In order to be a popular guest, and to make a good impression on his British hosts, the foreign visitor needs to learn how to apologise. In the street. On the bus. At the hairdressers. Going out and coming in. "Sorry" is one of the most important words in the vocabulary of any true Brit. And it's a word which should be always on the lips of any foreigner. "Sorry" prepares a path, excuses faults, calms nerves and wipes the state clean so that we can all be jolly together and not get upset. Together with "Sorry", the words "Please" and "Thank you " are perhaps the most useful in any foreign visitor's lexicon. "Please", belongs to a family of words that includes pleasant, pleasure and pleasing, which is further proof that it's nice to be polite. "Thank" comes from the Old English 'thonc', which has the same root as the word 'think'. Thus, being polite is the same as being thoughtful!
(from the "How to be British Collection" by Martin Ford and Peter Legon)