Would It Kill You to Stop Doing That?

Would It Kill You to Stop Doing That?

A Modern Guide to Manners

Book - 2012
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Grand Central Pub
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"We all know bad manners when we see them," NPR and Vanity Fair contributor Henry Alford observes at the beginning of his new book. But what, he asks, dogood manners look like in our day and age? When someone answers their cell phone in the middle of dining with you, or runs you off the sidewalk with their doublewide stroller, or you enter a post-apocalyptic public restroom, the long-revered wisdom of Emily Post can seem downright prehistoric.

Troubled by the absence of good manners in his day-to-day life-by the people who clip their toenails on the subway or give three-letter replies to one's laboriously crafted missives-Alford embarks on a journey to find out how things might look if people were on their best behavior a tad more often. He travels to Japan (the "Fort Knox Reserve" of good manners) to observe its culture of collective politesse. He interviews etiquette experts both likely (Judith Martin, Tim Gunn) and unlikely (a former prisoner, an army sergeant). He plays a game called Touch the Waiter. And he volunteers himself as a tour guide to foreigners visiting New York City in order to do ground-level reconnaissance on cultural manners divides. Along the way (in typical Alford style) he also finds time to teach Miss Manners how to steal a cab; designates the World's Most Annoying Bride; and tosses his own hat into the ring, volunteering as an online etiquette coach.

Ultimately, by tackling the etiquette questions specific to our age-such as Why shouldn't you ask a cab driver where's he's from?,Why is posting baby pictures on Facebook a fraught activity? and What's the problem with "No problem"?-Alford finds a wry and warm way into a subject that has sometimes been seen as pedantic or elitist. And in this way, he looks past the standard "dos" and "don'ts" of good form to present an illuminating, seriously entertaining book about grace and civility, and how we can simply treat each other better.



Baker & Taylor
A humorist tackles etiquette and manners for the modern age, providing interviews with civility experts like Judith Martin and Tim Gunn and more unlikely subjects including a former prisoner and an army sergeant.

Hachette Book Group
@font-face { font-family: "Times"; }@font-face { font-family: "Geneva"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; color: black; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; } "We all know bad manners when we see them," NPR and Vanity Fair contributor Henry Alford observes at the beginning of his new book. But what, he asks, do good manners look like in our day and age? When someone answers their cell phone in the middle of dining with you, or runs you off the sidewalk with their doublewide stroller, or you enter a post-apocalyptic public restroom, the long-revered wisdom of Emily Post can seem downright prehistoric.

Troubled by the absence of good manners in his day-to-day life-by the people who clip their toenails on the subway or give three-letter replies to one's laboriously crafted missives-Alford embarks on a journey to find out how things might look if people were on their best behavior a tad more often. He travels to Japan (the "Fort Knox Reserve" of good manners) to observe its culture of collective politesse. He interviews etiquette experts both likely (Judith Martin, Tim Gunn) and unlikely (a former prisoner, an army sergeant). He plays a game called Touch the Waiter. And he volunteers himself as a tour guide to foreigners visiting New York City in order to do ground-level reconnaissance on cultural manners divides. Along the way (in typical Alford style) he also finds time to teach Miss Manners how to steal a cab; designates the World's Most Annoying Bride; and tosses his own hat into the ring, volunteering as an online etiquette coach.

Ultimately, by tackling the etiquette questions specific to our age-such as Why shouldn't you ask a cab driver where's he's from?, Why is posting baby pictures on Facebook a fraught activity? and What's the problem with "No problem"?-Alford finds a wry and warm way into a subject that has sometimes been seen as pedantic or elitist. And in this way, he looks past the standard "dos" and "don'ts" of good form to present an illuminating, seriously entertaining book about grace and civility, and how we can simply treat each other better.



Baker
& Taylor

A contributing humorist to the New York Times and Spy tackles etiquette and manners for the modern age, providing interviews with civility experts like Judith Martin and Tim Gunn and more unlikely subjects including a former prisoner and an army sergeant. 35,000 first printing.
"We all know bad manners when we see them," author Henry Alford observes. But what do good manners look like in our day and age? When someone answers their cell phone in the middle of dining with you, or you enter a post-apocalyptic public restroom, the long-revered wisdom of Emily Post can seem downright prehistoric. So Alford studies how things might look if people were on their best behavior more often. He travels to Japan to observe its collective politesse. He interviews etiquette experts likely (Judith Martin, Tim Gunn) and unlikely (a former prisoner, an army sergeant). He volunteers as a tour guide to foreigners visiting New York City in order to study cultural divides. He also finds time to teach Miss Manners how to steal a cab, and designates the World's Most Annoying Bride. Ultimately, by tackling etiquette questions of our age, he presents a seriously entertaining book about grace, civility, and how we can simply treat each other better.--From publisher description.

Publisher: New York : Twelve, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780446557665
0446557668
Branch Call Number: 395.0207 Al288w 2012
Characteristics: 242 p. ; 22 cm

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mswendybe
Jun 16, 2012

Not exactly the modern guide to manners that I was expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised by the humor in this book. More anecdotal than how-to.

c
ClaireM_W
May 30, 2012

Lest chat and more punchy lists would be more fun.

h
hgibbins
Mar 20, 2012

Not quite what I had expected, in fact for the most part it was a rather big waste of time to read. The book did give brief overviews of how manners have changed in the "modern era" with regard to the internet, e-mail, etc. but for the most part these weren't all that stunning.

tootsierollpop Jan 26, 2012

Most of this book about manners in modern society is clever, especially when he is delineating the things that he finds irritating. It was good to see that someone else has similar opinions ti mine about the behavior of ppl.

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