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Re: Etiquette

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When I was a kid my dad explained to me that the purpose of both etiquette
and courtesy were to make others feel comfortable in your presence.

But he said courtesy came first.

The example he gave was a state dinner hosted by King George V of England
back in the 1930s. The guest of honour was the King of a distant country.
Perhaps Texas. I don't quite remember. Anyway, they were having barbeque and
everyone was enjoying the dinner when the guest reached out, picked up his
crystal finger bowl and took a big gulp from it. A huge breach of etiquette.
There was a wave of silence which swept along the table and everyone looked
surreptitiously over to King George to see if he had seen this gross
offense. The King looked up from his conversation with his neighbour,
assessed the situation in a heartbeat and casually reached out, picked up
his own finger bowl and took a huge slurp from it. What the King does,
everyone must follow, so before long everyone was drinking from his or her
finger bowl. The guest had a huge time and never realized his great breach
of "etiquette".

Moral is, how about a little courtesy in our conduct ladies and gentlemen.
Perhaps we can disagree without being disagreeable and comment or correct
without personal insults.

Or maybe we could get Jerry Springer in to moderate this forum.

John MacLean



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