MISS MANNERS BASIC TRAINING: Communication by Judith Martin


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Miss Manners has no tolerance for call-waiting, but answering machines, E-mail, and fax machines--used with consideration and an understanding of basic etiquette--are fine with her. Miss Manners's Gentle Readers will be encouraged to know that author Martin (Miss Manners Rescues Civilization, p. 581, etc.), while still occasionally employing her favorite quill pen for sensitive communication, also quite capably operates the latest technology to keep in touch with friends, family, and business colleagues. Apparently the first in a series of ""Basic Training"" etiquette manuals, this volume gets right to basic principles in the first chapter, setting readers straight on the stumbling blocks of some communications tools: Do not, for instance, send private messages by fax unless you want them to be read and chortled over by office staff and others the message does not concern. Do not take beepers to church or to events where the noise might disturb the pleasure or concentration of those present. Answering machines and voice-mail are a boon, undermining the tyranny of the telephone. It is not bad manners to let your machine pick up the call; it is bad manners to whip out your cellular phone when you are a guest at a party. In other chapters, Miss Manners hails the ""netiquette"" of Internet users, deplores ""customized"" letters, whether business or personal, and touts the simple, handwritten note as both less time-consuming and less expensive than shopping for an off-the-rack card of sympathy or congratulations. In an easy-to-use chart, icons flag the most appropriate medium for various types of messages. There are also samples of proper correspondence, from basic invitations to political harangues. Boot camp for both office and personal communication, whether rendered at 28,800 bps or in ""one's own dear little slanting hand.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1997
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Crown