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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Twenty-First Century Manners

Today marks the birthday of Emily Post (1872-1960), whose 1922 book Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social Usage set standards for social behavior for a good part of the last century. Her legacy lives on with third-generation family members who offer advice through The Emily Post Institute, which she founded in 1946.

Great-granddaughter Liz and great-granddaughter-in-law Peggy Post now deal with a different world where technology and a more casual lifestyle have changed the way we interact with each other. Is it really correct now to e-mail a thank-you note? How about wearing flip-flops to the White House?

Interested in how manners have changed in the last few decades? Browse these books:

One Minute Manners: Quick Solutions to the Most Awkward Situations You’ll Ever Face at Work by Ann Marie Sabath

Business Etiquette for the New Workplace by Harvard Business School Press

Excuse Me, But I Was Next: How to Handle the Top 100 Manners Dilemmas
by Peggy Post

The Joy of Text: Mating, Dating and Techno-Relating by Kristina Grish

Miss Manners Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior by Judith Martin

Some believe civility is a lost art these days. Others think it is just a matter of changing manners for changing times. Your thoughts?

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