Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Etiquette and Li Hongzhang

Li Hongzhang was the leading Chinese diplomat of the late Qing era and 19th century. The article below describes his meeting Queen Victoria.

She was, in fact, every inch a Queen. Never under any circumstances did she permit any relaxation of the rigid etiquette of the Court, not even to the changing of a feather in the headdress of a Debutante of the highest rank and the bluest of blue blood; not even to the changing of a button on the uniform of the Prince of Wales, her son, and heir to her throne. Her experience of Orientals and their ceremonies saved her from even making the slightest lapsus in dealing with them. 

During Li Hongzhang's tour through Europe, he was received with courteous empressement by the other rulers whose Courts he visited. Each and all made the gross mistake of shaking hands with him and treating him almost as an equal. When the Viceroy was ushered into Victoria's presence chamber she remained seated, wrapped in the Imperial dignity that has awed mightier men than he. The intelligent celestial grasped his position at once. He groveled to the British Empress-Queen as he would have to his master, or the Dowager Empress, and when the interview was over and he had bowed himself out backward, he, deeply impressed, remarked to his entourage: "Her Majesty is the only real Monarch of them all." — Los Angeles Herald, 1901

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Universal Space Etiquette

Long before the International Space Station and American astronauts walked on the moon, on April 9, 1956 NASA unveiled America's first seven astronauts who would later make space-faring history. - Special thanks to eagle-eyed reader Kevin... This photo is actually from 1962.

Scientists Urge Laws to Govern "Universal Man"

ROME —A conference of world scientists called today for a new set of laws to govern the conduct of man if, and when, he conquers the universe. Problems of 'space etiquette' highlighted the second day of the seventh International Astronautics Congress meeting here. 

The main themes were discussed by chief U.S. Delegate Andrew G. Haley, President of the American Rocket Society, and A A. Cocca of Argentina. Haley argued that man may eventually be forced to conquer outer space because the physical resources of the earth are limited. Cocca discussed jurisdictional problems involving the right of possession of territory occupied by space explorers. – Desert Sun, 1956

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Etiquette and Carreño's Manual

    Manuel Antonio Carreño Muñoz was a Venezuelan musician, teacher and diplomat, was well known in the Spanish speaking world, during the 19th century— "Etiquette Book to Be Given Governor : University students today raised a fund to buy Gov. Gen. Robert H. Gore a copy of "Carreño's Manual," written by the 'Spanish Emily Post.' The students held the governor needed a course in Spanish courtesy because he refused to receive a delegation which wanted to protest the appointment of a trustee. Contributions were limited to four cents. The book is used widely in Spanish countries." — United Press, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sept. 30. 1933

In 1853, Manuel Antonio Carreño Muñoz wrote the Manual of Urbanity and Good Manners, for which he received great recognition and fame. This manual had a great repercussion on a global level, to the point that it was approved to be taught in elementary schools in Spain. So this 1853 work was used as a text since the beginning, not only in Spain but in other Spanish-speaking countries as well. 

An important book, it was directed towards children of both sexes in a time where education was almost exclusively for boys and the more powerful social classes. The book elaborates on the moral and religious standards that were so important in the 19th century, that, evidently, had already been lost due to the long period of time that had passed. 

In referring to courtesy and good manners, one has to remember that, even though it may appear an exaggeration, this book exercised an enormous influence in educated Venezuelan society for many generations and even today, some of these standards are easily identifiable to foreigners who have recently arrived to the country, all from a European origin.

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Retro Etiquette of the Sexes

 When a man is careless or thoughtless, it is all the more evident. Begin as a boy to observe all the small, sweet courtesies of life.

Social Etiquette:
The Differing Courtesies That Marked Good Breeding in Man and in Woman, from 1891

 "Are girls as well bred as boys?" Yes— and no! says Marion Harland in answering this question in The Weekly. Their training lies along different lines. One thing must always be considered —namely, that a woman's part is in many points of etiquette, passive. It is the man who takes the initiative, and who is made such a prominent figure that all eyes are drawn to him. Have you ever noticed it? Man proposes, woman accepts. Man stands, woman remains seated. Man lifts his hat, woman merely bows. Man acts as escort, woman as the escorted. So when a man is careless or thoughtless, it is all the more evident. For this reason, begin as a boy to observe all the small, sweet courtesies of life.

I often wish there were any one point in which a woman could show her genuine ladyhood as a man displays his gentlehood by the management of his hat—raising it entirely from the head on meeting a woman, lifting it when the lady with whom he is walking bows to an acquaintance, or, when his man companion greets a friend, baring his head on meeting, parting from or kissing mother, sister or wife. These, with other points, such as rising when a woman enters the room and remaining standing until she is seated, giving her the precedence in passing in or out of a door and picking up the handkerchief or glove she lets fall—are sure indices of the gentleman, or by their absence, mark the boor.

But our girl should not think that she can afford to overlook the acts of tactful courtesy which are her duty, as well as her brother's. Her temptation is often to exercise a patronizing toleration toward her elders, aud while she is not actually disrespectful, she still has the air of a very superior young being, holding converse with a person who has the advantage merely in the accident of years. Another of our girl's mistakes is that of imagining that brusqueness and pertness are wit. There is no other error more common with girls from fifteen to eighteen, and they generally choose a boy as the butt of their sarcastic remarks—and, to their shame, be it said, they frequently select a lad who is too courteous to retort in kind. — From "The Weekly" as reported in the Los Angeles Herald, 1891

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Monday, May 22, 2017

"Phone Voice" Etiquette

Though the telephone has become an integral part of our daily lives, many people do not realize that voices are transmitted at a higher pitch over phone lines, than if one was speaking with someone face to face. Business professionals in particular, can benefit from speaking in a lower tone of voice than normal, when on business phone calls, in order for those on the other ends to hear them more clearly. 

Improve Your Phone Voice! 

Despite the fact that the telephone has become so commonplace as to be taken for granted in our daily living, many women have never learned to talk on the instrument. Technically adept at putting their calls through, and well versed in the rules of telephone etiquette, they still create an unfavorable impression upon their listeners because of their voices. Women who claim they don't like to talk on the telephone are usually admitting their discomfort. Their point that the facial expressions observed in personal chats add much to any conversation, is a valid one. Be that as it may, if they plan to use the telephone as a medium of communication, they should accept its limitations and set about correcting their own failings. 

One particularly unfortunate telephone voice is the meek, mild one that makes listeners yell, "What's that?" and "Louder, please." No matter how competent a person you may really be, the person at the other end of the wire is likely to conclude that you are ineffectual and without self-confidence. This is a handicap in both business and social relationships. Equally unattractive is the telephone-shouter who attempts to convey her message by vocal power alone. Not only is such a voice unpleasant to the unfortunate ear at the other end of the line, but it also marks the shouter as being unsure both of herself and of the instrument. - San Bernardino Sun, 1950

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Etiquette's First "Etta Kett"

Etta Kett was a five decade comic strip created by Paul Robinson. The original distribution began in Dec. 1925. The strip originally offered tips to teenagers on manners, etiquette and the social graces. By the early 1950's, it had changed its focus from etiquette, to her family, social circle and school life. The wholesome humor helped Etta Kett maintain a readership over 50 years. But there was a newspaper Etta Kett who came first, in 1900, as the article below shows. 

The Force of Habit

"I'll never invite Ryeyun to my house for dinner again." asserted Mrs. Etta Kett after she had exchanged the greeting of the day with Mrs. Soandso. "Is that possible?" queried Mr. Soandso. "I thought Mr. Ryeyun was excellent company at table. At least so I have heard." "You see, it's just this way." continued Mrs. Etta Kett. "I know that Mr. Ryeyun is forced by circumstances to take his meals at a restaurant or chop house, and thinking that a real nice family dinner would taste good to him. I invited him to my house one evening. He accepted the invitation with every manifestation of pleasure, and you may be sure I exercised my best culinary skill to prepare a dinner that would make any man's heart rejoice, let alone a poor unfortunate who must eat regularly at the chop houses." "Well, did he not enjoy it?" "Yes. But do you know. Just as soon as he sat down to the table he wiped off his plate with his napkin, then wiped off his knife, forks and spoons, and then held his glass of water up to the light to see if there were any bugs in it!"— Omaha World-Herald, 1900

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Etiquette, Elbows and Emily

One blogger unaware of her 1937 stance, states that Emily Post's position​ evolved on many subjects but,"There was one standard, she refused to relax, which was the importance of chaperones." In Victorian society which she came of age in, "no proper young lady would risk the damage to her reputation that might be incurred by an unchaperoned trip or overnight stay with a young man. Until the end, Emily Post believed that was sage advice."

The fountains of sacred rivers flow upward, everything is turned topsy turvy. This plaint of Euripides is echoed 23 centuries after the Greek dramatist by no less a modern mentor of manners and morals than Emily Post, whose name is synonymous with etiquette. Mrs. Post is nonplussed by the confusion of modern life, by the way in which the younger generation has taken the bit in its teeth. 

But she is not worried as to the basic goodness of her fellow women, she told a New York audience. Instead of deploring the disappearance of the ancient institution of the chaperone, she chuckles over the interesting problems that have resulted; instead of teaching the conventions to her young readers she finds she must adapt the conventions to fit modern behavior. 

Etiquette means something more important in human conduct than choosing the right fork, a lapse of which Mrs. Post herself frequently is guilty since she is both near-sighted and absentminded; she also, let it be whispered so that your children do not hear, puts her elbows on the table at dinner when she feels like it, and says, "it really makes no difference." 

What does make a difference is eternal vigilance to be considerate of the rights of others, and to be kind. At the moment, Mrs. Post is deep in the study of a great problem; Is it correct for a woman to pay all or part of the dinner and entertainment check? She is brooding about this to the exclusion of all others and will write a book about it when she has completely made up her mind. 

In the daytime in the business world, she muses, a man and woman are equals, work as companions, lunch as co-workers. But in the evening matters are changed, the woman becomes a woman again and the man pays and pays. Is that fair, she wonders, when women are earning as much or more than the men who entertain them? Would it not be fairer if he takes her out once and she takes him another time? We await with bated breath her decision on this vital question. – San Bernardino Sun, 1937

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia