What Is The Definition Of Etiquette?

What is the definition of etiquette? Etiquette has to do with good manners. It's not so much our own good manners, but making other people feel comfortable by the way we behave. When asked "What is the definition...

When asked "What is the definition of etiquette?", Naomi Polson, who received her etiquette certificate in Washington DC and is the Founding Director of The Etiquette Company, replies, "Etiquette has to do with good manners. It's not so much our own good manners, but making other people feel comfortable by the way we behave. So it's more or less thinking of others and how others perceive us: So that everyone knows the rules for doing things and everyone is in a very comfortable position in society." She continues, "That's what I do; that's my bread and butter. I teach individuals and I go into very large companies and teach in groups."


So, has etiquette changed much over the years? Certain aspects of it yes, but the basic definition of it remains unaltered. Consider words that were published in 1967 by Funk & Wagnalls, quoted from the book "The Emily Post Book Of Etiquette From Young People" written by Elizabeth L. Post: "Believe it or not, etiquette - or good manners, if you like that phrase better- is one of those basic principles. Rules of good behavior have been built up over hundreds of years; worthless ones are continually being discarded and those proven to be useful are kept and improved upon."




Many experts say that etiquette is simply showing respect for others and yourself at the same time. So, even though aspects of good manners do vary from place to place and some rules may be added or "tweaked" to keep up with technology or lifestyles - the foundation of etiquette, its meaning, will forever remain strong.

Need further proof? Let's exam the first few paragraphs of the Preface to a book entitled "Today's Etiquette", published back in1941 by DoubleDay Doran and written by Lillian Eichler. It reads: "Good manners are not only indispensable in society, but they have a very practical value in the business world. Breeding is an essential part of the equipment of anyone who wishes to go far in his particular work or profession. No doubt many failures can be traced to boorishness, to lack of consideration for one's fellows, to neglect of the courtesies essential to civilized living...In both social and business life we seek the people with whom we can be at ease, the people whose manners do not offend us and in whose company we feel entirely comfortable. There is, indeed, nothing that costs less and at the same time is of more value to you than good manners... However, it must be remembered that...Just as words die from our language and others are born into it, just as skirts soar to the knees one season and tumble to the ankles the next, so do the formalities and outward gestures of etiquette vary according to the times. Although the spirit of etiquette remains always essentially the same, the expression of etiquette- the rules of conduct which govern social life and our associations with one another- is forever adjusting itself to new conditions..."

So, in other words, learn the definition of etiquette early. Take in all the basic knowledge that you can now, so that you too can adjust to our ever changing world.

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