Skip to comments.The decline of manners in the U.S.
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 ...
"...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.
Don't feel too badly, we're a pretty rude bunch up here as well. Present company excluded, of course!
Decline??? I thought it had come to a dead halt!
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!
(BTW, my 4 year old knows how to hold a fork properly...because I cannot stand watching kids hold utensils in fisted hands.)
A review of the rules of civility in the days of George Washington, Father of our Country.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
>raises hand sheepishly<
...and it sure makes for some awkward moments, too. :-(
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.
Bump for George Washington's rules of civility. I've read them before, but they're always good for another read.
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
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.
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.