Quote: Two Languages

It take two…Languages that is: body and spoken.

-Cindy Post Senning & Peggy Post

SmileTrue, true, the Posts are, as always, right on the money. A “hello” without a smile could be worse than saying nothing at all. The language and the face do not match and so the receiver will be confused.

Senning, Cindy Post., and Peggy Post. Teen Manners: From Malls to Meals to Messaging and Beyond. New York: Collins, 2007. Print.

Quote: Don’t Make is Worse

If you do something you know is wrong, such as going where you don’t belong. Don’t make it worse by telling lies; Say you’re sorry and apologize.

Our French friend is correct. As with all mistakes and accidents, the quicker it is acknowledged, owned and apologized for the better. Eventually the truth comes out and a lie is almost always more regrettable than the original mistake or accident.

Marciano, John Bemelmans. Madeline Says Merci: The-Always-Be-Polite Book. New York: Penguin Putnam for Young Reagers, 2001. Print.

Quote: Principals of Etiquette

Manners, the ways that people apply the principles of etiquette, change over time and from culture to culture, but the principles do not.

-Cindy Post Senning, Ed.D. & Peggy Post
Manners and etiquette go hand in hand. Under all of it should be honesty, consideration and respect. The best thing to do in every social situation can be gotten to by being truthful, thinking of the other person’s needs and accepting him or her as they are.

Senning, Cindy Post., and Peggy Post. Teen Manners: From Malls to Meals to Messaging and Beyond. New York: Collins, 2007. Print.

Quote: Good Table Manners

Good table manners are a courtesy to the people at the table…This is how you show respect to your family and your friends.

-Junior Girls Scout Handbook, 1963

JuniorScoutTrue, true, unless you are going to be a hermit, you have to know that people do not want to see the food in your mouth or hear your processing of it. You want people to remember the food and your good company and not the distractions you may have caused. On the other hand, we all need to allow for a genuine mistake or accident. Being offended by these is more rude than putting a spoon on the wrong plate.

Junior Girl Scout Handbook. New York: Girl Scouts of the United States of America, 1963. 151. Print.

Quote: How to Eat Grapes

Grapes  Cut a bunch or section of bunch from bunches in bowl with knife or scissors (never absent-mindedly pull off grapes from centerpieces or arrangement of fruit). Eat one grape at a time, after placing bunch on serving plate. Grape skins, if you can’t eat, should be cleaned in the mouth but not chewed, then removed in the cupped hand with the pits and placed on the side of the plate. Or, holding the grape with the stem end to the lips pop the inside into the mouth and lay skin on the side of plate – if they will pop.

-Amy Vanderbilt

GrapesThis five-decades-old advice still stands, well at least the first part. The last technique sounds pretty darn risky. If you serve grapes, take the next step and cut them into small serving size bunches. It may not look as dramatic but your guests will like it. Or, if you have grape sheers (these are not just a Victorian frill, Google it) get them out!

Vanderbilt, Amy. “Chapter Twenty-Seven/Manners at the Table/How to Eat Various Foods.” Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Guild to Etiquette. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1952. 237. Print.

Quote: Help Yourself Feel Confident

What is most important is that you use these tools to help yourself feel confident and relaxed.

-Elizabeth L. Post

ConfidentThe great-grand daughter-in-law of Emily Post has it right in this quote from a book about entertaining published in 1987. When approached from a place of generosity, social rules and customs, etiquette, are there to make us more successful.

Post, Elizabeth L. “Introduction.” Emily Post on Entertaining. New York: Harper Row, 1987. x. Print.

Quotes: The Great Secret

The great secret, Eliza, is not having bad manners or good manners or any other particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls: in short, behaving as if you were in Heaven, where there are no third-class carriages, and one soul is as good as another.

-George Bernard Shaw

MyFairLady_Harrison_AndrewsProfessor Higgins has a wonderful point. Why save good manners for the party, country club or white table cloth restaurant? Courtesy is for everyday and manners make each day more pleasurable.

Shaw, Bernard. Pygmalion. New York: Brentano, 1916. Print.

Quotes: Good Ways

The good ways, or the good rules for behaving, have lasted a long time – so they must have something.

-Munro Leaf

Leaf_HowBehave_OldWaysThis quote is from the author of The Story of Ferdinand, he wrote more than 40 children’s book from the mid-30s to the mid-70s. He even had a cartoon series. Munro was an observer of human behavior. In How to Behave and Why he works through honesty, fairness and strength (not physical but moral) which are the unpinning of manners and then etiquette.

Leaf, Munro. How to Behave and Why. New York: Universe, 1946. Print.

Quote: Keep Your Belongings Together


A bag or strap for your books is convenient. If you keep your belongings together, you are less likely to lose or mislay your books and papers, and you are more likely to be really prepared with everything your need for your work.

– Faculty of the South Philadelphia High School for Girls, comp. Everyday Manners for American Boys and Girls. New York: Macmillan, 1922. Print.

Having everything that you need for your work is courteous whether you are a student or employee. It sends the message that you believe the teacher or your bosses time is important.


Quotes: The Good Neighbor

Boy_KnockingThe Good Neighbor

1. Always knock before you enter someone’s home.

2. Say hello and goodbye when you see a neighbor.

3. Offer your help when a neighbor needs it.

4. Keep an eye on a neighbor’s home when they are away.

5. Don’t play music too loud, especially if you live in an apartment building.

6. Do not work on your car in the driveway for more than a few hours a week.

7. Keep your home as attractive as possible, paining and landscaping regularly.

– McKnight-Trontz, Jennifer. The Good Citizen’s Handbook: A Guide to Proper Behavior. San Francisco: Chronicle, 2001. Print.

The Good Citizen’s Handbook: A Guide to Proper Behavior is a fun book in the SAA library. The author credits the text to a manner’s primer from the 1950s. So much that has been written about how to behave remains true well beyond its publication. Wouldn’t it be great if all your neighbors followed the above guidelines?