Please 'Stop Doing That' Rethinks Modern Manners

We have all experienced incidents of bad manners: The rider who showered the bus with his uncovered sneeze; the woman who cut into the movie line; the person texting mid-film at the movie theater.

But while we know bad manners when we see them, good manners can be harder to define. What's the problem with saying "No problem" as a substitute for "You're welcome"? Is it acceptable to answer a phone call with an email? Is it offensive to ask a taxi driver where he's from?

In his book, Would it Kill You to Stop Doing That?: A Modern Guide to Manners, author Henry Alford tries to uncover the purpose and principles of manners — and what's happened to them in our fast-moving, increasingly interconnected culture.

Alford chronicles his travels in Japan, interviews with etiquette experts and time spent volunteering as an online etiquette coach, all in search of how things might look if people were on their best behavior a little more often.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Aug. 4, 2015

You can see two exhibits and rub elbows with the artists behind the work.
NPR

Judge Strikes Down Idaho 'Ag-Gag' Law, Raising Questions For Other States

A judge ruled Monday that an Idaho law criminalizing undercover investigations of farms is unconstitutional. Seven states have similar laws, but legal experts say they may not stand much longer.
NPR

Fox News' Debate Selection Method Is Not Without Critics

Broadcaster Fox News announces which 10 candidates will be allowed on stage for the first official Republican debate next month. NPR's Audie Cornish talks with politics editor Domenico Montanaro.
NPR

Sexist Reactions To An Ad Spark #ILookLikeAnEngineer Campaign

After being surprised by online responses to her appearance in a recruiting ad, engineer Isis Wenger wanted to see if anyone else felt like they didn't fit a "cookie-cutter mold."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.