Search This Blog

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Good manners are:
The treatment of other people with courtesy, politeness and showing correct public behaviour.
Good manners are also:
Polite or well-bred social behavior.
"it's nice to meet a young man with such good manners”
And they are:
The prevailing customs, ways of living, and habits of a people, class, period, etc.; mores:
Who decides what specifically constitutes courtesy, politeness and correct public behaviour?

Emily Post simplifies the matter.
Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others.  If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which fork you use.
Having good manners/being well mannered is relative. It, basically, depends on the temperament of your community. The rules for conductat a formal Buckingham Palace luncheon would be way odd and insane at the Brighton Music Hall on a Saturday night.

Still, there are some general, basic manners that should always be employed. Such as:
  • Saying please and thank you
  • Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • Holding doors open for other people. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman—if someone’s relatively close behind you and about to pass through the very same door, stop and keep it open for them too.
  • Speak politely That is, unless you really know your audience, avoid slang and swears. Also, no shouting unless of course you’re downstairs at the Middle East on a weekend night and the band’s cranked up to 11.
  • Don’t interrupt the person who’s speaking and stay away from hot topics (unless you honestly know that your listener will be fine with talk of religion, politics, farts, poops and vomit)
  •  Give up your seat on public transportation. You know, to the old, infirm, pregnant and, of course, ME.
Emily Post: Etiquette Queen
Manners are, in general, about respect and consideration for others. There are, of course, more rules for a civilized person to live by but, in my less than humble opinion, it all comes down to the golden rule—do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
“Politeness [is] a sign of dignity, not subservience.
~Theodore Roosevelt
A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot.
~Robert A. Heinlein, Friday

It is a wise thing to be polite; consequently, it is a stupid thing to be rude. To make enemies by unnecessary and willful incivility, is just as insane a proceeding as to set your house on fire. For politeness is like a counter--an avowedly false coin, with which it is foolish to be stingy.”
~Arthur Schopenhauer, The Wisdom of Life and Counsels and Maxims

Be pretty if you can, be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you.
~Elsie De Wolfe

A hat should be taken off when greeting a lady, and left off the rest of your life. Nothing looks more stupid than a hat.
~P.J. O'Rourke, Modern Manners: An Etiquette Book for Rude People 
In addition to the books named above,  I believe it makes absolute shitloads of sense for me to pick up, and possibly provide to my niece and grands, Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck by Amy Alkon.

LA Weekly calls her Miss Manners with Fangs. Yes, sounds like precisely my brand of etiquette!

No comments:

Post a Comment