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Etiquette For Dummies Book Review

By The – 10/30/2007 – 12:00am

The new edition of ‘Etiquette for Dummies’ does not, as you might fear, include tips such as “Don’t stick a salad fork in your eye.” Instead, it’s heartening to read in the very first sentence, the core principle of etiquette: “Good manners are about making people feel comfortable all the time.”

Written by etiquette consultant Sue Fox, “Etiquette for Dummies” provides the information you need to be an all-around lovely person, from showing kindness and appreciation to your family to navigating byzantine place settings at a formal dinner. A small quibble is that the book also includes too many sections that, while useful, don’t actually seem to be related to etiquette.

Granted, the line can be fine sometimes: To me, dressing appropriately for your workplace is an etiquette topic; dressing in flattering colors is not. I also wanted to see more space devoted to how to conduct oneself online and a bit less to writing a proper letter. Maybe next edition. In the meantime, this is a fine reference volume to have on your shelf. Pull it out before big events to bone up on proper introductions and table manners, or skim a few pages any time you want inspiration to stay classy.

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