Respect Your Elders, You Little Punk!

his opinions are crudeQ Dear Miss Abigail:

I want to know if you’re over one hundred because this site is making me fall asleep like my grandma makes me do. So, are you over one hundred? Do you wear dentures, or do you prefer a wig?

Old Lady Hater

A Dear Hater:

Tsk, tsk. I’m ashamed of you, young man. Just because I’m thirty four doesn’t mean you can treat me with such rudeness. This little excerpt from Everyday Manners for American Boys and Girls ~ published in 1923 by the “Faculty of the South Philadelphia High School for Girls” ~ should whip you into shape. If you’re too young to understand all of the big words that they use, perhaps you can ask grandma to help?

1923: Manners with Older People

Be especially courteous when conversing with older people. Never interrupt them, and if asked to impress yourself, do so with modesty. A really clever young person knows that his opinions are crude and worth little besides those of more experienced men and women. It shows stupidity as well as rudeness to assert yourself loudly and perhaps contradict flatly what other people have said. You many not agree with them, but listen very courteously to what they have to say; and, if asked your opinion, give it very simply and deferentially.

Notice the needs of older people and be quick in meeting them. If a glove or a ball of worsted is dropped, or if some one mislays his or her glasses or feels a draught from a window, pick up the glove or ball, find the glasses, or close the window without waiting to be asked.

The giving of such attention to older people is a duty of girls as well as of boys.

Source: Faculty of the South Philadelphia High School for Girls. Everyday Manners. New York: Macmillan Company, 1923.
~ pp. 23-24 ~