31 August 2011

Etiquette Wednesday

Your Manners Are Showing, written by that the perky young writer and illustrator Betty Betz will provide your teen-ager with the "bright and breezy low-down on dates, popularity, clothes, jobs, parents, smoking, money, table manners, parties, and dozens of other vital teenage matters."

According to the jacket blurb, Betty Betz is the noted teen-age authority. Written in 1946, this slim volume is aimed at the teenager out there who is treading the murky undercurrent of etiquette. Aided by Anne Clark, who whipped up some nifty little verses to explain various tips along the way, there is nothing the budding teen-ager won't know. It would seem that along with a profound desire to learn manners, teenagers just love to read poetry. Like this one:

Just now the words you'd like to write
Are "dearest, darling, my life's light."
Suppose that in five years or ten
He reads your note aloud -- What then?

While it might have been 1949, one can see that etiquette has many universals. It would be easy enough to update these verses for today's teen-age, like this one:

Just now the words you'd like to tweet
Are, "Send me some photos, topless."
When you meet a prospective employer, My Sweet
You may find yourself jobless.

The previous owner of this book seemed to be having a bit of trouble with conversation and dating as she made a few notes in these particular chapters. She needed to show a bit more animation in her face and concentrate more on the other party. Her temper was also of great concern. Under the following quote is neatly written, "copy this line ten times." The line:

"Be pretty if you can, witty if you must
-- and pleasant if it kills you."

Words to live by.


  1. What a fun book! LOVE your little translation as well, lol.

  2. Such a creepy book but actually so useful for teenagers.


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