What is Etiquette?

Do you like when people: Let you finish what you are saying? Hold a door open for you? Help you carry a heavy load? Let you join their game?

The word etiquette comes from a French word meaning “ticket”. King Louis XIV posted “tickets” telling people at his palace what to wear and what to do each day.

The first known guide to etiquette was written by a government official in ancient Egypt around 2400 B.C.

Children learn from grown-ups, such as parents and teachers, wherever they go. They learn how to behave at dinner, in school, and in different situations. For example, they learn to sit up straight. They learn to use a serviette when eating. Why do you think it’s good manners not to talk with food in your mouth?

It is almost proper etiquette to say “please” when you ask for something or need help. For example, if you ask a librarian for help finding a book, you say “please”.

When you receive something, you say “thank you” to show you appreciate what you got. It also is good manners to thank people for giving you information.

When you say “excuse me” or “I’m sorry”, you’re telling those near you that you didn’t mean any harm or that you didn’t do something on purpose. For example, when you get off a crowded lift or bus, you say “I’m sorry” if you bump into someone.

Etiquette can be tricky. Sometimes, what is polite in one country might be rude in another. In Japan, you should take off your shoes when you enter a house. In many other parts of the world, guests ususally keep their shoes on.

A tricky part of good manners includes changing your speech to fit the occasion. It would be silly and not very helpful to call, “Excuse me, please, but I’ll catch that for you” when you are playing a ball game. By the time you finished talking, the ball would be on the ground! Ball-playing etiquette requirs you to say, quickly and clearly, “Mine!” when you are catching a flying ball.

What’s the right thing to do? If you don’t know, ask someone. One way to get it “right” most of the time is to act the way you would like others to behave.


Picture Credit : Google