The seventeenth edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette is a great tome of a book that is thumb-indexed alphabetically for handy reference. Who knew that we had so much to keep track of in terms of etiquette? Having been born and raised in the South and having written a vast number of thank you notes and saying my “please and thank you’s” for as long as I can remember, I was interested in perusing this huge book of etiquette. As everyone knows, Emily Post is the “authority” on manners and the new seventeenth edition will cover just about every etiquette question or scenario that one can think of.
Emily Post’s Etiquette covers the gamut of situations and scenarios where etiquette is important. The book is broken out into nine sections: Everyday Etiquette, Relationships, Children and Teens, Communication and Protocol, Dining and Entertaining, Celebrations and Ceremonies, Weddings, You and Your Job, and Travel and Leisure. Clearly, this guidebook has adapted and changed over the eighty-two years that it has been in existence to fit into modern times. For example, a thorough section is devoted to
e-mail, which covers topics such as appropriate abbreviations, emoticons, and warning against “flaming.” This modernized book even instructs on how appropriate “moshing” at a club or concert (the main rule being to “watch out for others in the pit”)! However, readers can be assured that the more “standard” advice is still retained in the seventeenth edition – such as set a formal place setting at the dining room table. Some of the advice was a bit amusing to me and made me wonder what place it could ever have in my personal life – such as what to wear at a debutante ball – but it was interesting, if not entertaining reading.
While things are not as formal today as then were in the past, today’s casualness and fast-paced, modern lifestyle still requires a certain level of protocol and decorum. Everyone deserves to be treated with basic courtesy and respect and Emily Post’s Etiquette is a wonderful, comprehensive book on courtesy, civility and etiquette. I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing this book and it has earned a proud place on my bookshelf as a reference book for future use. This book would also make a great gift for a bride-to-be or a newlywed couple – a time when people tend to “step back” and observe tradition a bit.