Not only do the ceremoniousness and formality help to smooth the rough edges of social interaction, but they allow some grading of such interaction, according to degrees of desired or achieved intimacy. Formality, moreover, is the precondition of subtlety and even of irony; without formality, life becomes coarse-grained and crude. The distinction between friendliness and friendship becomes blurred so that it is no longer even perceived.
Yes. Wow. So true. I went through my "egalitarian bratty slob" phase and nothing snapped me out of it faster than becoming a teacher in an inner-city middle school. Seeing how repulsive crudity really is straightened my spine immediately.
Worthy of framing.