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Emily Post Quotations

 

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Here are some of The Emily Post Institute's favorite quotations from Emily Post herself.

On Manners:  

  • "A sensitive awareness to the needs of others."
  • "Manners are made up of trivialities of deportment which can be easily learned if one does not happen to know them."
  • "Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use."
  • "Manner is personality—the outward manifestation of one’s innate character and attitude toward life."
  • "Manners are like primary colors, there are certain rules and once you have these you merely mix, i.e., adapt, them to meet changing situations."

 

On Etiquette:

  • "Nothing is less important than which fork you use.  Etiquette is the science of living.  It embraces everything.  It is ethics.  It is honor."

 

On Being a Lady:

  • "The attributes of a great lady may still be found in the rule of the four S's: Sincerity, Simplicity, Sympathy, and Serenity."

 

On Conversation:

  • "Ideal conversation must be an exchange of thought, and not, as many of those who worry about their shortcomings believe, an eloquent exhibition of wit or oratory."

 

On Children:

  • "Any child can be taught to be beautifully behaved with no effort greater than quiet patience and perseverance, whereas to break bad habits once they are acquired is a Herculean task."

 

On Being a Guest:

  • "The good guest is almost invisible, enjoying him or herself, communing with fellow guests, and, most of all, enjoying the generous hospitality of the hosts."

 

On Letters:

  • "The letter we all love to receive is one that carries so much of the writer's personality that she seems to be sitting beside us, looking at us directly and talking just as she really would, could she have come on a magic carpet, instead of sending her proxy in ink-made characters on mere paper.

 

Other Quotes:

 

  • "Unconsciousness of self is not so much unselfishness as it is the mental ability to extinguish all thought of one’s self—exactly as one turns out the light."
  • "A little praise is not only merest justice but is beyond the purse of no one."

 

 

 

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