Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Emily Post's Etiquette 18th edition-Review

Here is the goodreads description:

Earlier in this century people turned to Emily Post for etiquette advice about the way they lived in the rapidly changing age known as the Roaring Twenties. As we prepare to enter a new millennium people continue to turn to Emily Post for advice on etiquette and manners. While etiquette remains a code of behavior based on kindness, consideration and unselfishness that does not change, our manners, the practice of etiquette, must change as our world changes. The world of today is both vasdy different and astonishingly the same as the world Emily Post herself knew. Seventy-five years after Emily Post wrote her groundbreaking book, Peggy Post, her great-grand-daughter-in-law, has thoroughly revised and updated Emily Post's Etiquette to take us into the next century. The hallmarks that define Emily Post's Etiquette as an indispensable resource remain: the correct table-setting for an intimate dinner party of eight, the proper response to a formal third-person invitation, and of course, all the details of planning a wedding. But in a world where our neighbors and coworkers are as likely to come from the other side of the globe as the other side of town, changes both subde and radical are necessary in our manners. In addition to a chapter devoted to doing business internationally, readers find not only advice for visiting those from other cultures living in our country, but also guidance on wearing ethnic clothing when traveling in other countries. Previous editions have explained the traditions of Christianity and Judaism but now for the first time readers learn about birth and death ceremonies of Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism. Sports participants who used toread only about the etiquette of golf, tennis, skiing and sailing, now learn about in-line skating and snowboarding as well. Emily Post's Etiquette, is not just for your grandmothers generation. It's for all of us.

In my opinion, no one uses manners anymore.  It is quite sad actually.  I try to get my friends to use manners.  I tell boys they should take off their hats in restaurants, one refuses (I think it is because he is going bald).  Others I tell it is rude to text and use their cell phones at dinner in a restaurant yet they do it anyways, because they aren't on a date they say.  People use cell phone while dealing with a cashier.  I can't even get guys to put the toilet seat down in my own house! They say "why should men have to do it and not women"? Ugghhhhh  There is just no winning with trying to get others to use manners.   Men I know just burp and fart like it is normal and when I tell them it is nasty they claim it is unhealthy to keep it in.

I hadn't heard about this book till I starting following Lauren Conrad's blog.  And she has a section on manners and mentioned this book.  Surprisingly I hadn't heard of it before. 
The book has basic manners, like when to write a thank-you note, which fork to use, how to act at various religious ceremonies, what to wear to a semi-formal wedding in November (for example), the "who pays?" date dilemma, how to handle a party guest who stays too long, and how much to tip for various services (hotel room-service, wine stewards, pool cleaners, etc.).

And the book has new manners:
-Does the man or woman go first through a revolving door? (If it's already moving, the woman; if it's not, the man goes through first to get the heavy door going.)

-What DOES "business casual" actually mean? (Men and women: khakis or slacks, open-colllar shirt, etc.)

-How fast do you have to respond to e-mail? (One to two days for personal e-mails; within 24 hours for business)

-What's the rule on how much an engagement ring should cost? (Traditionally, two months of the groom's salary. More modern grooms should spend as much as they can afford without going too much into debt. And negotiating on the price with a jeweler is acceptable practice.)

there's even a section about text-message etiquette.

Please get this book... and get it for everyone you know.  Manners just aren't in practice anymore. 

I have come back to edit this post. I don't not mean to say that I have the perfect manners. I swear too much. I don't always act like a lady... though that could be because I don't have many lady friends. Most of my friends are guys.


  1. Very interesting. I definitely know everyone I know doesn't have good manners, myself included. Checking phones at the table is definitely a big issue. My friend does it all the time so I just end up going on my phone too since there is no one to talk to.

  2. This sounds like a really interesting, enjoyable book, Angela! I am definitely going to keep an eye out for it- even if I wouldn't take on many/any of the lessons, I think I'd enjoy reading about them anyway!