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Topic: The Etiquette Lady Has Passed Away
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Apr 27, 2010 01:03PM)
She wasn't a celebrity, but she sure knew how to perfectly arrange that silverware. (Elizabeth Post.)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100427/ap_en_ot/us_obit_elizabeth_post

Anyway, personally, I never did get that etiquette stuff. Maybe it's because I'm not high society?

I mean I can see simple considerate manners, like "Don't belch, or fart, or pick your nose, flick boogers and spit-wads, or chew tobacco, or sneeze at the table. Don't reach across someone else's plate, don't wolf your food and don't drool or slobber on yourself, don't chew with your mouth open. Don't lick your plate or slurp loudly, and don't pick food off the floor and eat it." Yes, I can see all that. Not a problem. Just common courtesy and civil manners.

But this stuff about "Your fork must be at this certain position, and your soup spoon must be positioned at such and such a spot by your salad plate, and your napkin must be folded in this certain way and positioned between the fork and soup spoon at this specified angle,...and hold your pinky up at this angle when drinking...

Whata bunch of hogwash! The richy rich can keep that garbage.

Sorry, I just never got it.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Apr 27, 2010 01:22PM)
Good manners are meant to put others at ease.

I wish my manners were better in that regard.

Some manners were meant to keep others in their place and exclude outsiders who aren't members of your group. Like a secret handshake.

- Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Payne (Apr 27, 2010 01:29PM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-27 14:03, daffydoug wrote:
She wasn't a celebrity, but she sure knew how to perfectly arrange that silverware. (Elizabeth Post.)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100427/ap_en_ot/us_obit_elizabeth_post

Anyway, personally, I never did get that etiquette stuff. Maybe it's because I'm not high society?

I mean I can see simple considerate manners, like "Don't belch, or fart, or pick your nose, flick boogers and spit-wads, or chew tobacco, or sneeze at the table. Don't reach across someone else's plate, don't wolf your food and don't drool or slobber on yourself, don't chew with your mouth open. Don't lick your plate or slurp loudly, and don't pick food off the floor and eat it." Yes, I can see all that. Not a problem. Just common courtesy and civil manners.

But this stuff about "Your fork must be at this certain position, and your soup spoon must be positioned at such and such a spot by your salad plate, and your napkin must be folded in this certain way and positioned between the fork and soup spoon at this specified angle,...and hold your pinky up at this angle when drinking...

Whata bunch of hogwash! The richy rich can keep that garbage.

Sorry, I just never got it.
[/quote]

Which is why you'll never be accepted amoungst the Hoi Polloi even if you become fabulously wealthy. Etiquette is what separates the Noble class from the unruly, and often quite smelly, peasants. Much of it makes sense if you go back far enough. the placement of silverware is inventory control. Back when silverware was in fact made out of silver, and solid silver at that not the cheap plate that is commonly used today) it was important to keep a careful eye on it. A properly positioned layout of utensils was much like a well maintained workbench. With a proper place for everything you could tell at a glance what was missing and then set out on a search to find the culprit who'd nicked the missing oyster fork.
The extended pinky is a hold over from the middle ages. In a world before forks you ate with your fingers. To keep flavours from inappropriately mingling you used different fingers for different types of food. the pinky was reserved for spices. thus you kept it extended to keep it out of the various sauces and grease so as not to sully the extremely expensive spices that you used your little finger to apply.
Message: Posted by: crestfallenLyric (Apr 27, 2010 01:42PM)
I agree a lot of it is hogwash, though there are some of those habits I've taken especially during an interview. One of the strangest habits I've never understood but do anyways is, during a professional interview, always order your sandwiches OPEN-faced.

Always did wonder where that came from...
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Apr 27, 2010 01:42PM)
I think, generally speaking, that most "etiquette rules" go into ridiculous detail because they are hard to describe without seeming over-detailed ... but in practical terms they work out rather simply.

All that "spoon and fork" stuff? Let the servers and hosts worry ... all you have to know, as a guest, is "use the outside one first." Besides, all that specialized cutlery? It's not the 1920's. You won't find it anywhwere anymore - not for anywhere you and I are likely to go (knife, fork and spoon should be there when you sit down, and should be replaced with clean ones if the meal requires, or somebody's not getting the tip they hoped for).

As for most other rules? They wouldn't be there if egregiously ill-mannered people weren't out there offending you and me daily. You actually have to TELL some people "no 'wishing wells' or 'money trees' at weddings", "you have to stand in line and sometimes take 'no' for an answer just like everybody else", "no you can't treat your family or a store clerk or anyone else that way", "keep your paws off the pastries at the grocery store", and much more.

For some deeply disturbed reason I daily check the [url=http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php]ETIQUETTE HELL FORUM[/url] probably for the same reason I sometimes watch COPS - to reassure myself that my extended family is not the most dysfunctional one on the planet.
Message: Posted by: Donal Chayce (Apr 27, 2010 02:49PM)
"Manners are a way of getting what we want without appearing to be an absolute swine."
-Quentin Crisp
Message: Posted by: kcg5 (Apr 27, 2010 03:12PM)
Payne, thanks for the lesson. Always wondered about the pinky.
Message: Posted by: Nosher (Apr 27, 2010 03:51PM)
Two of my favourite 'rules' from days gone by:

"While walking on a footpath with a lady, a gentleman always places himself between the lady and the curb." (Still a chance for gallantry in wet weather I suppose)

"A gentleman should always enter a lift (elevator) before a lady." (Nowadays with fewer and fewer lifts plummeting to the ground every day it seems, perhaps this one can be let go)
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Apr 27, 2010 03:58PM)
I am good at that kind of thing..opening doors for my fiance, pulling out her chair...to me that is gentlemanly behavior. Good chivalry. But I'm still not buying into the silverware rules!
Message: Posted by: critter (Apr 27, 2010 04:19PM)
Penn & Teller did a really good episode of BS on this subject.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Apr 27, 2010 04:31PM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-27 14:29, Payne wrote:
Which is why you'll never be accepted amoungst the Hoi Polloi even if you become fabulously wealthy.
[/quote]

No offense, Payne, but you obviously misunderstand who the "Hoi Polloi" are.

You and I and Daffydoug and Kevin...WE are the Hoi Polloi.

Which means you also misunderstood one of the best jokes of Caddyshack.

"Ahoy, Polloi!"

Cracks me up every time. But perhaps you need to know some Greek.
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Apr 27, 2010 04:38PM)
[quote]On 2010-04-27 17:31, stoneunhinged wrote:
[quote]On 2010-04-27 14:29, Payne wrote:
Which is why you'll never be accepted amoungst the Hoi Polloi even if you become fabulously wealthy.[/quote]
No offense, Payne, but you obviously misunderstand who the "Hoi Polloi" are.

You and I and Daffydoug and Kevin...WE are the Hoi Polloi.[/quote]
Almost. [b][i]Hoi[/i][/b] means [i]the[/i] in Greek, so [i][b]the[/b] hoi polloi[/i] is redundant: we (you and I and [i]Kevin[/i] and [i]Daffydoug[/i], und so weiter) are, simply, [i]hoi polloi[/i].
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Apr 27, 2010 04:53PM)
Do you want to correct my Greek? Hoi is the definite article, but it is plural. So if you really want to be accurate, the redundancy is also in the Greek, since "Polloi" is also plural. So "Hoi Polloi" is "the[plural] many[plural"]. So if you want to make fun of me, what I actually said, literally translated, is:

We are the the the many.

But you knew that, I'm sure. You're just busting my hoi balloi.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Apr 27, 2010 04:54PM)
From the [url]American Heritage Dictionary[/url]:

[quote]Usage Note: Hoi polloi is a borrowing of the Greek phrase hoi polloi, consisting of hoi, meaning "the" and used before a plural, and polloi, the plural of polus, "many." In Greek hoi polloi had a special sense, "the greater number, the people, the commonalty, the masses." This phrase has generally expressed this meaning in English since its first recorded instance, in an 1837 work by James Fenimore Cooper. Hoi polloi is sometimes incorrectly used to mean "the elite," possibly because it is reminiscent of high and mighty or because it sounds like hoity-toity. Since the Greek phrase includes an article, some critics have argued that the phrase the hoi polloi is redundant. But phrases borrowed from other languages are often reanalyzed in English as single words. For example, a number of Arabic noun phrases were borrowed into English as simple nouns. The Arabic element al- means "the," and appears in English nouns such as alcohol and alchemy. Thus, since no one would consider a phrase such as "the alcohol" to be redundant, criticizing the hoi polloi on similar grounds seems pedantic.[/quote]
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Apr 27, 2010 04:56PM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-27 17:19, critter wrote:
Penn & Teller did a really good episode of BS on this subject.
[/quote]

Wish I could see it.
Message: Posted by: Nosher (Apr 27, 2010 04:58PM)
Like Payne said, some rules that seem silly have a reason.

Elbows off the table stops glasses from going flying and allows you to seat people closer together around a table. If you know which side your glass goes you won't accidentally polish off your neighbours after a few glasses of claret.

You still get full table settings at some formal and informal dinners because it stops people having to faff around with cutlery during dinner. That being said, I haven't seen a fish knife in use for a while - but Ross was spot on, go outside in and you can't go wrong.

Every culture has their rules - just watch the looks on people's faces if you take food from a communal bowl with your chopsticks, let alone leave the communal pair sticking up in the food...
Message: Posted by: critter (Apr 27, 2010 05:26PM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-27 17:56, daffydoug wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-04-27 17:19, critter wrote:
Penn & Teller did a really good episode of BS on this subject.
[/quote]

Wish I could see it.
[/quote]

It's available for instant download or dvd rental if you have netflix.
Season 4; Episode 8.
Message: Posted by: nums (Apr 27, 2010 07:28PM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-27 17:56, daffydoug wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-04-27 17:19, critter wrote:
Penn & Teller did a really good episode of BS on this subject.
[/quote]

Wish I could see it.
[/quote]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bO8iMI-Ph-w


There you go
Message: Posted by: RS1963 (Apr 27, 2010 08:24PM)
My mother has always went by the "silverware" placement rules. I really see nothing wrong with it. I don't think any etiquette rule is unjust or not needed. Do I think some are a bit too much? Maybe but that isn't the point. Everyone no matter what your stature in life should follow stricter rules at least while in public. What you do in your own home is up to you however.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Apr 28, 2010 12:02AM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-27 17:53, stoneunhinged wrote:
You're just busting my hoi balloi.
[/quote]

Perhaps the funniest thing I've ever written. But apparently I'm the only one who found it funny. Oh well.

On topic: I have spent the last few years working on the idea that "ethics" are in fact "manners". While me might all agree that knife and fork placement are not critical, we might also all agree that blowing wads of snot into the soup crosses the line of acceptability. Therein lies a distinction of some importance. Natural Law and all that.
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Apr 28, 2010 12:52AM)
[quote]On 2010-04-27 17:53, stoneunhinged wrote:
. . . what I actually said, literally translated, is:

We are the the the many.[/quote]
That's just silly.

(Now I'm thinking of taking my nice weather and going home. Maybe I'll wait till Saturday).


[quote]On 2010-04-27 17:54, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
From the [url]American Heritage Dictionary[/url]:

[quote]Thus, since no one would consider a phrase such as "the alcohol" to be redundant, criticizing the hoi polloi on similar grounds seems pedantic.[/quote]
[/quote]
If [i]hoi polloi[/i] transmogrified into one word in English - [b][i]hoipolloi[/i][/b] - their argument would be considerably stronger.

[quote]On 2010-04-27 17:54, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
. . . phrases borrowed from other languages are often reanalyzed in English as single words.[/quote]
[i]English doesn't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.[/i]

- [i]James Nicoll[/i]
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Apr 28, 2010 05:36AM)
I bet you're the kind of guy who says that Babe Ruth had 2,213 RSBI.
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Apr 28, 2010 12:14PM)
[quote]On 2010-04-28 06:36, stoneunhinged wrote:
I bet you're the kind of guy who says that Babe Ruth had 2,213 RSBI.[/quote]
Nope.

(RsBI, maybe. ;))
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Apr 28, 2010 04:51PM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-28 13:14, S2000magician wrote:
(RsBI, maybe. ;))
[/quote]

:lol:
Message: Posted by: Jon Hackett (Apr 29, 2010 05:06AM)
"Two of my favourite 'rules' from days gone by:

"While walking on a footpath with a lady, a gentleman always places himself between the lady and the curb." (Still a chance for gallantry in wet weather I suppose)

"A gentleman should always enter a lift (elevator) before a lady." (Nowadays with fewer and fewer lifts plummeting to the ground every day it seems, perhaps this one can be let go)"

As it pertains to the chivalric code, there are some great do's and don't s. My favourite being,

A gentleman always enters a revolving door first, but leaves after his lady.

Yes you are meant to walk in and get it started allow her to exit, and if you cannot get out go all the way around again. No one knows of these amazing quaint traditions. You'd be amazed at how interested people are however, if you do know these traditions.

There are not enough chivalrous people any more.

Jon Hackett
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Apr 29, 2010 06:06AM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-29 06:06, Jon Hackett wrote:
There are not enough chivalrous people any more.
[/quote]

They all died dueling.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tqxzWdKKu8
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jun 24, 2010 08:38PM)
Well, here is the ultimate manners guide:

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/food/9-butlers-tips-for-impeccable-table-manners-1812107/
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Jun 25, 2010 12:12AM)
I swear, I learn some of the coolest $h*t in this section!
Message: Posted by: Nosher (Jun 25, 2010 12:37AM)
Nice list Daff!

"Be careful not to insult your host by adding salt before you have tasted your food."

Not so much as insult as an annoyance. You spend your time in the kitchen tasting and seasoning food until it is just right, then some clown pours a hypertension of salt over it before they've had a taste. I think under certain codes of knightly behaviour this is a just reason to stab them in the eye.

"Don't get drunk; you'll look absurd."

Not so much etiquette as a valuable life rule. (That someone should tell you very, very early in the piece...) :)
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jun 25, 2010 01:41AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-25 01:12, MickeyPainless wrote:
I swear, I learn some of the coolest $h*t in this section!
[/quote]

Yeah, we do have a tendency to talk about some weird things, here. Like for instance, the Answer a question with a question thread.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=250916&forum=32&start=5130
Message: Posted by: JRob (Jun 25, 2010 09:07AM)
[quote]
On 2010-04-27 16:51, Nosher wrote:
Two of my favourite 'rules' from days gone by:

"While walking on a footpath with a lady, a gentleman always places himself between the lady and the curb." (Still a chance for gallantry in wet weather I suppose)

...
[/quote]

Actually it goes back to the days before indoor plumbing and people used chamber pots. The streets were the sewers, and if the man were to the street side of the woman he would be the one to get splashed. Additionally, when the chamberpots were relieved of their contents out the window, it was more likely to overshoot the woman and hit the man.
In other words, a man would literally catch crap on behalf of his woman.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Jun 25, 2010 09:32AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-25 10:07, JRob wrote:

In other words, a man would literally catch crap on behalf of his woman.
[/quote]

So I guess the only thing that has changed is the sewer system.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jun 25, 2010 11:12AM)
Holy cow!!! They actually dumped their bathroom contents out the window?????

No wonder they had so many diseases and plagues!!!
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jun 25, 2010 11:47AM)
You got it "daffy." The "gutter" was in the center of the street!
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jun 25, 2010 02:32PM)
On top of that, they used horses (no cars back then) and where did the horses do their duty? Yup. Right in the streets, along side the human potty that was dumped out.

Again, diseases were rampant. Life span was shorter. Not hard to figure why.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jun 29, 2010 12:00PM)
If you go to Walt Disney World (I typed "Wald" by accident and it didn't correct me, "Wald" is a word?) Anyway, if you go and walk though Liberty Square, you'll see that there (and only there) the center of the path is a line of lightly-colored cobblestones. That was supposed to represent the gutter.