows and Leaves…show more content…

But all the same the law cannot become the guardian of our private manners. No Decalogue could cover the vast area of offences and no court could administer a law which governed our social civilities, our speech, the tilt of our eyebrows and all our moods and manners. But though we are bound to endorse the verdict against the lift-man most people will have a certain sympathy with him. While it is true that there is no law that compels us to say ‘Please’, there is a social practice much older and much more sacred than any law which enjoins us to be civil. And the first requirement of civility is that we should acknowledge a service. ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ are the small change with which we pay our way as social beings.

They are the little courtesies by which we keep the machine of life oiled and running sweetly. They put our intercourse upon the basis of a friendly co operation an easy give and take, instead of on the basis of superiors dictating to inferiors. It is a very vulgar mind that would wish to command where he can have the service for asking, and have it with willingness and good feeling instead of resentment.

I should like to 'feature' in this connection my friend, the polite conductor. By this discriminating title, I do not intend to suggest a rebuke to conductors generally. On the contrary, I am disposed to think that

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