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  1. #1
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    Default [AmE] is it rude to say "cheer up"?

    Hello.
    I kind of heard that we shouldn't say "cheer up" to others, or strangers.
    I didn't exactly remember what I heard, but I think they recommend saying "Keep your chin up", instead of "cheer up".

    Did I hear it totally wrong? or does "cheer up" have a kind of bad connotation - something like it's nothing to fuss over, so just move on and cheer up?
    plus, I heard that from some american guys.

    Thank you.

    p.s: to boot, do you pronounce "situation" like "situ-way-shen"? or "situ-ei-shen"?
    or, infatuation : "infatu-ei-shen"? or "infatu-way-shen"?

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: [AmE] is it rude to say "cheer up"?

    The words "cheer up" themselves aren't offensive but the idea of a stranger telling me how to feel is.

    Someone telling me to keep my chin up is someone encouraging me. Someone telling me to "cheer up" is telling me I have no right to feel sad. That's how I would interpret it. (Granted, I am a bit sensitive to this. I really get annoyed when people tell me how I should feel.)

    I say si-chew-ay-shun and in-fa-chew-ay-shun.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    e2e4 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: [AmE] is it rude to say "cheer up"?

    I've got you. You must have meant /ˌsɪt.juˈeɪ.ʃən/, /ɪnˌfæt.juˈeɪ.ʃən/ haven't you?

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    Default Re: [AmE] is it rude to say "cheer up"?

    Even when I was taking linguistics classes, I was never any good at using those symbols.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    e2e4 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: [AmE] is it rude to say "cheer up"?

    Anyway, your way's beautiful.

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    Default Re: [AmE] is it rude to say "cheer up"?

    Thanks.

    Then, is it okay for a stranger to say "keep your chin up"?

  7. #7
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: [AmE] is it rude to say "cheer up"?

    Again, I'm a bit hypersensitive about this, so it would depend a great deal on the situation.

    If I fell down, a stranger can help me up and I'd be grateful.

    If I was running for a bus, and missed it, and appeared upset, and a stranger said "Cheer up -- another bus will be here in 12 minutes." I'd be glad for the information and reassurance.

    If someone witnessed my husband being totally rude to me in public and then thought it was somehow appropriate to encourage me to keep my chin up, I'd be outraged that he inserted himself into what should have been a private situation.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  8. #8
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: [AmE] is it rude to say "cheer up"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Again, I'm a bit hypersensitive about this, so it would depend a great deal on the situation.
    ...
    It's even worse when (as some people in the UK do) the cheerer-upper adds '... - it might never happen.'

    b

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: [AmE] is it rude to say "cheer up"?

    Quote Originally Posted by karina1 View Post
    Thanks.

    Then, is it okay for a stranger to say "keep your chin up"?
    I can't see any difference between saying this and saying cheer up in terms of politeness- giving advice like this to strangers is intrusive in most situations.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: [AmE] is it rude to say "cheer up"?

    -I am not a teacher-

    "Cheer up", as with almost everything, can be rude if said, meant or received as an unkind, flipant, insensitive or out of context comment. It depends on the EQ of those involved!
    Last edited by holton; 22-Sep-2010 at 13:30. Reason: typos!

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