Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Miss Manners’ Top Ten Worst 'Faux Pas'

A 'faux pas' is a social blunder committed by a person who does not know better or who should know better. Judith Martin, known in her newspaper column as Miss Manners, identifies common social blunders.

1. Honesty

When what this means is insulting other people to their faces, and then, when they are hurt, insulting them again by inquiring whether they don’t believe in honesty.

2. Helpfulness

When this consists of minding other people’s business by volunteering, unasked, your opinion of how they should lead their lives. 

3. Health-consciousness

When this is an excuse for spoiling other people’s dinners by telling them that what they are eating, or serving their guests, is poison.

4. Idealism

When this leads to humiliating other people for unexceptionable activities–pointing at strangers who are using two sheets of paper towels to dry their hands, for example–that violate your own resolutions.


5. Being True to Your Own Feelings

When this is cited as a reason for your neglecting duties toward others, such as writing thank-you letters or attending funerals, that you happen to find distasteful.

6. Self-assertiveness

When this means elbowing others out of the way so you can get what you want.

7. Friendliness

When this is held to be the motivation for taking unauthorized liberties with others, such as addressing strangers by their first names or making personal remarks to acquaintances.

8. Spontaneity

When this translates into not being willing to answer invitations or honor acceptances because you feel like doing something else on the night of the party.

9. Hospitality

When this consists of inviting your own guests to someone else’s wedding or party, or telling your guests that they are expected to supply the meal or pay for what they ate.


10. Creativity

When fostering this is cited as an excuse for allowing your children to destroy other people’s property or peace of mind.

                      As Given to The Book of Lists (1993)

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

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