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MISS MANNERS' BASIC TRAINING by Judith Martin

MISS MANNERS' BASIC TRAINING

The Right Thing to Say

By Judith Martin

Pub Date: May 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-609-60051-6
Publisher: Crown

In the second entry in her “Basic Training” series, Miss Manners, with her usual wit and graciousness, instructs us in how to respond to awkward, embarrassing, or just downright rude comments from others. Indeed, Miss Manners enlightens us as to just how rude we, as a society have become, expressing our opinions where they aren’t wanted, in the name of “honesty”; asking intrusive questions of new acquaintances on the premise that intimacy can be immediate. Miss Manners encourages tried-and-true pleasantries such as discussing the weather when small talk is called for, and she offers a polite but pointed response for every rude occasion. What do you say, after all, when a friend suggests your engagement to be married might not be wise? (Innocently reply, “Oh, I knew you’d be happy for me.”) How does a lawyer respond when someone pointedly tells a rude lawyer joke? (Innocently ask, “Oh? Was that a joke?”) As always, Miss Manners provides what one “gentle reader” calls her “polite, succinct and effective rejoinders.”