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/.

NPR

How Do You Spot A Nonconformist? You Can Start With Their Internet Browser

According to Adam Grant, a person's preferred browser is one way to tell whether they accept or reject the defaults in their life. His new book is called Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World.
NPR

Calif. Restaurant Gives Diners Ocean View — Up Close

The Marine Room is a restaurant right on the beach. When the tide is high, waves will literally hit the windows.
NPR

This Year, Anger Is All The Rage In Politics. Why?

It seems that anger is all the rage in this year's election. In a commentary, NPR's Michel Martin reflects on anger as a habit, a practice and a choice.
NPR

Super Bowl 50 Tightens Cybersecurity

This year's Super Bowl will be held in the most technologically advanced stadium in the world. FBI special agent John Lightfoot talks to NPR's Rachel Martin about the threat of cyber attacks.

Leave a Comment

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