Monday, February 22, 2010

5 Etiquette Questions That Can Be Answered "No"*

Last summer, when this blog was just a baby, I posted a list of etiquette questions that can be answered "yes". This has been a popular post and I often get e-mails about it which led me to today's post of etiquette questions that can be answered "no".

  1. Is it too late to send a thank-you note for a gift received three months ago?

  2. Is it rude to not answer a nosy question?

  3. When being introduced to someone, is it rude to ask the person to repeat his/her name?

  4. If you drop your fork on the floor while dining in a restaurant, should you pick it up?

  5. If you have something inedible in your mouth (bone, gristle, etc.), should you put it in your napkin?

And remember, etiquette makes life easier every day - whether you're a guest at a State Dinner or going about your normal life. Wishing you a polite day . . .

*There are exceptions to all rules and in a few isolated cases these questions may be answered with a "Yes" or "Maybe". Generally, these exceptions involve emergencies, crazy people, close friends/relatives, or all of the above.


  1. Now you are going to get a slew of 'but what ifs?'....

  2. Excellent rules, but you should clarify that the proper response to #5 would be to remove the inedible object from your mouth with your fork and place it on the side of your plate. (I wouldn't want anyone to think it would be okay to spit the object across the room, lol.)

  3. Shellbelle - You're exactly right, that's the thing people have the most trouble with when I teach dining etiquette! Of course the best thing is to not put the offending 'thing' in your mouth to begin with - yet another reason to take small bites!

    Sandi - You're also right - I find that adults can ask as many 'what if' questions as children!

  4. Don't you just adore polite and well mannered people? Lovely post my dear and No. 5 reminds me of a first date I had years ago and had an unfortunate inedible in my mouth that I discretely put in my napkin. At the end of the meal I went to remove my napkin from my lap to place it on the table and the contents went flying across the table...le sigh!

    Big Hugs,


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