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Emily Postís Etiquette: 17th Edition    by Peggy Post order for
Emily Postís Etiquette
by Peggy Post
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In 1922, Emily Post published the first edition of her take on the rules of etiquette. Today, the 17th edition of that book is available, brought up-to-date by Peggy Post, Emily's great-grand-daughter-in-law, who is today's recognized leading authority on the subject. As the flyleaf states, 'This new edition resolves hundreds of our key etiquette concerns: dealing with rudeness, netiquette, noxious neighbors, road rage, family harmony, on-line dating, cell phone courtesy, raising respectful children and teens, travel etiquette in the post-9/11 world ... to name just a few.'

Just as we need laws to govern our world, lest the citizenry run rampant over others' rights, we need rules to show us how to live in harmony with those around us. No matter how scarce the food, my father never approached the dinner table without a jacket and tie. Today I am turned off by famous names in the entertainment world who eat on camera with one whole arm on the table as they shovel food into their mouths, taking those mouths to the food instead of vice versa. I have tried to ignore what I considered poor manners, chalking it up to the changing times and me not moving with those times. With Etiquette, I find that I am not off base. A comforting thought.

As I delve deeper into this wonderful volume, I find reasonable answers to dilemmas that have puzzled me. In this fast-moving world, there are new considerations. On-line courtesy that I have been learning as I go along, unknowingly making mistakes. No more. Cell phones are another problem. When to turn them off. When not to use them. The answers are there. I hope enough people read this book and follow the simple suggestions to make life more pleasant for us all. Emily Post's Etiquette 17th Edition ' also remains the definitive source for timeless advice on entertaining, social protocol, table manners, guidelines for religious ceremonies, expressing condolences, introductions, how to be a good houseguest and host, invitations, correspondence, planning a wedding, giving a toast, and sportsmanship.'

Uncertainties of behavior are no longer the norm. Any answer can be found in these pages. I am in awe of the person who compiled this monumental and so very welcome work.

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