Today, someone or something sent a "test" email to NHS staff. Unfortunately to rather a lot of NHS staff - between 850,000 and 1.2 million. A few of whom sent reply-all responses. Chaos ensued, though it is unclear whether bananas were involved.
All The Reasons Why People Did Not Reply To Your Party Invitation By MeFi's unimpeachably polite The Whelk.
Lynne Murphy's blog is 'Separated By A Common Language'. It turns out being polite is different in the UK and the US and there are specific differences in the way each culture (and subcultures thereto) use please. [more inside]
The Zipper Merge is the secret to reducing traffic backups, increasing safety, and minimizing road rage. [more inside]
"London’s commuters have learned to withstand vast and unpredictable challenges: track closures; signal failures; engineering works. And they have developed a thick skin. But on that particular Friday, the 11,000 of them who got off at Holborn station between 8.30 and 9.30am faced an unusually severe provocation. As they turned into the concourse at the bottom of the station’s main route out and looked up, they saw something frankly outrageous: on the escalators just ahead of them, dozens of people were standing on the left."
The BVG, the Berlin Transport Company (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe), would like you to know what behaviors they do and do not care about on public transportation. [more inside]
"Being in someone’s wedding is a special privilege. It’s also often a ton of work and includes paying more money than one expected for clothes, bachelorette parties, and other assorted wedding activities. And it’s also frequently time-consuming and an emotional commitment (especially if the bride becomes difficult) (and almost all brides do). So does a bridesmaid ever owe the bride a gift besides his/her time, love, and understanding?" From the etiquette section of Gizmodo's "I Thee Dread" section: Angry Bride: How Do I Confront a Bridesmaid Who Didn't Give a Gift? [more inside]
"I amused myself for over a year thinking about the impacts of different toilet seat administration policies and how to measure them – doing calculations in my head, considering ratios of Standing events to Sitting events, and I slowly began to understand some of the specific differences in the basic policies that know to be administered most often. Finally, I decided to perform a probabilistic analysis". Essential Toilet Seat Analytics.
Why the modern bathroom is a wasteful, unhealthy design (The Guardian): "Piped water may be the greatest convenience ever known but our sewage systems and bathrooms are a disaster" [more inside]
Thank Goodness We Don't Have To Do That Anymore: a selection of US social customs and rituals that have mercifully passed on. Spinster Etiquette! Paying Calls! Hand Kissing! Bathing Machines! Wedding Gift Displays!
Gentlemen, Formerly. "A gentleman in 1720 could read Greek while mounting a running horse. Today’s gentleman reads GQ in the bathroom. From rapists to stylists, a history of the American gentleman." [more inside]
Victorian calling cards were a social grace, with their own detailed guidance for design and use (Archive.org web view of Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home, by Emily Post, 1922). Calling or visiting cards ranged from basic engraved cards to rather elaborate pieces with flaps and frills, hand-tinting and transparent images, though men typically had more sparse cards. Men also could use acquaintance cards to politely declare their interest in a young lady, with text and/or illustrations.
"If there is an assassination planned for the meal, then it is seemliest that the assassin should be seated next to he who is to become the subject of his craft" - Leonardo da Vinci: head of the kitchen, designer of horse-pulled nut-crushers, inventor of napkins, and assassination etiquette expert.
There’s nothing better than spending a night out to dinner at one of your favorite restaurants, reveling in the food and the service, and those quality after-dinner mints in the little wrappers. Until you run into one of these people: The 44 Worst People in Every Restaurant
The National Archives' Media Matters blog recently highlighted several newly digitized military etiquette training films from the late 60s and early 70s. These included a series of three films aimed at the difficult intersection of military service and gender dynamics for the members of the Women's Army Corps: The Pleasure of Your Company (background post), Mind Your Military Manners, and Look Like a Winner (background post). Bonus film for the guys: How to Succeed with Brunettes.
The guardian of the nation’s etiquette, Debrett’s, has now issued a handy 10-point guide to mobile (cell) phone etiquette in the digital age
"Avoid flattery. A delicate compliment is permissible in conversation, but flattery is broad, coarse, and to sensible people, disgusting. If you flatter your superiors, they will distrust you, thinking you have some selfish end; if you flatter ladies, they will despise you, thinking you have no other conversation." - 37 Conversation Rules for Gentlemen from 1875
How to politely react to your friend's terrible engagement! (Without lying) (SLYT)
"Ghosting—aka the Irish goodbye, the French exit, and any number of other vaguely ethnophobic terms—refers to leaving a social gathering without saying your farewells. One moment you’re at the bar, or the house party, or the Sunday morning wedding brunch. The next moment you’re gone. In the manner of a ghost. “Where’d he go?” your friends might wonder. But—and this is key—they probably won’t even notice that you’ve left."
The American way of using a fork and knife is inefficient and inelegant. (SLSlate) Do you cut-and-switch? Well, you've got to stop. The more time you waste pointlessly handing utensils back and forth to yourself, the less time you’ll have to cherish life and liberty, pursue happiness, and contribute to America’s future greatness. And also—though that snob at dinner surely didn't know this—the supposedly all-American cut-and-switch is in fact an old European pretension, of just the sort we decided to free ourselves from 237 years ago.
Facebook's privacy settings even confuse former Facebook marketing director Randi Zuckerberg.
I Want To Talk About Politics On Facebook vs. Get Out Of My Facebook, Politics: two arguments for and against using social media to share political opinions (presented on Thought Catalog) [more inside]
We have talked before on the blue about movie theatre etiquette and the problem of movie talkers. London's Prince Charles Cinema has gone to the next level and hired ninja (volunteers wearing zentai suits) to keep order.
Transit etiquette of yesteryear (courtesy of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and blogto.com). We may no longer think that shoppers - inevitably depicted as women - have no place on the rush hour streetcar, but some things never change. Move to the back of the car, please!
Venue sound guys are also DJs. And yes, they take requests. Approach them at your leisure, but it’s best to do it when the band is sound checking because that’s when sound guys have nothing to do.Oh My Rockness give us some Show Etiquette Tips (Part 2.)
The Geek Social Fallacies of Sex. (Probably SFW in itself, depending on your W - no naughty images - but links out may go to NSFW content) Holly Pervocracy (previously), a feminist sex blogger, revisits Michael Suileabhain-Wilson's classic but contentious Geek Social Fallacies (previously).
Public Service Announcement: Over is Right. Under is Wrong.
"The Japanese Tradition" was a series of nine short, parody "How To" videos that gently mocked the formality of Japanese culture, from comedy duo Rahmens (ラーメンズ) and Japan Culture Lab. They're available on DVD, but nearly all of them can be seen on YouTube, including Sushi and Ocha (tea). [more inside]
Hopeless romantic or selfish creep? Andrew Cohen writes an ode to the one who got away on the day she's to be married, and Lizzie Skurnick explains why that's not cool.
With Apple's release today of its newest iPhone and the HTC Evo 4G released last Friday, video phones are poised to flood the consumer market. All of this raises the uncomfortable question of videophone etiquette and whether David Foster Wallace was right about the problem with videophones (excerpt from Infinite Jest).
There is such infinite dirty pleasure in burning a righteous kook. An introduction to the sometimes violent phenomenon of surfer localism and the strict enforcement of surf etiquette. A Tragicomedy of the Surfers' Commons?
"To you, my friends, whose identity in these pages is veiled in fictional disguise, it is but fitting that I dedicate this book." Old school etiquette from the inimitable Emily Post and others. [more inside]
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has found himself in a bit of an imbroglio this week. Having attended the state funeral of former Governor General Romeo LeBlanc, the evangelical Harper has been accused of pocketing a communion wafer, an action considered "seriously offensive" by Catholics [scroll down for explanation]. But as professor of Internet and E-commerce law Michael Geist notes, the confusing thing about the controversy isn't whether the PM did or didn't eat the wafer (or even whether he should have been offered it in the first place), but rather why Societe Radio-Canada (the French name for the government-owned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) has yanked a video of the incident from YouTube. [more inside]
You stay classy, San Diego. A television reporter and an anchorman engage in an embarrassing on-air pissing contest in the middle of a newscast.
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