Dear Mary Pat,
My granddaughter always says “What?” when she doesn’t understand what I’m saying. In my day, we said, “Pardon me?” or even, “Excuse me?” When she says “What?” it is like nails on a chalkboard. I am trying to teach her good manners and my daughter just rolls her eyes and says that I am being too picky. I don’t like eye rolling either, but that’s another topic. Am I being too much of a fuddy-duddy?
Dear Graceful Grandma,
I think you are right. Your granddaughter has an opportunity to learn something valuable from you and she should pay attention to what you are saying. Your daughter could also benefit from listening to you as well. When someone says, “What?” to me, I also find it to be a little on the rude side. If it is paired with, “What did you say please?” that is acceptable. We can be casual about some things, however, we should never become so casual that we don’t speak respectfully to our elders and our peers.