Miss Manners' Basic Training by Judith Martin
The Right Thing to Say

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Synopsis

Miss Manners hereby declares that "You look terrific -- did you have a facelift?" is not an acceptable compliment. For this and the other myriad rudeness that nowadays pass for consolation, congratulation and other forms of verbal communication, Miss Manners provides politely pointed comebacks, as well as the gracious and proper thing to say in any situation.

Miss Manners feels compelled to do so because saying the wrong thing -- whether in the name of originality, self-expression, honesty or instant empathy -- has become all too common:

To a Bereaved Person:
"You must realize it's all for the best."

To a Newly Engaged Person:
"Are you sure you know what you're doing?"

To a Pregnant Woman:
"You can still do something about it, you know."

The Right Thing to Say is a refresher course in etiquette as a second language, filled with the practical advice and sly humor that make Miss Manners such "good wicked fun, and helpful too" (Cosmopolitan). Including useful phrases for dealing with life's special occasions and mishaps, The Right Thing to Say explores the subtleties of saying "no," conducting a conversation without causing offense and the art of the apology when you do anyway.
 

About Judith Martin

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Judith Martin is the author of numerous books, including the best-selling Miss Manners Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior. Her thrice-weekly syndicated column appears in more than two hundred North American newspapers. She lives in Washington D.C.
 
Published April 20, 1998 by Crown. 192 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Miss Manners' Basic Training

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A prompt thank-you note is due to Miss Manners for her latest, an astringent guide to mounting a wedding that puts out- of-control brides in their place and uninvited guests at home, where they belong.

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Here is Dear Miss Manners once again, scolding and shaking her finger at Gentle Readers who fall short in the task of lubricating the increasing, squeaky hinges of social interaction.

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Others, such as whether to close the bathroom door in view of dinner guests (an issue of “middle class morality”), leaves the reader—as it leaves Miss Manners—quite concerned about a generation that must consult an expert about whether or not to leave the bathroom door open or closed.

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Miss Manners has no tolerance for call-waiting, but answering machines, E-mail, and fax machines--used with consideration and an understanding of basic etiquette--are fine with her.

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In the second entry in her “Basic Training” series, Miss Manners, with her usual wit and graciousness, instructs us in how to respond to awkward, embarrassing, or just downright rude comments from others.

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In the second entry in her "Basic Training" series, Miss Manners, with her usual wit and graciousness, instructs us in how to respond to awkward, embarrassing, or just downright rude comments from others.

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Miss Manners' Basic Training:...

Entertainment Weekly

To navigate socially in a culture of confession, Miss Manners recommends ''the survival skill of restraint.'' The Right Thing to Say provides useful retorts to clumsy conversational gambits like ''When are you going to have a baby?'' and ''I've found God.'' But many of Miss Manners' rejoinde...

May 08 1998 | Read Full Review of Miss Manners' Basic Training:...

Entertainment Weekly

''Technology likes to play a Catch-Me-If-You-Can game with etiquette...under the cocky assumption that Miss Manners can't catch up,'' Martin writes in this guide to proper conduct via fax, phone, answering machine, E-mail, and the Internet.

Jan 10 1997 | Read Full Review of Miss Manners' Basic Training:...

Entertainment Weekly

Where her previous books promote etiquette in the name of social ease, Miss Manners' Basic Training: Eating by Judith Martin has a because-I-said-so stuffiness that undermines Miss Manners' civility crusade.

Aug 22 1997 | Read Full Review of Miss Manners' Basic Training:...

Large Print Reviews

I'd highly recommend Miss Manners' books as the modern equivalent of the old-fashioned etiquette books that where once so indispensable for anyone who wanted to enter proper society.

Apr 05 2001 | Read Full Review of Miss Manners' Basic Training:...

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