Modern Manners: An Etiquette Book for Rude People (Unabridged) – P.J. O’Rourke

P.J. O'Rourke - Modern Manners: An Etiquette Book for Rude People (Unabridged)  artwork

Modern Manners: An Etiquette Book for Rude People (Unabridged)

P.J. O’Rourke

Genre: Comedy

Price: $ 17.99

Publish Date: December 19, 2014

© © 2014 Audible Studios

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Tradeshow Etiquette — Part IV

Tradeshow season is back! Grab your suitcase, passport and plane ticket and get ready for action-packed adventures in numerous countries, cities and hotels.
XBIZ.com – Opinion

Law Between the Sheets: Tradeshow Etiquette Part II

I was flattered by the amount of positive feedback received from that article and I am equally flattered that XBIZ asked me to write this follow-up article. So after a decade of attending tradeshows as an attendee, presenter and sponsor, I am proud to present “Tradeshow Etiquette Part II.”
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Real and Simple No. 3: Answers to Your Most Basic Etiquette Questions

Number three on my list of most-asked etiquette questions includes both business and social quandaries, with answers to help you move gracefully through your day.

When applying for a job, is it okay to ask about salary range? As a job candidate, you are within your rights to ask about salary range. It’s not okay to ask how you measure up against other candidates.

When out to lunch on a job interview, is it okay to order a sandwich? Job interview food can be tricky. It’s okay to order a sandwich, but steer clear of spaghetti. No one wants red sauce on his or her white shirt. The best choice would be grilled meat or fish.

Is it okay to serve liqueurs during lunch? Liqueurs are not served with lunch unless the event is a formal diplomatic affair.

Should children be admitted to live theatre? Of course children are meant to attend theater staged expressly for them, but as a general rule they should not attend live theatre for adults; they are simply too fidgety and can disturb other patrons.

Do you have to RSVP when you cannot attend an event? It’s always courteous to respond, whether the answer is yes or no.

In the English style of service, is the food presented on a platter then plated at a nearby table? This style of service is Russian. The English style is when food is presented on platters and you serve yourself (see Downton Abbey).

To engage in small talk, do you only need to read the headlines of a newspaper? A good rule is to know a little about a lot of things. Read anything and everything, not just the headlines. And don’t forget the sports section!

When setting the table with place cards, should you add the person’s honorific? You may add Dr., as in Dr. Samuel Johnson, but not academic degrees, as in Samuel Johnson, Ph.D.

After listening to a speaker, is it okay to ask questions? Most speakers appreciate an audience interested enough to ask questions. If you are responding to something the speaker said, repeat the remark before you ask your question.

When taking a telephone message, should you always ask a person why he or she is calling? No, the reason for the call should not be asked. The person answering the phone should simply ask the caller’s name, repeat and confirm the message, and ask how the call can be returned.

Lisa Mirza Grotts is a recognized etiquette expert, an on-air contributor, and the author of A Traveler’s Passport to Etiquette. She is a former director of protocol for the city and county of San Francisco and the founder and CEO of The AML Group (Lisagrotts.com), certified etiquette and protocol consultants. Her clients range from Stanford Hospital to Cornell University and Levi Strauss. She has been quoted by Condé Nast Traveler, InStyle magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times. To learn more about Lisa, follow her on Twitter.com/LisaGrotts and Facebook.com/LisaGrotts.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




Style – The Huffington Post
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Basic Etiquette Questions No. 3: Test Yourself!

Here’s No. 3 on my list of “most asked” etiquette questions about those thorny situations we confront every day. Test yourself on your knowledge of basic etiquette, and look for the answers in my next post.

• When applying for a job, is it okay to ask about salary range?

• When out to lunch on a job interview, is it okay to order a sandwich?

• Is it okay to serve liqueurs during lunch?

• Should children be admitted to live theatre?

• Do you have to RSVP when you cannot attend an event?

• In the English style of service, is the food presented on a platter then plated at a nearby table?

• To engage in small talk, do you only need to read the headlines of a newspaper?

• When setting the table with place cards, should you add the person’s honorific?

• After listening to a speaker, is it okay to ask questions?

• When taking a telephone message, should you always ask a person why he or she is calling?

Lisa Mirza Grotts is a recognized etiquette expert, an on-air contributor, and the author of A Traveler’s Passport to Etiquette. She is a former director of protocol for the city and county of San Francisco and the founder and CEO of The AML Group (Lisagrotts.com), certified etiquette and protocol consultants. Her clients range from Stanford Hospital to Cornell University and Levi Strauss. She has been quoted by Condé Nast Traveler, InStyle magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times. To learn more about Lisa, follow her on Twitter.com/LisaGrotts and Facebook.com/LisaGrotts.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




Style – The Huffington Post
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Basic Etiquette Questions No. 2: Test Yourself!

Number 2 on my list of “most asked” etiquette questions includes both business and social quandaries and how to address them. Test yourself by going through this list, then look for the answers in my next weeks post, Real & Simple No. 2: Answers to Your Most Basic Etiquette Questions.

• Is the continental style of eating (fork in the left hand, knife in the right if you’re right-handed, and the opposite for lefties) considered correct in the United States?

• Is it okay to arrive late to a dinner party?

• If hosting a lunch for a client, should you choose the location?

• If your friend is disabled, is it okay to ask if he or she needs help?

• Can you use either a fork or a spoon to eat dessert?

• At a formal table setting, what is the correct height for a centerpiece?

• In a formal business letter, is it okay to use the honorific Dear Sir?

• Is the maître d’ in charge of the kitchen?

• When you arrive for a business meeting, is it okay to ask for coffee?

• When greeting a client in a restaurant, should you take the lead or let the maître d’ seat the client?

Lisa Mirza Grotts is a recognized etiquette expert, an on-air contributor, and the author of A Traveler’s Passport to Etiquette. She is a former director of protocol for the city and county of San Francisco and the founder and CEO of The AML Group (Lisagrotts.com), certified etiquette and protocol consultants. Her clients range from Stanford Hospital to Cornell University and Levi Strauss. She has been quoted by Condé Nast Traveler, InStyle magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times. To learn more about Lisa, follow her on Twitter.com/LisaGrotts and Facebook.com/LisaGrotts.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




Style – The Huffington Post
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Real and Simple No. 1: Answers to Your Most Basic Etiquette Questions

Oprah may have her list of favorite things, but I have my list of “most asked” etiquette questions. If you want to be in the know, or simply want to know the right thing to say or do in different situations, life just got that much easier.

• If I am at at a private home and I break something, should I offer to replace it? Accidents at parties are common. If you break something, it’s basic etiquette to offer to replace the item, even though breakage is considered to be a price of home entertaining. The guest is ultimately not responsible.

When in a synagogue, am I required to wear a yamaka if I am not Jewish? Even non-Jewish men are required to wear a yamaka (a skullcap, also known as a yarmulke or a kippah) at a Jewish ceremony. Women may or may not be asked to wear one. But only Jewish men wear a tallit (a prayer shawl).

Is it okay to eat berries with my fingers? Berries are eaten with a spoon if served without stems. Berries with stems, such as strawberries, may be eaten with the fingers.

If someone accidentally uses your bread plate at a dinner, should you ask the waiter for another one? Don’t ask for another plate, as this will crowd the table. The easiest solution is to use the rim of your dinner plate.
• How many times is it appropriate to go back and forth with an email for business? Three times is the rule; then pick up the telephone.

• Is it okay to attend a Catholic funeral if I am not Catholic? Yes. Non-Catholics may attend Catholic funerals and other Masses, although they may not receive Communion.

Is it okay to take my seat if I arrive late to a talk or lecture? If you can slip in quietly, do so; otherwise, stand in the back of the room until the presentation is done.

If an employee issue arises, should I handle it myself or ask a higher authority for help? Never attempt to go to a higher authority unless you cannot take care of the problem first yourself.

How should I introduce my boss to a client? The rule is to say the most important person’s name first. In business, the client is considered the most important person, even though your boss is your superior. Simply say something along the lines of “Mr. Client, I’d like to introduce Mr. Boss, my manager. Mr. Boss, this is Mr. Client, our new client.” It doesn’t matter if the client is younger than your boss or if your boss is male or female; always introduce the client first.

Lisa Mirza Grotts is a recognized etiquette expert, an on-air contributor, and the author of A Traveler’s Passport to Etiquette. She is a former director of protocol for the city and county of San Francisco and the founder and CEO of The AML Group (Lisagrotts.com), certified etiquette and protocol consultants. Her clients range from Stanford Hospital to Cornell University and Levi Strauss. She has been quoted by Condé Nast Traveler, InStyle magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times. To learn more about Lisa, follow her on Twitter.com/LisaGrotts and Facebook.com/LisaGrotts.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




Style – The Huffington Post
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The 5 Questions Brides Ask Most About Etiquette, Answered by the Emily Post Institute

From the moment you get engaged until you receive your last wedding present, etiquette questions abound for the bride-to-be. Some are classics that decades of women have asked, while others are completely new for our…


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Infographic: The Onion’s Guide To Beach Etiquette

The arrival of summer means that the nation’s beaches will soon be crowded with swimmers, tanners, surfers, and more, so it’s important for everyone to be conscious of each other’s space and needs. Here are some etiquette tips to ensure that everyone has a safe and relaxing time at the beach:

  • Help lifeguards do their jobs by letting them know in advance if you plan to drown that day
  • Avoid feeding seagulls less than half an hour before they get into the water
  • Remember that you are responsible for disposing of any garbage that bumps into you while in the ocean
  • Shout “Heads up!” in the half-second before your Frisbee corkscrews into a crowd of sunbathers
  • When using a portable radio or other music-playing device, keep the volume at a low level for all but the most epic of guitar solos
  • It’s considered courteous to refill …





The Onion

Holiday Gift Etiquette: The Dos and Don’ts of Exchanging Presents

Gift Giving

You would think giving someone a simple present wouldn’t be a complicated affair. But during the holidays, the gesture of gifting can be tricky. Who gets one? What do you buy your boss? How much should you spend? In an effort to make your holiday shopping a little easier, our editors share their personal dos and don’ts of holiday gift-giving.


Which family members get gifts?

Aside from the obvious musts—mom, dad, siblings—how do you determine what family members get a gift over the holidays? “My family is so big, we usually limit gifts to immediate members, and then do a Secret Santa exchange with our extended family,” shares one writer. “We even set it all up online on a site called Elfster, which makes everyone’s life easier.” It seems many are turning to the Internet to organize their gift-giving these days. One editor admitted everyone in her family made online wish lists and then emailed them out to each other, taking the guessing out of the equation. If you’re spending Christmas with your in-laws, it’s okay to limit your giving to only your mother-in-law and father-in-law. “I used to only get presents for my boyfriend’s parents, until one year I branched out to his aunts, so then they felt obligated to get me something from then on,” says one editor. “I think in the end, skipping presents is almost appreciated on the other side. It takes the pressure off the table.”

What about your friends?

Most of the staff said they no longer exchange gifts with friends. “It was something I used to do back when I was in college,” says one editor. Instead, most of them now choose to do something together as a mutual present. “My girlfriends and I always decide on something fun like going to see a play or having a spa day or a very nice dinner,” says one writer. If you do exchange gifts with friends, make sure you open the gifts at home and not in front of each other, says one editor. “It’s better this way. There’s no awkwardness or comparisons among them.”

In new relationships

There was a bit of disagreement among our staff regarding gift-giving during an early courtship. “If you’ve just started dating someone, even if it’s only been a few weeks, a little token is always thoughtful,” says one writer. But one of our editors was strongly opposed: “I think you have to be seeing each other for at least six months before you start buying them anything!” The jury is still out on this one.

Office guidelines

As for who in the office gets a gift, the general feeling is you should give something to either your assistant or someone you work with very closely to show them how much you appreciate their effort throughout the year. As for your bosses, while it’s not obligatory, a little something never hurts. “They’re aware of your pay grade, so there’s really no need to impress them,” adds one fashion editor. Finally, if you love giving your office mates presents, make sure to bring a gift along for everyone—and keep it under $ 25. “You don’t want everyone to start speculating how much money you actually make,” says one writer.

What not to give

Even though we work in the fashion industry, all of us agreed that clothing is usually a bad idea—unless it’s something the other person has specifically mentioned they wanted in the past. “The holidays are really not the time of year to force your personal style on others,” said one fashion editor. Other faux pas? “I hate it when people give me a funny gift,” says one beauty editor. “Honestly, who has ever liked a gag gift?” Finally, the general consensus in the office is, unless you’re an actual chef, artist, or designer, stay away from anything homemade. “My friend always gives me this jar of some nonsense she makes in the kitchen,” says one writer. “Just give me a card next time.”

The post Holiday Gift Etiquette: The Dos and Don’ts of Exchanging Presents appeared first on Vogue.

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Beware My Derriere: The Etiquette of Sitting Down at the Theater

Every time I go to the theater and I find myself having to enter a row where there are people already seated, I experience the same moment of indecision: “How do I navigate this? Which way do I go in — facing the stage or facing the people?” Most people I know go in with their backs to the others, but this always seems wrong to me. Especially if my row-mates remain seated as I am squeezing in, I am acutely aware of my butt having to travel by embarrassingly close to their faces. And if I should happen to step on someone’s toes or bump their knees in the process, it is difficult to apologize over my shoulder.

However, after researching various “official” opinions as well as conducting an informal canvass of all my theater-going friends, it is clear that although European custom requires the theater or movie-going patron to enter the row while facing the back of the theater, the accepted practice in the United States is to go in facing the stage. In fact, both Emily Post (in her Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics, and at Home, 1922) and Amy Vanderbilt (in Amy Vanderbilt’s New Complete Book of Etiquette, 1963) declared this back-to-face sliding-by operation to be absolutely the proper etiquette.

But even among Americans there are varying opinions, many of them adamant. One etiquette expert I came across professed the proper form to be that men go in facing the back of the theater, while women go in the opposite way — a piece of etiquette-ology I find fairly bizarre. I mean, since gentlemen’s feet are generally bigger than ladies’, and ladies’ rears are generally bigger than gentlemen’s, if you were going to make a gender differentiation I would think it would be the gentleman going in facing front, and the lady facing the back of the theater. But either way it would look like some kind of weird line dance.

The argument for facing the stage is that it is more efficacious, because you can bend forward a little and slide in while pressing as far as possible into the seats in front of you. This way you are less likely to step on anyone’s feet, and also you can preserve the illusion that you are not inches away from people, as you can’t see them. Moreover, most people feel the close proximity makes it too embarrassing to pass by front-to-front. It’s like facing someone in an elevator. “It’s too intimate,” etiquette maven Letitia Baldridge once wrote. “It looks like they are going to kiss.”

I don’t know about kissing but I almost always vote for conversational contact. (They don’t call me “Miss Mingle” for nothing.) The rationale for facing people while making your way to your seat is just that–that you are able to interact with the people whom you are incommoding. It is considered good manners to thank people (or apologize, if you are coming in on the late side) as you inch by them, and it is much harder to thank people if you go by backwards; you cannot make eye contact easily. And of course there is the avoidance of the aforementioned butt-in-the-face issue (which I admittedly may be overly sensitive about, as I happen to have a particularly protrusive posterior.) Sometimes your course of action will depend on whether or not the row stands up for you (which if they are well-bred they will do). In that case, you can even go in slightly sideways.

Every decision regarding proper etiquette is made up of one part not discomforting others, and one part not looking like an idiot. What the theater seating question really comes down to is a choice between two variations of feeling awkward. I think for me, the point at which I started gravitating towards the face-to-face method happened a few years ago when, going in backwards along with the others in my party who were doing the same, I stumbled over someone’s umbrella lying on the floor and ended up sitting in the lap of a rather portly man.

This was bad enough; but unfortunately, in my surprise and embarrassment, instead of saying, “I’m so sorry,” I said “Thank you” — which were the words that were on the tip of my tongue, since I had been murmuring them to everyone else in the row I was passing.

“Oh, no, thank you,” the man laughed in response.
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