Saturday 13 April 2019

Modern Manners 2

My mother in law used to think it showed you were upper class if you were really rude to shop assistants - put them in their place sort of thing. She was a snob and it caused lots of arguments! (via Facebook)

The woman - never invited back - who told me she was a vegetarian, but didn't tell me that she was allergic to eggs. "I'll just pick it out of my quiche," (she actually said this), sighing alongside an accompanying smell of burning martyr. "I don't want you to go to any trouble."
(LW, paraphrase)

Visiting Americans were stunned at the rudeness with which the British upper classes addressed the unfortunates below them. (Great British Fictional Detectives, Russell James)

Stop making a fuss about how bad you are at pronouncing foreign names. Don't preface your attempt with a lengthy apology. It's deeply othering. If you encounter a name you don't know how to pronounce and you haven't an opportunity to ask, I strongly recommend you just do it. Thank people for their patience but crucially, just move on. At some point the jokes about being bad a pronouncing a name stop being about the pronouncer and become about how weird and foreign the name is. I know you feel uncomfortable and awkward and you don't want to get it wrong. But just move on. (@jeannette_ng)

Thanks for X product, which I’ve enjoyed using while committing Y task. Looking forward to seeing you during Z event. (Template for a thankyou letter from Daniel Mallory Ortberg)

An indignant friend tells me an anecdote about a woman on a bus who had put her bag on the seat (so that she was taking up two places). She didn’t move the bag even though he stood beside her without speaking for five minutes. 

Unbelievably, in the 70s posh people still changed for dinner. We stayed with some grand people who assumed we were as upmarket as they were. Mrs Thing was quite annoyed that we hadn’t brought skirts to change into. “Couldn’t Mary lend you something?” Mary was about five foot two and a size 12. I was five foot nine and a size 16. (If you're a tall woman, people have a strange blindness to your real height.)

I stayed with my parents at a hotel on Loch Maree where all the guests dined together. The proprietress said nothing to me, but approached my mother to say “Could you ask your daughter to wear tights in the evening instead of bare legs?” At least I was wearing a skirt! Bare legs were still taboo in the 70s, though they became OK in the 80s. In the 70s it was only OK to go without stockings if you applied fake tan that smelled of biscuits and turned your legs orange.

Don’t overload your fork, says the Royal Butler.

In the 17th century bell-ringers were penalised for wearing a hat or spurs in the belfry.

More here.

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