Who in the age of the internet needs to read 61 pages of instructions on how to write a letter?
Of course, some would argue that human beings were never in need of a 61-page manual on letter-writing, not even when the mail came twice a day. In 1927, she wrote a blistering review of Etiquette for the New Yorker, in which she made clear just how intrusive and absurd she found Post’s rules.
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It is the ultimate guide for anyone concerned with civility, inclusion, and kindness.
But as our author is a redoubtable lady, I think it is not too cruel to bring her to your attention by way of Dorothy Parker.By definition, a “no-brainer” is something so obvious it shouldn’t need explanation or elaboration.It should be clear to anyone who gives it any thought at all.The author in question is Emily Post, grande dame of American manners and author of Etiquette (1922), the definitive volume on how we all ought to behave.Nowadays Post is remembered mostly as the founder of the Emily Post Institute, which publishes books like the ominously titled “Excuse Me, But I Was Next...” and offers seminars to businesses on “corporate civility.” She also makes the rounds as a punch-line to unfunny jokes on TV shows and in movies (“I'm sorry, I guess I skipped the Emily Post chapter about how to introduce your mother to a hooker! Though a few earnest souls continue to take Emily Post seriously, most people do not take her at all, for her preoccupations appear essentially irrelevant to modern life.