Emily Post's Etiquette

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  • Edition: 17th
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-04-01
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publications
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For the first time in its history, this American classic has been completely rewritten. Peggy Post gives us etiquette for today's times. Read by millions since the first edition was published in 1922, Emily Post—the most trusted name in etiquette—has always been there to help people navigate every conceivable social situation. The tradition continues with this 100 percent revised and updated edition, which covers the formal, the traditional, the contemporary, and the casual.

Based on thousands of reader questions, surveys conducted on the Emily Post Institute and Good Housekeeping Web sites, and Peggy's travels across the country, the book shows how to handle the new, difficult, unusual, and everyday situations we all encounter. The definition of etiquette—a code of behavior based on thoughtfulness—has not changed since Emily's day. The etiquette guidelines we use to smooth the way change all the time.

This new edition resolves hundreds of our key etiquette concerns: dealing with rudeness, netiquette, noxious neighbors, road rage, family harmony, on-line dating, cell phone courtesy, raising respectful children and teens, and travel etiquette in the post-9/11 world...to name just a few.

Emily Post's Etiquette, 17th Edition also remains the definitive source for timeless advice on entertaining, social protocol, table manners, guidelines for religious ceremonies, expressing condolences, introductions, how to be a good houseguest and host, invitations, correspondence, planning a wedding, giving a toast, and sportsmanship.

Peggy Post's advice gives us the confidence of knowing we're doing the right thing so we can relax and enjoy the moment and move more easily through our world. Emily Post's Etiquette, 17th Edition will be the resource of choice for years to come.

“An encyclopedic reference on all things social.” -Newsweek

“The user’s manual that should have come with your life? This is as close as you’re likely to get.” -Publishers Weekly

“Richly encyclopedic. . .updated for our present-day lives and cyber-times. . .invaluable.” -O magazine

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
A Note to Readers xiii
Part One Everyday Etiquette
Guidelines for Living
Greetings and Introductions
When Out and About
Dealing with Rudeness
Dress and Grooming
Part Two Relationships
Separation and Divorce
Today's Families
The Thoughtful Family Member
The Good Neighbor
Illnesses and Disabilities
People Who Work in Your Home
Part Three Children and Teens
Teaching Everyday Manners
Table and Party Manners
Young Communicators
Teen Dates and Special Occasions
Part Four Communication and Protocol
Invitations and Announcements
The Good Conversationalist
E-mail Etcetera
Telephone Manners
Names, Titles, and Official Protocol
Part Five Dining and Entertaining
Table Manners
Eating Out
The Dinner Party
Hosts and Houseguests
Parties Galore
Toasts and Toasting
Part Six Celebrations and Ceremonies
Celebrating Life's Stages
Giving and Receiving Gifts
Grieving and Condolences
Attending Religious Services
Part Seven Weddings
The Engagement
Planning the Big Event
The Nuts and Bolts of Preparation
Wedding Invitations and Announcements
Wedding Attire
Wedding Gifts
Your Day
A Guide for Wedding Guests
New Times, New Traditions
Part Eight You and Your Job
Life in the Workplace
The Social Side
Part Nine Travel and Leisure
Traveling Near and Far
The Finer Points of Tipping
Performances in Public Places
Sports and Recreation
Index 849


Emily Post's Etiquette, 17th Edition

Chapter One

Guidelines for Living

"The world is too much with us," Wordsworth wrote in 1807, and hisphrase has taken on a whole new meaning in the twenty-first century. In fact, theold boy would probably be running for cover if a time machine whisked him to streetsfull of people rushing about as though there were no tomorrow -- many of themyelling into small metal objects held to their ears.

It would be easy for us to sympathize with him. While scientific and medical advancementshave made life easier over the years, the stresses and strains that have comewith population density, technological advancements, all-pervasive news and entertainmentmedia, and a redefinition of the family have resulted in a whole new set of challenges.People behave no worse than they used to (rudeness and other social offenses arenothing new), but the pressures of modern life make it all the more difficult to stay civil.

What's needed for this day and age? New guidelines for courteous behavior, especiallyin a time when it often seems that "anything goes." It's true that a more casualapproach to dressing, communicating, and entertaining has taken hold, but that'shardly something to be concerned about. The history of human interaction is one ofchange, and manners by their very nature adapt to the times. Today's guidelines helpsteer our behavior as we move through our daily routines -- no matter what difficultieswe face, how informal the occasion or event, or which surprises are sprung. In fact, itcan be said that we need manners more than ever to smooth the way.

Although today's manners are more situational, tailored to particular circumstancesand the expectations of those around us, they remain a combination of commonsense, generosity of spirit, and a few specific "rules" that help us interact thoughtfully.And as fluid as manners are (and always have been), they rest on the same bedrockprinciples: respect, consideration, and honesty.

Respect. Respecting other people means recognizing their value as human beings,regardless of their background, race, or creed. A respectful person would also nevertreat a salesperson, a waiter, or an office assistant as somehow inferior. Respect isdemonstrated in all your day-to-day relations -- refraining from demeaning others fortheir ideas and opinions, refusing to laugh at racist or sexist jokes, putting prejudicesaside, and staying open-minded.

Self-respect is just as important as respect for others. A self-confident person isn'tboastful or pushy but is secure with herself in a way that inspires confidence in others.She values herself regardless of her physical attributes or individual talents, understandingthat honor and character are what really matter.

Consideration. Thoughtfulness and kindness are folded into consideration forother people. Consideration also encapsulates the Golden Rule: Do unto others asyou would have them do unto you. Being thoughtful means thinking about what youcan do to put people at ease, while kindness is more about acts. Taken together, thesequalities lead us to help a friend or stranger in need, to bestow a token of appreciation,to offer praise.

Honesty. Honesty has more to do with ethics than etiquette, but the two are intertwined.What could be more unmannerly than being deceptive? Honesty ensuresthat we act sincerely and is also the basis of tact: speaking and acting in ways thatwon't cause unnecessary offense.

A tactful person can say something honest about another person without causinggreat embarrassment or pain. In other words, tact calls for both empathy and benevolenthonesty: "I like the other bathing suit on you better" is honest, while "Thatbathing suit makes you look fat" may be equally true but amounts to an insult.

Two Other Essential Qualities

Graciousness and deference are also part and parcel of mannerly behavior. Graciousnessis the ability to handle situations with aplomb and flexibility, while showingdeference can be as easy as removing one's hat in a place of worship.

The mark of a gracious person is his ability to put people at ease and spare them anyembarrassment. (You're being gracious when someone forgets your name during anintroduction and you say, "Oh, please don't feel bad! I'm always drawing a blankwhen I try to remember names.") It's easy to forget that "gracious" is the adjectiveform of "grace," which dictionaries variously define as "good will; favor"; "thoughtfulnesstoward others"; and "a sense of what is right and proper." By any definition,grace is a quality anyone should strive to achieve.

Deference is primarily a means of recognizing a person's experience and accomplishments.Courtesies like standing when an older person enters a room, giving a seniorexecutive the head seat at a conference table, and addressing authority figures bytheir titles and last names (unless they specifically request otherwise) do not demeananyone. Far from it. Deferring politely reflects well on the person who defers bydemonstrating that he values other people for their achievements.

Actions Express Attitude

People who really pay attention to others have little trouble translating whatthey see and hear into courteous behavior. Courteous people are empathetic -- able torelate emotionally to the feelings of others. They listen closely to what people say.They observe what is going on around them and register what they see. A selfcenteredperson might say, "I know exactly how you feel" to someone in a traumaticsituation and then immediately start describing his own experiences. An empatheticperson is more likely to say something like, "I can't know how you feel right now,but I can understand your grief [or anger or sadness]. And if you want to talk about it,I'm here to listen."

This concern for others leads to another characteristic of courteous people: Theyare flexible -- willing to adjust their own behavior to the needs and feelings of others.This doesn't mean that well-mannered people are pushovers or lack strongly heldprinciples ...

Emily Post's Etiquette, 17th Edition. Copyright © by Peggy Post. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Excerpted from Emily Post's Etiquette by Peggy Post
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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Charming Etiquette Book! May 23, 2011
This textbook is an essential read for almost everyone, period. It gives all the basics needed for day-to-life, as well as the etiquette for more rare and/or difficult situations. It deals with the ever-changing technology and customs of our world. I recommend this textbook for recent graduates or those just starting out in the business world and want to feel more confident in business social interactions. Emily Post's Etiquette, 17th Edition will be the resource of choice for years to come.
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Emily Post's Etiquette: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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