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15th-Apr-2011 03:49 pm
I'm sort of in a sick-haze, so my apologies if there's something utterly wrong with these questions. I think it's the sick-haze that has also inspired these absurd questions. ; )

Poll #1730478 Plaque and Shoes

Are contractions appropriate on formally engraved items, such as a plaque?

Don't know, don't care

Do you take off your shoes upon entering your residence?


Do you take off your shoes upon entering someone else's residence?

Depends on the house
Depends on the person who lives there
Only if specifically asked to do so
Yes, and socks, too
15th-Apr-2011 08:54 pm (UTC)
I actually don't know, but DO care, but... don't know. So I couldn't answer it any better than that. XD
15th-Apr-2011 08:59 pm (UTC)
Are you sure you care? I mean, really, on the care barometer, are you at 51% or more engaged in the plaque engravement protocol? Also, apparently, engravement is not a word. But I'm sticking to it. :)
15th-Apr-2011 09:05 pm (UTC)
I answered "don't know, don't care" to the first one, but what I really mean is, "why not?"
15th-Apr-2011 09:08 pm (UTC)
I love when an email comes in from you, because I always see the OH BOY! part and then get really excited when it's followed with Octorok, not that I have any clue what that means. :)

We're having a fancy clock engraved (depending on how fancy clocks from Things Remembered are) for our boss, who is leaving his position. He is a high-ranking guy, and he's pretty keen on his grammar as well. Now, of course contractions are quite grammatical, but I generally keep them out of business documents. My coworker says that the plaque should be engraved the way we speak and that it sounds artificial to break up the contraction. We want the plaque to say, "It's been a great time" (get it????) or "We've had a great time" (they can't decide which), but contractions or no contractions? That's where I come in.

/long story over and out
16th-Apr-2011 02:28 am (UTC)
I think in the case of a personal gift that a contraction is perfectly acceptable. "We have had a good time" does sound awkward... lol

If it were a formally issued plaque, say, by the university for years of service, it would be less appropriate.
16th-Apr-2011 03:18 am (UTC)
This, totally-totally this.

oduschone, we are etiquette twins. :-)
16th-Apr-2011 01:15 pm (UTC)
Ah, I do see what you mean there.

Then again, it's kind of fun to put an alternate preference in there and watch their heads spin. :P
16th-Apr-2011 05:15 am (UTC) - Icon only related to the first paragraph, and is not directed to you =)
LOL... it's just a reference to the scene at 0:30 in this video of the intro cutscene from The Legend of Zelda: Wand of Gamelon (from the infamous Philips CD-i Zelda games). XD An Octorok in the Zelda universe is pretty much just an octopus that spits out rocks (hence the name).

And in those examples, I'd go with the contractions. "It has been a great time" or "We have had a great time" just sound stilted and awkward. Now, of course, if your boss is really anal retentive about having no contractions in writing, then you might want to err on the side of caution, but otherwise, I think it sounds better with the contractions. Your other option is to come up with a similar phrase that can avoid the use of contractions altogether. Like, I don't know... "Thank you for the great time" or something like that.

If your boss is even the least bit reasonable, I'm sure he would appreciate it, with or without the use of contractions. <3 This IS a gift to him, after all.

Edited at 2011-04-16 05:16 am (UTC)
16th-Apr-2011 01:11 pm (UTC) - Re: Icon only related to the first paragraph, and is not directed to you =)
I think you're dead on -- he is not going to care if there is a lacking comma (his favorite) because it's our thought that counts. Then again, it would be pretty horrible if his secretaries made a typo on his present. :)

Karen would say "thank you" sounds too formal and we should say "thanks." We haven't seen the end of the phrasing, at any rate. They will come up with 200 different phrases before settling.

Oh man, I LOVED Zelda, but I definitely never saw any octoroks. Thank you for the explanation. I kind of assumed it was some anime/manga thing that I knew nothing about. :)
15th-Apr-2011 09:38 pm (UTC)
Re: shoes, it's a cultural thing. In Finland everyone takes off their shoes when entering a private residence and we wouldn't dream of wearing shoes inside our own homes. Just the thought makes me wince - why would you want to be wearing shoes all the time, and why would you want to dirty your floors?
16th-Apr-2011 03:19 am (UTC)
high-five! I hate wearing shoes. I take them off as fast as I can. And I avoid wearing them at my office, too. :-P But that is definitely not a cultural thing in the US.
16th-Apr-2011 03:43 am (UTC)
we are also, apparently, shoe-taking-off twins. I too pad around my office in my bare feet (when there are no clients, of course!) ;)

*actually, that should be non-shod feet.

Edited at 2011-04-16 03:47 am (UTC)
16th-Apr-2011 03:49 am (UTC)
Yeah, socks usually stay on if I'm wearing them. And if I'm wearing sandals the compulsion to take them off is not as strong.
16th-Apr-2011 03:52 am (UTC)
Due to the season of my work, it's a rarity that I would wear sandals... but if I have a shift run long, you can bet dollars to doughnuts that my heels are laying under my desk - with or without me at it!
16th-Apr-2011 05:19 am (UTC)
Same here. And I hate it when people go into my apartment wearing shoes, especially if it's been raining outside. >.< I remember not too long ago, when the maintenance men had to come in to fix the heating, they tracked in more dirt and mud on the floor and the carpet than I had seen on it for over a year. =P Just nasty.

As for the office, I work at a site that deals with biochemical hazards, so I'm not allowed to go barefoot there. So it's not just a cultural thing in some cases; it's a requirement depending on where you work.
16th-Apr-2011 01:13 pm (UTC)
Oh, maintenance people or anyone coming into your home should at least ask, I think! That would annoy me.
15th-Apr-2011 11:16 pm (UTC)
I don't know that my answer to the first question is about how OK that particular usage is but more a reflection of my general dislike at being told that contractions are insufficiently formal.
16th-Apr-2011 01:14 pm (UTC)
Maybe they are very sufficiently formal. I really don't know. It's just my perception.

Looking at what I just wrote, I seem to have no problem with contractions in general. I guess I just thought perhaps on something very formal, one might avoid them. But even saying that sounds very old school somehow.
16th-Apr-2011 03:21 am (UTC)
I hate wearing shoes and take them off in all socially acceptable situations. Mike's parents have wood floors that are splintery in some places, so they always want me to wear my shoes, but I am a rebel, so I still go without. :-P

As a side note, Mike wears "house shoes" because he loves wearing shoes so much. He takes off his shoes when he gets home and... puts on different shoes that he only wears at home. Kinda like some people wear slippers or whatever, but they are old dress shoes that are super-super broken in.
16th-Apr-2011 03:45 am (UTC)
hahahahahahahahahaha omg I've never met anyone else who does that (the 'house shoe' thing). My dad has been wearing the same shoes around the house for 20 years, but never ever ever out of the house! I will have to tell him that he's not the only complete weirdo in the world... hahahahaha!
16th-Apr-2011 03:49 am (UTC)
Weirdos unite! lol. Most of Mike's family has house shoes actually (due to the splinters thing).
16th-Apr-2011 01:19 pm (UTC)
Z has house shoes, too. Not slippers either, but separate shoes for the house. :)

I just don't feel cozy in the house when I'm wearing shoes, even though I grew up in a shoe-around-the-house wearing family. My parents still wear shoes around the house. They switch shoes when they get home, I think. I don't know. I'm going to have to question them on this. Their floor is always spotless, even with two cats.
16th-Apr-2011 05:31 am (UTC)
I *hate* taking off my shoes and never walk around my own home without shoes. I feel pretty strongly about the shoe thing, but I won't make a fuss if it's indicated that guests should take off their shoes, but secretly I won't like it. And secretly I think it's extremely rude to expect people to walk around in their socks. I also wear special supports in my shoes for my feet and back, and I just don't like being without them. I also don't like to wear my socks out. And I don't like walking on icky floors (even if they look clean) without my shoes.

I think generally one shouldn't use contractions in formal writing or on formal invitations and things like that, but there are always exceptions. I think it would depend what the plaque was for and who was giving it to whom.
16th-Apr-2011 01:23 pm (UTC)
Every time I unexpectedly go to someone's house, I wonder if it's going to be proper protocol to remove my shoes, and then I think about if my socks have holes in them or not.

We generally don't discourage people from keeping their shoes on when they enter our house, but if it is muddy out or something and so the shoes are really dirty, it seems like common courtesy to remove the shoes.
19th-Apr-2011 09:55 am (UTC)
Yes, it would be different if one's shoes were completely covered in mud or something like that.

My kids and husband always take off their shoes and leave them by the door. It's not a rule, but all three prefer to be without shoes. Because of this, people will walk into our house, see the shoes, and think they need to take their shoes off. I always say they can keep them on, but most remove them anyway. I actually hate having the shoes by the door, but can't seem to get them to put them in the closet instead.

But yeah, if my shoes were caked with mud, I'd take them off even if nobody asked me. If at home, I'd take them off and put on another pair or at least some slippers or something.

I've found my socks last a lot longer because I don't walk around without shoes.
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