Marion Scher has been the director of Martha Cook Residence Hall, an all girls dorm and arguably the most polite place on campus, for nine years. In a soft Scottish accent, she decried what she sees as a falling-off of good manners on campus in recent years. Although rules of etiquette seem too antiquated and formal for everyday use, there’s more than one reason to learn to properly wear those cuff links. Whether or not you take or leave her seven etiquette tips, it’s good to know that if you have to impress your new boss or your new girlfriend’s parents, you can. After all, as Miss Manners once said, poor etiquette has destroyed more relationships than evil hearts.
1: When accompanying a lady, a gentleman always walks on the outside of the curb, nearer to the traffic.
2: At the dinner table, always pass the salt and pepper together, never just the salt alone. Treat the salt and pepper as if they were a married couple that belongs together.
3: The best manners aren’t showy, they’re invisible. Truly good manners never cause discomfort or embarrassment to anyone.
4: When you have finish your meal, place your knife and fork perpendicularly together on the plate. This is a signal to most servers that your plate may be removed.
5: Write your thank-you notes promptly, even for those gifts that don’t fully thrill you. In life, the words “thank you” cannot be said too often.
6: Punctuality is essential. Be punctual and arrive at the promised time. Perennial lateness is rude and insulting.
7: Greet people you pass in the street with a cheery “Good morning” or “Good afternoon.” This will make all of campus more personable. Or, at the very least, you’ll be seen as more personable.