18 Stories

10 Most Polite Stars of 2017

Pro golfer Rickie Fowler takes the No. 1 slot

(Newser) - Athletes are usually known for their strength and speed, but three big names can also add "politeness" to their CVs. The National League of Junior Cotillions, a group that trains kids in ballroom dancing (as well as to "act and learn to treat others with honor, dignity, and... More »

Airplane Phone Restrictions: Safety or Manners?

'Many passengers would prefer that voice calls not be made on airplanes'

(Newser) - Overhearing some loudmouth's phone conversation is bad enough on the street or at a restaurant, but nobody wants to be sitting next to that person for the duration of a flight. And that may be the real reason the FCC continues to ban voice calls on phones, even though... More »

Being Rude to Your Kid's Doctor May Be a Health Hazard

It can jeopardize the care children receive, a study found

(Newser) - If you think being tough with your child's doctor is the right way to ensure better care, think again. A new study out of the University of Florida suggests that rude parents can cause serious, even deadly, consequences. Researchers who staged emergency situations in a neonatal intensive care unit... More »

Grandma Wins Internet With Politest Google Search Ever

England's May Ashworth thought there was a person at Google HQ answering queries

(Newser) - When Ben John went to his grandma's house last week to do laundry, he decided to surf the Internet on her laptop while he was waiting. What he found on the Web page she had open blew his millennial mind, the Guardian reports. "Omg opened my Nan's... More »

Germans Say Nein to Kissing at Work

Keep your distance, says a German etiquette group

(Newser) - It may be common in France, but a kiss on the cheek has no place in Germany, says the Knigge Society, a group that advises on social behavior and etiquette. It says it has received numerous complaints on the subject, and wants to remind Germans to stick with a handshake—... More »

New Phone Etiquette: Don't Call Anyone

Phones are so smart now, we've stopped calling altogether

(Newser) - Smartphones are the most important accessories in our lives, good for doing just about anything—except actually calling people, writes Pamela Paul in the New York Times . In fact, phone use in general is way down over the past five years, reports Paul, so much so that when her phone... More »

'Dear' Has Gone the Way of the Dinosaur

In our Internet age, it's too intimate for some, too formal for others

(Newser) - Dear reader: If starting your correspondence with the word “dear” seems just a bit too familiar to use, you’re not alone. The long-penned salutation appears to be headed for extinction, thanks in part to the proliferation of informal communication like email, the Wall Street Journal reports. Even one... More »

How to Confront an iPhone Addict ... Politely

Sorry, but no, you shouldn't approach rude strangers

(Newser) - Sarah Lorge Butler cannot believe she needs to remind us of this, but “it’s not polite to use a BlackBerry or iPhone at the table. Ever,” she writes for CBS . After running into two situations—one involving a friend, the other a stranger—in which she wanted... More »

How Not to Be Boring

Esquire's advice on keeping things interesting

(Newser) - Are you a bit of a dullard? Me, too. Thankfully, the folks at Esquire have put together a guide to being cool. Well, cooler. Here are some of their tips for the socially challenged:
  • First of all, just don't be boring: If what you're saying is making your own eyes
... More »

How to Dine Like a Gentleman

For one thing, no dancing

(Newser) - Looking to impress your future in-laws at a fancy dinner out? Follow John Mariani’s 39 steps for how to dine out like a gentleman, from Esquire :
  • "A gentleman never has more than one cocktail before dinner."
  • "A gentleman never takes more than one minute to decide
... More »

When Did We Stop Saying 'You're Welcome'?

And should we mourn its passing, or just suck it up?

(Newser) - Matt Zoller Seitz has a problem with "no problem." The phrase has replaced "you're welcome" about as definitively as cars replaced the horse and buggy, and it irks him "to an extent that cannot be captured in print without the use of capital letters, boldface, italics... More »

Artist Gives NYC's Subway Riders a Lesson in Manners

Poster blitz also targets seat hogs, litterers

(Newser) - Call him the 21st-century Emily Post: Artist Jason Shelowitz is out to teach New York City subway riders that groping, sneezing, preaching, and littering is totally uncool. Shelowitz quizzed passengers on their pet peeves and made the top 10 into pretty humorous posters in the style of the transit authority's... More »

Dear Santa, Send Me a Mom (Not Clothes)

Kids' letters to St. Nick go way beyond toys, and often skip 'please'

(Newser) - Some are funny, some are sad; some ask for a microscope, some to be transformed into an elf; but the one thing kids writing letters to Santa agree on is: no clothes. So says a professor who analyzed more than 1,200 letters sent to Santa, from one child's heart-wrenching... More »

Grumpy Berliners Learn to Smile

Friendliness campaign gives city an image makeover

(Newser) - Berlin may not be a city of churlish insults and bad manners much longer. Long known for the rudeness of its residents, the German capital is on a “friendliness offensive,” Der Spiegel reports. Pegged to its annual tourism convention, Berlin’s campaign aims to boost the number of... More »

Texting on Dates? Just Hang Up

(Newser) - Texting may be a ubiquitous form of communication, but you might want to put away that handset when you’re sitting across from a first date, writes Martha Irvine for the AP. "Oh, the fun of pretending to be interested in what someone else is typing to someone you... More »

Pushy Waiters Should Put a Cork in It

Overzealous waiters can kill an evening of good wine

(Newser) - Barbaric waiters are storming the dinner table, "butting in and pouring wine without being asked" and expecting diners to hurry up and pony up to replace the drained bottle, laments Christopher Hitchens in Slate. Leaving punchlines and evenings in tatters, their unsolicited interruptions aren't just a sign of bad... More »

10 Tips for the Stylish Gent

Designer Paul Smith dishes on T-shirts and tailor-made suits

(Newser) - Natty British designer Paul Smith outlines his do's and don'ts for the 21st-century gentlemen in a cagey Details interview. Cologne lovers, beware:
  1. T-shirts seem easy, but they're a big no-no; go with a collar.
  2. A good, bland haircut is better than a failed stylish one.
  3. Women first! Don't ignore them
... More »

Have You Heard the Latest on Pet Peeves?

Gossip, 'reply all' abuse are driving your co-workers nuts

(Newser) - "MYOB" is great advice, say office workers who blame poor manners for making cubicle life so bad. Gossip was the biggest annoyance for 60% of people surveyed in a new Harris Interactive poll. More than half complained of co-workers misusing work time with personal calls and web surfing, and... More »

18 Stories