Published online by Cambridge University Press: 27 March 2020
The final chapter of this book presents the analyses and case studies of the previous chapters in a more coherent narrative that focuses on long-term developments rather than the individual details at specific points in the history of English. It draws together the various influences that were responsible for some of the changes, and discusses the question of the point in history when a concern for good breeding and moral behaviour turned into a concern for superficial manners and outward appearance. Today, politeness often has a bad press because it is seen as insincere and hypocritical. But not all commentators have a negative view of present-day politeness: it can be seen as a sincere concern for rapport with the addressee.