We all expect common courtesy, but if the President of France can't get it, what hope have those of us running with the common herd?
I subscribe to an online chess site that allows you to play multiple games against people all over the world at any time of the day or night. When you open a board and start playing, there is a dialogue box on the page that enables you to chat to your opponent.
It's not there so you can indulge in lengthy conversations, but is more a device so you can say g'day or congratulations. In other words it is a courtesy tool.
You would not believe the number of people who will engage you in a game of chess but will not respond to a simple pleasantry.
What I have discovered is that I play differently against the people who remain steadfastly, rudely silent after I have said hello and wished them well at the start of the game.
I am more aggressive, mean-spirited (there is no point taking that pawn, but I am going to anyway just to rub it in) and satisfied if I win, or deeply disappointed if I lose. I want to reach through the computer and upend the board in their face, if there was one.
Those people infuriate me, because it's a question of manners.
From Your move. It's manners, mate.
By the way, here's the leaked footage (in French) of President Nicolas Sarkozy getting all upset at a sound technician.