Archive for February 25th, 2012

I was reading this review of a new book on manners, when I stopped short:

“Would It Kill You to Stop Doing That?” is that rare consideration of courtesy that admits you can carry the crusade too far. Take, for instance, Alford’s one-man “experiment in retaliatory manners,” a period during which he apologized elaborately to people who had failed to say they were sorry for such minor transgressions as bumping into him on the street. “I’m saying what you should be saying,” he’d then invariably have to explain to these oblivious souls. Eventually, and ruefully, he realized that “reverse apologizing is usually as rude if not ruder than the incident that inspires it.”

I recognized that, in all likelihood, I might have done this at some point in my life. Moreover, I have a very specific recollection of this happening to me, Read the rest of this entry »

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