“Nothing spreads faster than a bad idea”

Last week, curmudgeon/sage Fran Lebowitz appeared on CBC Radio’s Q. The topic: manners — something she definitely has an opinion on.

Lebowitz says there’s no longer a difference between etiquette, which involves rituals, and manners, and that very simply, acceptable manners today are boundaries. “The unawareness of other people is the central aspect of present-day bad manners in New York City,” she explains. “It seems people today live in a world of one.” I don’t think New York is alone in this issue.

She’s particularly irked by people eating in public — an especially bad idea, as far as she’s concerned — and offers these simple steps to achieve good manners:

  1. Speak softly.
  2. Don’t eat in public.
  3. Be aware of other people.

You can listen to the interview here. (She’s the first guest.)

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