Friday, December 26, 2008

Manners: Be a Gentleman

This post from the sartorial expert Will, and the comments following,  are a needed antidote to the behavioral slippage many of us allowed to happen, or even gleefully pursued, in the societal change of the '60s and '70s.  On a personal note, my crusade to eliminate expletives and crudities from my everyday parlance has been about 90% successful this past year; there are indeed other words that work as well or better, my vocabulary is improving, and I am thinking a little more before I make strong or negative statements. Tourette's is a motherfucker. There! My 10% allowance!

In the first half of the twentieth century, the influential American etiquette author Emily Post considered the term "gentleman" to mean a man with a superior standard of behavior. The word "gentle", originally meaning that a man came from a good family if not outright nobility, came to be associated with the standard of manners expected from that elevated origin. Later, the term was extended to include any man of good, courteous conduct.

Unfortunately, in recent years the term gentleman has been diluted further, so that it now is used to refer to males who are members of certain drinking clubs that offer lap dances by minimally clothed females but altogether lack manners. And a man's poor manners can be a serious impediment in his life, for, like appropriate dress, good manners serve as a social lubricant

A Suitable Wardrobe: Manners: Be a Gentleman

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