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The common rules of etiquette

Published 9:58pm Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Recently this item was sent to me by way of the internet and most of those in my generation can probably agree that this is the way we were all raised.
“I was raised! I didn’t just grow up. I was taught to speak when I enter a room, say please and thank you, to have respect for my elders, to get up off my lazy butt and let the elder in the room have my chair, say ‘yes, sir’ and ‘no, sir,’ lend a helping hand to those in need, hold the door for the person behind me, say ‘excuse me’ when it’s needed and to love people for who they are, not for what I can get from them! I was also taught to treat people the way I want to be treated!”
Too bad this has to be passed around on the internet and people needed to be reminded. These are just common rules of etiquette. But the word “etiquette” has flown out the window with common courtesies.
I would add a few other rules to this list.  Wash your hands before eating, don’t chew with your mouth full, learn to use a napkin and remove baseball caps when sitting at the dinner table.
There needs to be new rules written for use of cell phones and computers. They have bred a whole new set of inconsiderate actions by people. No texting or talking on the phone when at the table, when you are with others, and of course, when driving.
Who decided the rules of etiquette? One of the most well-known authors of rules of etiquette was Emily Post and our mentor.
Post was born as Emily Price in Baltimore, Md., in October 1872. After being educated at home in her early years, she attended Miss Graham’s finishing school in New York after her family moved there.
Price met her future husband, Edwin Main Post, a prominent banker and, following their wedding in 1892, the couple had two sons, Edwin Main Post, Jr. and Bruce Price Post.
When her two sons were old enough to attend boarding school, Post began to write. She produced newspaper articles on architecture and interior design.
She wrote in various styles, including humorous travel books, early in her career. In 1922 her book, “Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics, and at Home,” became a bestseller, and updated versions continued to be popular for decades.
After 1931, Post spoke on radio programs and wrote a column on good taste, which appeared daily in 200 newspapers after 1932.
In 1946, she founded The Emily Post Institute, which continues her work. She died in 1960 in her New York City apartment at age 87.
Peggy Post, wife of Emily’s great-grandson, is the current spokeswoman for The Emily Post Institute — and writes etiquette advice for Good Housekeeping magazine, succeeding her mother-in-law, Elizabeth Post.
Peter Post, Emily’s great-grandson, writes the “Etiquette at Work” column for the Sunday edition of the Boston Globe.
Cindy Post Senning is Emily Post’s great-granddaughter and a director of The Emily Post Institute. She is also an author.
Anna Post is Emily Post’s great-great-granddaughter. She is the author of “Do I Have to Wear White? Emily Post Answers America’s Top Wedding Questions,” as well as “Emily Post’s Wedding Parties: Smart Ideas for Stylish Parties, From Engagement to Reception and Everything in Between.”
She is the wedding etiquette expert for Brides.com and Inside Weddings magazine. She speaks at bridal shows and other venues providing wedding etiquette advice and tips.
In addition to the time-honored guidance that these experts have provided, thanks to my parent for raising me!
And thank you very much for reading this column today.

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