Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Would It Kill You To Stop Doing That? by Henry Alford
It’s always fun to read Henry Alford’s books (Big Kiss, How To Live). Only problem that arises for me is his writing is so mirthful that I tend to overlook what might be a serious important point. (Yes, folks, there are points that don’t merit levity).
With his latest book Alford focuses on etiquette or good manners, very specific to our time. Here you’ll receive pointers (if you stop laughing) on the most thoughtful way to conduct yourself on the internet, cell phone use and more - subjects way beyond the ken of Emily Post.
Alford begins his observations by recalling a visit to Japan, a country he calls “the Fort Knox of World Manners Reserve.” There we hear the amazing story of a man who locked up his shop after Alford inquired about the location of a restaurant. The man accompanied Alford on a three block walk in pouring rain in order to show him the exact location. Chances of that happening in NYC?
Read carefully when the topic is becoming a mannerly participant on Facebook or other online sites and appropriate business e-mail responses. Alford hopes to make the world a more civil place by offering suggestions re thank-you notes, meeting someone for the first time, RSVP responses, how to chat with oldsters, and other daily occurrences.
Along the way he shares what he refers to as expert advice from Miss Manners and Tim Gunn. For this reader Henry Alford is the expert, a wise and witty one.
- Gail Cooke