Thursday, May 7, 2015

Etiquette's Best Teacher

Won't you come to my tea party? ~1895

The Best Teacher of Etiquette and  Other Etiquette Tidbits

The Best Teacher of Etiquette 
The best book of etiquette is that “great” one, the best society. If you feel awkward or uncertain, watch people whose manners show that they are conversant with all that is best. In imitating them you will not be apt to make mistakes. 
The average American girl is quick at recognizing her mistakes and seldom repeats one after she realizes her error. She is kind of heart and sympathetic, and because of her quick wit, and these two virtues, she will always be a gentlewoman in the best sense of the word.  From The Ladies' Home Journal, 1897 
Etiquette Overdone 
The good people of the church gave the poor children of the parish a bountiful dinner, and the delight of the youngsters was much more manifest than their table manners. One little fellow was discovered clutching a jam tart in one fist and a lump of pudding in the other. He was reproved for his breach of etiquette, and took the reproach very meekly. But a moment later he turned to the diner next to him and remarked regretfully: "The troubles about these here table manners is that they was invented by somebody who wasn't never really hungry!" From The Sausalito News, 1916 
“Etiquette” is a French word which originally meant a label indicating tho price or quality, the English "ticket," and in Old French was usually specialized to mean a soldier's billet. 
The phrase "that's the ticket" shows the change to the present meaning of manners according to code. Burke solemnly explained that "etiquette had its original application to those ceremonies and formal observances practiced at courts. The term came afterward to signify certain formal methods used In the transactions between sovereign states."  From The Amador Ledger, 1907
Japanese Etiquette  
The Japanese young lady now learns fine manners, the etiquette of society, and above all, the arrangement of flowers. The mistress of a house who was unable to arrange them would be regarded as absolutely incompetent to take her place in the world: and not only must she have the artistic sense of color and form, she must be learned in the deeper science of their allegorical significance. Flower language is one of the tongues in which she must be able to converse. From The Sacramento Daily Union, 1891

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