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!
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.
"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]
"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]
5 students were barred from receiving copies of their diplomas (NYTimes Link) at the Galesburg High School graduation, after friends and family members cheered when their names were read. Good luck to future graduates to keep Nana and Aunt Bertha in check.
Miss Abigail's Time Warp Advice. Miss Abigail dispenses wisdom from her collection of vintage advice books (published from 1822 to 1978). Topics include Minding Your Manners, Looking And Feeling Good, Around The House, Frank Talk About Petting, and much more. The advice ranges from the very useful to the hilariously quaint, with some unenlightened shockers thrown in for good measure.
Why Don't We Do It In Our Sleeves? A short instructional video.
Speak softly, don't argue and slow down' The reputation of the "Ugly American" abroad is not..... just some cruel stereotype, but - according to the American government itself - worryingly accurate. Now, the State Department has joined forces with American industry to plan an image make-over by issuing guides for Americans travelling overseas on how to behave.
Business Card Etiquette. Do not play or fiddle with people's business cards - treat them with respect. A Western businessman once famously lost a big deal for picking his teeth with one of his colleagues' business cards, and was never given the opportunity to do business with the company again. (more inside).
Mind Your Manners! Put your knowledge of excruciatingly correct behavior to the test: "Adopt the role of a late 19th century character and try to earn your place in a world where every move is governed by the rules of etiquette." Certainly antiquated but amusing nonetheless.
Etiquette Hell For those who throw good manners, common decency, and proper etiquette to the wind, here is a website collecting stories about social gaffes that are often hilarious.
Gothic Miss Manners : advice from a Gothic perspective.
Be Careful Out There: Your Etiquette May Be My Nyetiquette Oh behave! We've all made faux pas, gaffes and complete asses of ourselves when dealing with foreign cultures. Travelling abroad isn't even necessary - a simple sushi meal is fertile ground for a vast panoply of unintended rudeness. While not even the most experienced traveller can insulate himself or herself completely from ocasionally shocking, disgusting or insulting his or her hosts, here is a little something worth keeping in your laptop. Some cultures are more difficult than others but I'll bet we all have our own embarrassing etiquette bloopers, right?