My mother is big on politeness. Recently, before a long trip with my girlfriend’s family, she wrote me a letter outlining the things I should remember to do: stand up straight, hold open doors, and rise when ladies approach the table. “I could go on and on,” she wrote, wrapping things up. “Just please reread the etiquette book I got for you in highschool.”
I did not reread the etiquette book. I trust my own sense of decorum, particularly while on vacation; I’m good at vacations. I’m also a thirty-one year old financially independent human who has lived several time zones away from my mother for over a [...]
"I never use 'Dear…' It's old-dearish." —Jon King, managing director of the digital marketing agency Story Worldwide, weighs in on the debate over the proper salutation with which to start an email. King, who is the same Jon King who used to dance like a chicken undergoing electro-shock therapy and sing amazingly great, spiky, neo-Marxist punk rock songs with his band Gang of Four, generally begins emails to clients, "Often with no intro line at all. I assume they know who they are, and cut to the chase."
I need help. I grew up in Idaho, a pretty, if somewhat backwards, state. Recently, an acquaintance from high school posted this on Facebook [sic throughout]: "Isnt this great? Americans have put a socialist into the White House – a socialist who wants to indoctrinate our youth with his socialist agenda. Hitler was able to spread his ideas by appealing to German youngsters. Dont let obama get a hold of our children. Socialism always fails."
2. If you have to ride the subway, everyone else comes before you. It's known as yielding.
3. Is it rush hour? Don't bring your bike on the subway.
4. "But I just have to ride the train during rush hour!" Then only outbound in the morning, and inbound in the evening. Otherwise, you're an incorrigible imp. And you'll probably get a ticket.
5. At the turnstile, signal the MTA attendant in the booth by waving your arms wildly and gesturing to the gate (is there no booth at the entrance? Go the hell back upstairs and enter at a booth station entrance), swipe your Metrocard, spin the [...]
"A new comment on the post #1 "Clip from [my recent standup performance that I posted on my website, which is intended primarily to get me more comedy gigs]" is waiting for your approval. Author: Auntie [redacted] (IP: [redacted]) Comment: Well sweetie, Umm I know things are different in the big city but let me tell you….people are the same everywhere. They are going to read into what you are saying [about bikini waxing] and think you are talking about things you were raised better than to talk about. Which, we know, isn't the case. I'm just [...]
Dan! So what happened here? I was standing on the N train, and I just happened to look over as a middle-aged man of average height was offering his seat to a middle-aged little person. (I am going to use “little person” throughout this piece even though I’m not 100 percent sure that’s the most appropriate [...]
Coming across a guide of "18 Common Phrases to Avoid In Conversation," I was struck by the rightness of the article's aim: Some things should indeed never be said. But the alternate conversational choices offered by the magazine seemed a bit passive aggressive to me —for example, "Is everything OK?" as a substitute for "You look tired." Naturally, I felt it was my duty to come up with some satisfactory alternatives.
Don’t say: “I could never wear that.” Why: It can be misunderstood as a criticism. (“I could never wear that because it’s so ugly.”) Instead: Suppose you meet up with a girlfriend at a party and her outfit [...]
I'm a lady at or around the age of 30, as are many of my friends. I live way up at the top of Manhattan, in faraway Inwood, but many of my friends live down under Manhattan, in faraway Brooklyn. When I want to see one of my Brooklyn-dwelling friends, we generally get together somewhere in between, so neither of us has to make the 1-1.5-hour trek to the other's house (and back, which is usually worse, or more expensive, on account of it being at night).