Saturday, October 10, 2015

Etiquette and Evolving Social Customs

On Technology – "While I counsel conservatism in these changes, I am convinced that the new dynasty of wire and wireless is destined to dominate us; and as discovery continues and inventions multiply, the time is near when immediate communication will be had at long range..."  
On Invitations – "It is still considered better to adhere to the more respectful written form if there is any doubt about the new way being acceptable to the party of the second part." 


“The universal use of the telephone is another factor in the modification of social customs. Among familiar friends, the little chat over the 'phone largely takes the place of the informal call. Also, invitations to any but strictly formal functions are now sent by telephone, if agreeable to both parties; though it is still considered better to adhere to the more respectful written form if there is any doubt about the new way being acceptable to the party of the second part. 

While I counsel conservatism in these changes, I am convinced that the new dynasty of wire and wireless is destined to dominate us; and as discovery continues and inventions multiply, the time is near when immediate communication will be had at long range; possibly telepathy—who knows? Or, possibly tele-photography with it—why not? Then, the slow, laborious writing of messages will be as much out of date as the super-annuated stage-coach.

But—not yet; we are still in the process of evolution. It is still safe to heed Pope's famous advice:

"Be not the first by whom the new is tried,
Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.”
From Agnes H. Morton's, 1919 book, “Etiquette.”



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