Tag: Customs, Etiquette and Manners

What Your Email Signature Says About You

There’s nothing like doing a story about email to make you feel really, really insecure about your own digital correspondence. While I’ve spent plenty of time worrying about whether to close with a “most defiantly yours” or an “xoxo,” that was where my thoughts about signing emails stopped (and I usually chose “best”). Signature blocks […]

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A Linguist’s Guide to Quid Pro Quo

Two decades ago the impeachment of a president hinged on what the meaning of “is” is. This time it may depend on the semantics of “I would like you to do us a favor though.” It would be bad enough if President Trump had merely expressed a desire to the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, that […]

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The Chefs Reinventing the Midwestern Supper Club

THE LIGHTS ARE dim, set to eternal dusk. You enter and blink. If there are booths, they should be plush: Naugahyde or brocade limned in gold. Napkins are linen, tables likely cloaked. Maybe a Persian rug lies underfoot. Taxidermied animal heads peer from the walls. From your seat, you might see a living white-tailed deer […]

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The Awkward but Essential Art of Office Chitchat

Every day around the world, an estimated three billion people go to work and 2.9 billion of them avoid making small talk with their co-workers once they get there. Their avoidance strategies vary. Some will keep their headphones in and their eyes low. Others will pantomime receiving an urgent message that requires an immediate, brow-furrowing, […]

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Counter Service Tipping: Who Gives?

It was 2015 when I first began to grapple with tipping when ordering at a counter-service restaurant. I had ordered a fried chicken sandwich at Pine State Biscuits in Portland, Ore., and a friend chided me for not tacking on a gratuity to my credit card payment. I hadn’t even considered it. “They’re working hard […]

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Need Etiquette Tips for Cannabis? For Starters, Don’t Call It ‘Marijuana’ or ‘Weed’

Humphrey Bogart had a way with life’s little vices. When he bought you a drink, the critic Kenneth Tynan recalled, he wouldn’t just pass it across — “he’d take me by the wrist and screw the glass into my hand as if it was a lamp socket.” Bogart’s manner with a cigarette was so vivid […]

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