|Curiosity, amusement or disdain? Upon observing the "well-bred," the emotions can sometimes be hard to distinguish.|
Either "I beg your pardon" or "well," as an interrogation, is correct, and children, particularly, should be trained on these points. To go in front of a person without saying "Excuse me," denotes carelessness in minor points of breeding; also leaving the room without going through the form of asking permission is a solecism, "Excuse me a moment," if the person is soon returning, is correct, or should the absence be for an indefinite time, "Excuse me" is enough to say.
To seal an envelope the whole length of the gum on the flap is another trifling matter for which a person is judged unfavorably. Unless the envelope contains an enclosure that might slip through an opening, only the very tip of the flap should be fastened. And, while on the subject of stationery, no two things are more indicative of ill breeding than to put a stamp on the left side of an envelope or, indeed, any place but squarely in the upper right-hand corner; and for a woman to sign her name with a prefix of Mrs. or Miss. to a note or letter, if she wishes to indicate her formal name she should put the prefix in parenthesis beside her name in full, or, in the case of a married woman, she signs her own name with her formal name in brackets beneath, as "Mary Jane Smith." and below, ("Mrs. John James Smith"). This is a form that should never be forgotten.
Leaving a spoon in a tea or coffee cup is not uncommon but it is ill bred, and to butter a whole slice of bread at once and eat from it is another social mistake. The slice must be broken into small pieces and each buttered as it is eaten. Loud talking in public places is vulgar, as it is to push and shoulder in a crowd. If every person would remember his or her manners at such times crowds would cease to be objects for dread. —From The Los Angeles Herald, 1909
Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia