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Manners and Etiquette Are Never Old Fashion

I recently found Emily Post’s book Etiquette, published in 1922 and began reading the detailed description of how “gentlemen and ladies” were to act and treat one another. Maybe it’s my age but, I find myself often shaking my head in disbelief at the “rudeness” I see day-to-day. For example, look at many of the reality shows on television – fighting, swearing, screaming and more.

Emily Post

Should we all take a step back and read Emily Post’s book? Personally, I feel good manners and etiquette are never out of date or old fashion.

As Mrs. Post stated in 1922:
Etiquette must, if it is to be of more than trifling use, include ethics as well as manners. Certainly what one is, is of far greater importance than what one appears to be. A knowledge of etiquette is of course essential to one’s decent behavior.

Thus Best Society is not a fellowship of the wealthy, nor does it seek to exclude those who are not of exalted birth; but it is an association of gentle-folk, of which good form in speech, charm of manner, knowledge of the social amenities, and instinctive consideration for the feelings of others, are the credentials by which society the world over recognizes its chosen members.”

I believe the following excerpt from the 1922 bestselling book Etiquette by Emily Post, is still as relevant and applicable today as it was when first written:

Regard For Others
Consideration for the rights and feelings of others is not merely a rule for behavior in public but the very foundation upon which social life is built.

Rule of etiquette the first—which hundreds of others merely paraphrase or explain or elaborate—is:

  • Never do anything that is unpleasant to others.
  • Never take more than your share—whether of the road in driving a car, of chairs on a boat or seats on a train, or food at the table.

Well, what do you think? Do the words of Emily Post still ring true today?

Please, leave us a comment and share your opinion.
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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Meli March 1, 2013, 11:23 am

    Emily Post’s words continue to ring true, in tone, if nothing else. The bottom line is respect. I recently found when I hear someone respond “Not a problem” I want to tell them that I didn’t realize what I asked or said was such an issue. Sometimes a smile or “That’s OK” or some other response would be more welcome. “Not a problem” has become a cliche` and there are times when I feel it’s become “the problem”.

  • Deborah March 3, 2013, 9:40 am

    Too bad we can’t make people be courteous on the road. I think because you tend to be somewhat anonymous, many people think it’s okay to display bad behavior there.

    I think better manners and etiquette would certainly improve our overall environment today.

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