Author Topic: Is An Etiquette Expert The Final Word?  (Read 1954 times)

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Nurvingiel

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Re: Is An Etiquette Expert The Final Word?
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2011, 11:34:34 PM »
That's a great analogy Wordgeek.  8)
If I had some ham, I could have ham and eggs, if I had some eggs.

Venus193

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Re: Is An Etiquette Expert The Final Word?
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2011, 11:36:23 PM »
I would definitely think that there are some etiquette rules that don't change, others that have to, and ones that need to be written for new situations.  I definitely think that the aforementioned experts have the lock on the traditional, universal rules.

However, I haven't heard of any of them laying down the law on cell phones, pagers, and iPads.  It always bugs me that nobody who invents this stuff appears to think about the social consequences of their use.

Dindrane

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Re: Is An Etiquette Expert The Final Word?
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2011, 11:41:24 PM »
In linguistics, there are two camps known as the Prescriptivists and the Descriptivists.

The Prescritpivists believe in the one right way of grammar.  Some form are Wrong because the Books Say So and the Law Must Be Obeyed.  People who disobey the rules should be locked up by the grammar police.

The Descriptivists, on the other hand, talk about how language is used.  There's no right or wrong, as long as the message is communicated.

As you can imagine, neither approach works on its own.  Real language is a combination of the two: http://jacobian.org/writing/descriptivists-and-prescriptivists/

Etiquette is similar, I think. 

That's a really good way of explaining, and I agree with you on how etiquette works.

I end up saying this in a lot of threads, but I think etiquette has two components: the Rules, and how you apply them.  The rules need to be rigid to be useful, but their application needs to be more fluid in order to respond to individual circumstances and situations.

If you're too rigid, you mostly just come off as an unfeeling, disconnected snob.  But if you're not rigid enough, you may as well give up on the idea that you can have a set of rules at all.  When every rule has bunches of exceptions, what purpose does it really serve?

At least for me, it helps me to determine when to be rigid and when to be more loose if I divide it into rules vs. application of rules.  Rigid rules and loose application gives me room to be understanding and realistic without losing all consistency.


Wordgeek

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Re: Is An Etiquette Expert The Final Word?
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2011, 11:54:19 PM »
The rules change.  When was the last time you saw a lady wearing a hat and gloves?

Something that gets lost sometimes too is that there are regional variations, as well as variations within social circles.

Dindrane

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Re: Is An Etiquette Expert The Final Word?
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2011, 12:25:55 AM »
The rules change.  When was the last time you saw a lady wearing a hat and gloves?

Something that gets lost sometimes too is that there are regional variations, as well as variations within social circles.

Of course.  But I do think the rules change more slowly, and usually as a result of people realizing that nobody applies them the way they used to anymore.