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The decline of manners in the U.S.
CNN ^ | Friday, October 14, 2005

Posted on 10/14/2005 8:09:40 PM PDT by echoBoomer

From road rage in the morning commute to high decibel cell-phone conversations that ruin dinner out, men and women behaving badly have become the hallmark of a hurry-up world. An increasing informality -- flip-flops at the White House, even -- combined with self-absorbed communication gadgets and a demand for instant gratification have strained common courtesies to the breaking point.

"All of these things lead to a world with more stress, more chances for people to be rude to each other," said Peter Post, a descendent of etiquette expert Emily Post and an instructor on business manners through the Emily Post Institute in Burlington, Vermont.

In some cases, the harried single parent has replaced the traditional nuclear family, and there's little time to teach the basics of polite living, let alone how to hold a knife and fork, according to Post.

A slippage in manners is obvious to many Americans. Nearly 70 percent questioned in an Associated Press-Ipsos poll said people are ruder than they were 20 or 30 years ago. The trend is noticed in large and small places alike, although more urban people -- 74 percent -- report bad manners, then do people in rural areas, 67 percent...

(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: civility; manners
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1 posted on 10/14/2005 8:09:41 PM PDT by echoBoomer
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To: echoBoomer

"...let alone how to hold a knife and fork..."

OK--that's one of my pet peeves. Most kids I have observed in the act of eating hold their utensils like carpentry tools.


2 posted on 10/14/2005 8:14:10 PM PDT by Buck W. (Yesterday's Intelligentsia are today's Irrelevantsia.)
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To: echoBoomer

Don't feel too badly, we're a pretty rude bunch up here as well. Present company excluded, of course!


3 posted on 10/14/2005 8:14:50 PM PDT by JudyinCanada
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To: echoBoomer
Speaking of a lack of civility...
4 posted on 10/14/2005 8:15:25 PM PDT by martin_fierro (|\/|4R71|\|_P|-|13RR0)
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To: echoBoomer

Decline??? I thought it had come to a dead halt!


5 posted on 10/14/2005 8:17:08 PM PDT by DakotaRed
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To: echoBoomer

I disagree that it's a "time" issue for most parents. What I see is dysfunctional, ignorant parents who are either too stupid, too pre occupied with themselves or too damn lazy to teach manners to their children!
It's always been my Number one issue with my son, and I must have at least two or three parents remark to me each week about what a kind and polite boy he is!
It's very rewarding but we work on it every single day!


6 posted on 10/14/2005 8:17:40 PM PDT by acapesket (never had a vote count in all my years here)
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To: Buck W.
Manners have declined (in part) because it's not PC to call the offender on his/her poor behavior. It's not "tolerant".

(BTW, my 4 year old knows how to hold a fork properly...because I cannot stand watching kids hold utensils in fisted hands.)

7 posted on 10/14/2005 8:21:08 PM PDT by I'm ALL Right! (WWW.ENDOFTHESPEAR.COM - A True Story. In theaters Jan 20, 2006. Click my profile.)
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To: echoBoomer

A review of the rules of civility in the days of George Washington, Father of our Country.

http://www.foundationsmag.com/civility.html


8 posted on 10/14/2005 8:26:06 PM PDT by i_dont_chat (Houston, TX)
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To: I'm ALL Right!

Some years ago in our small town (1,800 pop.) during a "Career Days" program one of our elderly ladies decided it was time to put on a etiquette class during her 45 min. presentation. She taught how to arrange place settings, including formal settings, at the table and manners that go along with that.

I was fascinated, asked her how it was received. She was really enthusiastic, said that it was the boys that were the most interested and who participated the most! She showed them how to assist a young lady to be seated at the table, etc. These were "know it all" seniors and I think her "career" presentation was the hit of the day. Very encouraging. Manners ARE appreciated, no matter how crude our society is getting, we must take our society back, post #6 is probably right on. Don't give up.


9 posted on 10/14/2005 8:34:53 PM PDT by brushcop (We lift up our military serving in harm's way and pray for total victory and a safe return.)
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To: echoBoomer

Cell phones in restaurants don't bother me unless the conversation is loud. If it is kept quiet, who cares. But man these NEXTEL bozos with their beeping walkie talkie crap annoy the hell out of me.

Isn't there a way they can quiet that down or is yelling back and forth the only way it works?


10 posted on 10/14/2005 8:39:03 PM PDT by Mad Dawgg ("`Eddies,' said Ford, `in the space-time continuum.' `Ah,' nodded Arthur, `is he? Is he?'")
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To: acapesket

That's wonderful about your son. I see many parents reluctant to correct their children, like they're afraid of being seen as mean - or they just don't seem to care.


11 posted on 10/14/2005 8:56:47 PM PDT by nk_47
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To: acapesket

Good for you, same here. My kids chew with their mouths closed too, and the grown man sitting across from me at Chilis the other day could have taken a few lessons.


12 posted on 10/14/2005 9:02:33 PM PDT by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA (Prayers for healing and relief from pain for Cowboy...........)
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To: Buck W.

What's worse to my way of thinking is chewing with their mouths open. Ugh. Disgusting.

Call me old fashioned, but I'm still shocked when I go to Barnes & Noble and see people put their feet on the tables or worse, take their shoes off and put them in the chairs. If I had done that when I was a kid,...wham!

Of course they don't put their books or magazines back either.

A "please" or a "thank you",. ha, forget it. I almost think the loud cell phone talking is the worst.

Know where I can get an affordable cell phone disrupter? I'd love to have one of those.

Is there one man anywhere in the entire country who still takes his hat off indoors?


13 posted on 10/14/2005 9:11:01 PM PDT by garyhope
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To: garyhope
Is there one man anywhere in the entire country who still takes his hat off indoors?

>raises hand sheepishly<

...and it sure makes for some awkward moments, too. :-(

14 posted on 10/14/2005 9:18:56 PM PDT by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
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To: echoBoomer

I had an idiot cross the centerline today and just about take both of us out. Thank G-d I don't use a cellphone while I drive. I was able to take evasive action on the shoulder. I guess it must have been an important call for him to almost kill himself and me over it.


15 posted on 10/14/2005 9:20:08 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (We Gave Peace A Chance. It Didn't Work Out. Search keyword: 09-11-01.)
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To: garyhope
"Of course they don't put their books or magazines back either."

That always gets my goat at bookstores. Is it that hard to shelve what one isn't buying?
16 posted on 10/14/2005 9:26:23 PM PDT by nk_47
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To: i_dont_chat

Bump for George Washington's rules of civility. I've read them before, but they're always good for another read.


17 posted on 10/14/2005 9:32:11 PM PDT by Ciexyz (Let us always remember, the Lord is in control.)
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To: nk_47

My pet peeve are the people who don't return their grocery carts to the cart corrals at the supermarket. They don't care that their wayward cart gets blown or pushed into someone else's even though it would have been just a few steps to secure it in the corral


18 posted on 10/14/2005 10:18:31 PM PDT by Merlinator (I'll see it when I believe it)
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To: Merlinator

If the person has a baby, it might be a good excuse. I never want to leave my car with my baby in it to cross the lot to put the cart away. So I leave it near the car. In fact, I paid for the privilege when I lived in Switzerland, because there you get a cart from the dispenser by putting a frank or two into a slot, and you got the money back 100% when you returned the cart to the dispenser. But leaving my baby wasn't an option, and sometimes carrying him across the lot wasn't either.


19 posted on 10/14/2005 10:24:19 PM PDT by Yaelle
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To: Yaelle
May I suggest you deposit your groceries, etc. into the car, and return the cart, with your child still in it, to the appropriate place.

From there you can carry or walk your little one, depending on age, back to the car. You will not have left your child unguarded and will have made sure the cart did not damage any other car.

20 posted on 10/14/2005 10:48:10 PM PDT by IIntense
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To: IIntense

Peter Post, a descendent of etiquette expert Emily Post, is hawking his book. Do you get a cut?


21 posted on 10/14/2005 10:55:32 PM PDT by CBart95
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To: garyhope
"feet on the tables"

You reminded me of when I worked for a couple of sales reps. One took on his daughter who was out of a job. When daddy was out of the office, she'd sit in his chair and put her unshod feet on his desk.

She was in her early twenties at the time while I was in my 30s. When I was her age I worked at GE and it never would have occured to me to do that, even if my Dad were the boss.

22 posted on 10/14/2005 11:26:47 PM PDT by IIntense
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To: CBart95
Sorry, CBart

I guess I came off as a bit too judgmental. I'm considering how loose carts can roll into cars or block parking places because some people really don't give a d__n.

Whenever I had to take any of my four kids to a supermarket, I didn't have to be a member of the Mensa society to take care of the child AND respect other's rights.

If you could ask your grandparents or great-grandparents if returning a store cart to it's place was a hardship, they'd laugh at you. We're pretty much become too soft these days.

23 posted on 10/14/2005 11:45:10 PM PDT by IIntense
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To: echoBoomer
I figured out getting directions in NYC.

I stopped a stranger and asked

"Excuse me sir, but can you tell me how to get to Madison Square Garden or should I just go screw myself?"

24 posted on 10/14/2005 11:52:44 PM PDT by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: DakotaRed

I bet it is all 'Bush's fault'---at least one might might that assumption reading FR lately-


25 posted on 10/14/2005 11:56:47 PM PDT by cmotormac44
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To: DakotaRed

I bet it is all 'Bush's fault'---at least one might make that assumption reading FR lately-


26 posted on 10/14/2005 11:57:20 PM PDT by cmotormac44
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To: Mad Dawgg
It is my understanding that Nextel customers have the option to set the beep on vibrate and "walkie talk" privately without the speaker function.
27 posted on 10/15/2005 3:36:47 AM PDT by Quilla
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To: brushcop
My mother served all our meals at a formal table and of course, each of her daughters was taught how to set it appropriately. If we were unable to recall a specific (like where that third knife goes), we referred to either Emily Post or Amy Vanderbilt. Coincidentally, my neighbor has borrowed both of these publications to assist in planning for her daughter's wedding.

Having lived in South Alabama for decades, I am pleased to report that here, good manners are more the norm than the exception.
28 posted on 10/15/2005 3:52:59 AM PDT by Quilla
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To: Quilla

A persistent problem for me is to receive a phone call and have the caller ask to speak to so-and-so WITHOUT identifying themselves first. I resent HAVING to ask "Who is speaking?"


29 posted on 10/15/2005 4:22:08 AM PDT by Carolinamom (Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning......Psalm 30:5)
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To: echoBoomer

setting asside trivialities such as using the correct fork for your salad (lordy, such Victorian stupidities SHOULD be abandoned), the problem with public civility has been exacerbated by making it impossible/illegal for the community to enforce public decorum.


30 posted on 10/15/2005 5:38:16 AM PDT by King Prout ("La LAAAA La la la la... oh [bleep!] Gargamel has a FLAMETHROWEEEEEAAAAAAARRRRRGH!")
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To: Mad Dawgg
Cell phones in restaurants don't bother me unless the conversation is loud

I agree..if it's quiet then it's no different than if they were talking to a person sitting with them. The height of cell phone rudeness that I've seen so far is when I'm at the airport. I've been in the bathroom and there will be a guy talking to someone while he's standing there taking care of business. Imagine how that must sound to the person on the other end !

31 posted on 10/15/2005 5:49:29 AM PDT by Mopp4
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To: Quilla

Amen, Ma'am! I was just giving my two young ones breakfast. They were yes sirring and no sirring me, along with pleases and thank yous. But they're both Alabamians, so it is expected.


32 posted on 10/15/2005 5:55:14 AM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: Mopp4

Oh yes! I went into the bathroom at work once and the only other person in it was in a stall with the door closed. I only had to 'stand", so I assumed my business. The other person started up a conversation with me....

Him: "Hi, how's it going?"

Me: "Uhm... Okay. How are you?"

Him: "Uh huh. Right. Ok. Did you get my message?"

Me: "Uhm... No. What message is that?"

Him: "Hang on a second. Somebody in hear keeps talking to me and I can't hear you!"

Me: (OH! He's on the cell phone. How rude!) (Leaves quietly)


33 posted on 10/15/2005 6:01:09 AM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: echoBoomer

Damolrats are a good example of bad manners.


34 posted on 10/15/2005 6:12:04 AM PDT by Piquaboy (22 year veteran of the Army, Air Force and Navy, Pray for all our military .)
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To: Mad Dawgg

It used to be that going shopping was one of life's pleasures, a way to get away from it all, wander, imagine, enjoy. But last week, a woman was on her cell phone going up and down the aisles apace with me, and the conversation was so depressing that I was tempted to say something rude like "I came here to get away from depressing problems, not to listen to them".


35 posted on 10/15/2005 6:18:23 AM PDT by The Westerner
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To: Alas Babylon!

That's one of the funniest stories I've ever heard! Tell me it isn't true.


36 posted on 10/15/2005 6:20:59 AM PDT by The Westerner
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To: Alas Babylon!
As the epitome of evil mamas, I'd wake my children during the night by calling their names, they'd look at me sheepishly and say, "Yes, ma'am."

I'd reply, "Just checking!" They'd giggle and fall back to sleep.

37 posted on 10/15/2005 6:21:55 AM PDT by Quilla
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To: ncountylee; Mia T
I figured out getting directions in NYC.

I stopped a stranger and asked

"Excuse me sir, but can you tell me how to get to Madison Square Garden or should I just go screw myself?"

LOL

38 posted on 10/15/2005 6:32:30 AM PDT by jla
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To: IIntense
If you could ask your grandparents or great-grandparents if returning a store cart to it's place was a hardship, they'd laugh at you.

Growing up back in the 1950s, I often went grocery shopping with my Mom. In those days they did not let you take the cart out of the store, the bag boy bagged your groceries and then CARRIED them in his arms out to your car for you!

39 posted on 10/15/2005 6:37:03 AM PDT by Inyo-Mono (Life is like a cow pasture, it's hard to get through without stepping in some mess. NRA.)
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To: Buck W.; jla; All

Perhaps that's because the ersatz edibles these days are more woodlike than foodlike. ;)


40 posted on 10/15/2005 7:19:50 AM PDT by Mia T (Stop Clintons' Undermining Machinations (The acronym is the message.))
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To: echoBoomer
The other day a young lady was coming in from the parking lot with an arm load of papers. As I opened the door for myself, I held it open for her too. She passed through the door without saying a word. Fed up with rudeness I passed her in the hall and cheerfully said in a very loud voice "You're welcome."

She had the grace to turn bright red and murmer "I was thinking thank you, but I guess I didn't say it out loud."

People need to be taught manners and they need to be reminded that in a civil society it is an obligation.

41 posted on 10/15/2005 7:26:47 AM PDT by McGavin999 (We're a First World Country with a Third World Press (Except for Hume & Garrett ))
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To: I'm ALL Right!
(BTW, my 4 year old knows how to hold a fork properly...because I cannot stand watching kids hold utensils in fisted hands.)

It's depressingly impressive how many adult "kids" use the fisted fork maneuver - along with suffering from glued-on cap virus in dining and other public places.

42 posted on 10/15/2005 7:33:52 AM PDT by mtntop3 ("He who must know before he believes will never come to full knowledge.")
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To: I'm ALL Right!
(BTW, my 4 year old knows how to hold a fork properly...because I cannot stand watching kids hold utensils in fisted hands.)

It's depressingly impressive how many adult "kids" use the fisted fork maneuver - along with suffering from glued-on cap virus in dining and other public places.

43 posted on 10/15/2005 7:33:52 AM PDT by mtntop3 ("He who must know before he believes will never come to full knowledge.")
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To: Merlinator
My pet peeve are the people who don't return their grocery carts to the cart corrals at the supermarket.

If you'll notice, it's usually the lard butt who could use the exercise ;-)

44 posted on 10/15/2005 8:08:39 AM PDT by varon (Allegiance to the constitution, always. Allegiance to a political party, never.)
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To: King Prout

Ummmmm, are you paying tribute to the smurfs???????


45 posted on 10/15/2005 8:27:09 AM PDT by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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To: echoBoomer

May I bring it to every Northerner's attention that if you live in the South or are planning to move here YOU MUST TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO SAY YES MAM AND NO SIR!!! The Yanks have tried to let their children ruin the courteous South but the South will not loose this waaw.


46 posted on 10/15/2005 8:59:13 AM PDT by ladyL
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To: teenyelliott

nope. I'm paying homage to the wise and far-seeing Gargamel.


47 posted on 10/15/2005 9:20:30 AM PDT by King Prout ("La LAAAA La la la la... oh [bleep!] Gargamel has a FLAMETHROWEEEEEAAAAAAARRRRRGH!")
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To: Carolinamom
A persistent problem for me is to receive a phone call and have the caller ask to speak to so-and-so WITHOUT identifying themselves first. I resent HAVING to ask "Who is speaking?"

yes, that is extremely poor telephone etiquette

48 posted on 10/15/2005 9:22:09 AM PDT by King Prout ("La LAAAA La la la la... oh [bleep!] Gargamel has a FLAMETHROWEEEEEAAAAAAARRRRRGH!")
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To: echoBoomer
Please and Thank You have fallen out of favor. The family, church, school and all of society must/can teach politeness.

Whenever my manners were less than appropriate my Italian Grandma would motivate me by yelling "cafone"(apporximately "Bum") and applying her wooden spoon to my backside!!

Civic duty demands being helpful to your fellow man, so said my Mom, Dad, and teachers. Flat tire demanded you stop and help. Trash in the road, pick it up even if it's not yours!

Several years back there was a campaign to be agressively compassionate and helpful. Maybe we need to reinstitute that!!

49 posted on 10/15/2005 9:31:00 AM PDT by Young Werther
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To: King Prout

Why? Cause he was racist toward blue people????


50 posted on 10/15/2005 9:58:23 AM PDT by teenyelliott (Soylent green should be made outta liberals...)
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