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Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior (Freshly Updated) [Kindle Edition]

Judith Martin , Gloria Kamen
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

An indispensable manual to navigating life from birth to death without making a false move.


Your neighbor denounces cellular telephones as instruments of the devil. Your niece swears that no one expects thank-you letters anymore. Your father-in-law insists that married women have to take their husbands' names. Your guests plead that asking them to commit themselves to attending your party ruins the spontaneity. Who is right? Miss Manners, of course. With all those amateurs issuing unauthorized etiquette pronouncements, aren't you glad that there is a gold standard to consult about what has really changed and what has not? The freshly updated version of the classic bestseller includes the latest letters, essays, and illustrations, along with the laugh-out-loud wisdom of Miss Manners as she meets the new millennium of American misbehavior head-on. This wickedly witty guide rules on the challenges brought about by our ever-evolving society, once again proving that etiquette, far from being an optional extra, is the essential currency of a civilized world.



Product Description

Review

[Judith Martin] is an extremely useful philosopher, and I consult her frequently, in order to behave better. --Daniel Handler"

About the Author

Judith Martin, born a perfect lady in an imperfect society, is the author of the "Miss Manners" columns and best-selling books, two novels, and a travel book on Venice. She and her husband live in Washington, DC.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2916 KB
  • Print Length: 859 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0393058743
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Freshly Updated edition (7 Feb. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004LP1Z9U
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #518,009 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written and helpful 19 Feb. 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If only we all knew the kindest, most tactful and most polite and effective way to behave, what a wonderful world this could be. This very easy to read guide provides solutions to difficult situations, and should be a compulsory text for all parents or parents-to-be. Miss Manners is ever tactful, helpful, and superbly witty. There is a large section on wedding etiquette, but many other life events are covered too. A very good read, which can be returned to again and again.

Full marks for prompt delivery, too.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining 23 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had read the authors No Vulgar Hotel a book about er passion for all things Venice, which I thoroughly enjoyed and saw Miss Manners Guide referenced there - bought a pretty battered old copy and have been reading in small chunks (it is a mighty tome) It is a witty and entertaining read, a good bedside companion to dip into.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  56 reviews
103 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "What is the correct way to eat corn on the cob?" "Left to right." 11 Aug. 2005
By Allen Smalling - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Shape up, America! Miss Manners (a/k/a Judith Martin) is back with a fresh updating of the original MISS MANNERS' GUIDE TO EXCRUCIATINGLY CORRECT BEHAVIOR from the 1970s. And she lays down the law -- only when necessary. She's more interested in deriving principles of correct behavior for everyday life; yet somehow her writings still manage to hold the conceit that the writer is just a little old mid-Victorian lady, quietly sobbing in her lace handkerchief over some new egregious violation of the canons of etiquette.

In short, Judith Martin is more pragmatic than many people give her credit for. People who want only to "do the right thing," wedding-wise, are sometimes unfortunately in thrall to the stereotype of a Hollywood film wedding, "circa 1948." If the numbers and relative sizes of the ushers don't match those of the bridesmaids, well, better to work something out than adhere to a strict model that was idealistic and perhaps a touch bogus to begin with. Miss Manners is against all this "pseudo socializing" at work, especially when people get nickled-and-dimed to death for gift recipients they barely know; but she's for uniforms on kids because otherwise they would look "so drearily alike" in their t-shirts, jeans and sneakers. She's against the kind of complicated and expensive stationery kit that bills itself a "stationery wardrobe"; note cards and letterhead are plenty for most of us, she avers, and don't waste money on preprinted "thank you" cards. Soon-to-be-married couples who suggest that they prefer money to presents deserve neither, in her estimation, especially if it's a second marriage. And she makes each case -- and so many others -- with ironclad logic and penetrating wit.

I must take gentle exception to the feeling that the advice in this book is more suitable to the Fifties than nowadays. Miss Manners deals quite well with blended families, moms-at-work, e-mail etiquette and other modern-manner topics. She correctly identifies the kind of clothing that today counts as "formal," in varying degrees, and depending on time of day. (A tuxedo is not necessarily "less formal" than a cutaway, it doesn't compete with the former because one is for day, one for night.) Yes, she tells how to serve "a la Russe" for fantastic multi-course dinners, but she gets the basics down first. There are definitely times when the humor is so tongue-in-cheek it sounds almost like a parody of those very strict etiquette guides so prominent in American life between the 1920s and the 1960s, but she invites us to laugh along.

This book is a great bargain and will serve as a complete guide for most Americans (well, almost, riding-to-hounds isn't dealt with, but I said "most" Americans). The extra zing from the humor and occasional high dudgeon of Judith Martin's alter ego make the trip all the more enjoyable. About half the text of the original 1970s EXCRUCIATINGLY CORRECT book is extant, but updated so carefully that I never felt we were being served leftovers.
59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miss Manners rides again! 10 Sept. 2005
By Michael K. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As a career reference librarian, I have answered probably several thousand inquiries from the public regarding the details of wedding invitations and condolence letters, and whether you're "allowed" to wear white shoes in months with an "R." Those are just "etiquette" questions and most of them I can answer from Emily Post or Amy Vanderbilt -- but for the rationale behind *manners,* I turn always to Judith Martin, the leading authority on civilized behavior for a quarter-century, combining sometimes starchy asperity with a home-grown love of American democracy and classlessness. Who else could lay out so lovingly the rules for a formal dinner à la russe, followed by thoroughly sensible guidelines for the civilized use of cell phones, email, and instant-messaging? And you won't find her wishy-washing when it comes to inviting same-sex couples to dinner or organizing a shower for an unwed mother; to her, people are people and all are deserving of polite treatment, if not always respect. And her dry wit, as always, is a quotable marvel.
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passes the white glove test 20 April 2005
By Luan Gaines - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Times have changed. We're now in an age of technology with a whole new set of etiquette problems to solve. It seems as though people don't care about manners anymore, codes of conduct relegated to a lost century, like men sporting hats and women in white gloves. But Miss Manners (Judith Martin) is hanging tough, refusing to give in to such lackadaisical attitudes. She's dusted off that old rule book and swept away the cobwebs, offering humorous, often hilarious, common-sense advice to anyone seeking help.

There is no topic Miss Manners won't discuss, although often with a quirky retort that makes you smile, as she tackles every possible topic, including children's manners, basic courtesy for all ages, conversation (especially on those ubiquitous cell phones!), houseguests, rites of passage, engagements and weddings, employment interviews, invitation etiquette, life after divorce and even bereavement. There is virtually no problem ignored and help for every etiquette concern. Let's face it, life has gotten complicated the last few years. It's a real comfort to have this impressive volume, over 800 pages, of Miss Manner's guidance on the family bookshelf.

"Etiquette is not for amateurs" and Miss Manners is adamant about the difference between "being pushy and being a pushover". How do you respond appropriately when having lunch with a "friend" who talks on a cell phone all through the meal? Is it all right to send a thank you note via email? The truth is, we're all in this together. The only reasonable thing to do is treat each other respectfully and resolve those irritating little behavioral problems we all share. Like a favorite non-judgmental aunt, Miss Manners offers her insightful suggestions, guaranteed to save wear and tear on our already fragile psyches. Luan Gaines/2005.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, Up-To-Date Advice 5 July 2007
By Wilfrid R. Koponen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I'd read an earlier version of this guide to etiquette and remembered it as being useful and witty, but I am struck in this updated version by how practical is Miss Manners' advice. Don't be fooled, Gentle Reader: this book is packed with information that you may put to good use in everyday situations, not just at receptions at the White House or at fancy weddings.

Miss Manners covers cell phones and laptop computers. She lets us know that etiquette does NOT require that we agree to be put on hold when we phone a business and are asked, "Would you hold, please?" or that we leave a message when our call is routed to voicemail. (Hanging up on a machine is not rude, she assures us; it's not the same as hanging up on a person.)

Particularly helpful to me are the author's suggested ways of saying "no" politely--for example, when declining to enter into conversation with someone seated next to you on a plane or declining to donate money to a charity when someone phones to ask for money. Main take-away point: apologize ("I'm sorry. . . ."), and say "no" firmly, but do NOT offer any excuses (truthful or otherwise), which is where, she tells us, we are apt to get ourselves into trouble. If pressed, there is always a polite way to cut off the conversation, such as, "I'm sorry, but I never discuss my personal finances" or "I'm sorry, I'm not up to conversation right now."

This book is not just one that deserves to be purchased and read; it deserves to be read cover-to-cover and then referred to again and again.

Recommended most highly.

Brava, Miss Manners!
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Etiquette Reference 18 Nov. 2005
By askmrright - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If you can only buy one etiquette reference book, make it this one. Miss Manners is second to none; her knowledge is extensive, her instruction is flawless, and her tone is pointed yet compassionate.

Filled with thoughtful humor, gentle encouragement, and the best advice for almost any conceivable occasion or circumstance, this book is already a classic and will remain the standard for etiquette elucidation and prescription for the foreseeable future.

Highly recommended!
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