I thought that using 'quoi' was impolite, verging on downright rude. Is this no longer, or never was, the case?
I think you are referring to the question -
Quoi? = What?
Hein? = What?
wich is used to mean you don't understand something, for instance.
I was always corrected as a child, to say
'comment?' = Pardon?
The following snippet is from a 'bonnes manières' guide but I wouldn't go as far as using the last suggestion! :
Quand vous avez mal entendu, ne dîtes pas " QUOI ? ", ou " HEIN ? ", mais " COMMENT ? " ou " PARDON ? ", ou mieux encore " JE VOUS DEMANDE PARDON ? ".
If you want someone to repeat what he said, it is kind of curt and impolite in a professional and more formal setting. But as a pronoun it is, of course used in every register of the language.
I thought I should pronounce the T as in c’est un.....
Without context I can't answer you precisely but normally it is optional.
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