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Original Etiquette

Today I was handed a 1937 copy of Emily Post’s Etiquette. For safekeeping, supposedly, but I would put good money on me reading this sucker cover to cover before it leaves my hands. I mean, look how beautiful!


I’m Emily Post, and I’m here to tell you about how you lack couth.

Here are some wonderful lessons from the immortal Emily Post:

On the ‘Question of Payment’ from the Modern Man and Girl:

In this modern day, when women are competing with men in politics, in business, and in every profession, it is really senseless to cling to that one obsolete convention – no matter what the circumstances – that the man must buy the tickets, pay the check, pay the taxi, or else be branded a gigolo or a parasite.

That was from 1937, y’all. Emily Post knew what was up.

From ‘In Spite of Illiteracy’ in Phrases and Pronunciation:

People who say “I come,” and “I seen it,” and “I done it” prove by their lack of grammar that they have little education. But they may at the same time be exceptional characters, respected by everyone who knows them, because they are what they seem and nothing else.

And also:

The offense of pretentiousness is committed oftener perhaps by women than by men, who are usually more natural and direct.

Finally, from ‘Quietness at the Table’ in the Table Manners chapter:

Older children should not be allowed to jerk out their chairs, to flop down sideways, to flick their napkins by one corner, to reach our for something, or begin to eat candy, fruit or other table decorations.

Emily Post knows where it is at. I wish she could raise my hypothetical children, because they would be adorable and well-behaved by the time I got to them.

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