- On November 9, 2021
I recently walked through a school district where I came across a street sign asking me to kindly turn off my phone.
Kindly turn off my phone? Does that mean I should refrain from beating it with a stick?
People may think kindly is extra polite—but it’s not. It makes much more sense to say simply, Please turn off your phones.
I suppose we think that by asking someone to kindly do something we sound less bossy, but this roundabout, fussy expression is unnecessary. And when you think about it, one of the first things we teach children is to say please and thank you. So, it stands to reason that this early lesson in courtesy still applies.