What I Don't Know Yet

Unpardonable vulgarisms

In microreading on March 4, 2009 at 9:18 am

For my microreading this morning, I picked up the 1960 copyright version of Emily Post’s Ettiquette.

I pass on to you the following words and phrases to avoid.

Never say I desire to purchase. Say instead I would like to buy

Never say I trust I am  not trespassing. Say instead: I hope I am  not in the way (Although Ms. Post notes that if you are actually trespassing, then it’s acceptable to say the former.)

Never say Request. Say instead: Ask

Never say Permit me to assist you. Say instead Let me help you

Never say Converse Say instead Talk

Never say I will ascertain  Say instead I will find out

Never say Mansion  Say instead Big house

Never say Corsage . Say instead .Emily’s explanation here is worth noting: “A word cherished by many, but distasteful to the fastidious, who prefer the phrase, flowers to wear.”

Never say Galluses Say instead Suspenders a word she judges  merely “admissible.” Braces, however, rank “Smartest.”

And my favorite:

Never say Drapes “This word is an inexcusable vulgarism.”

Finally, take note:

“…a woman of best society may use slang occasionally at yet leave the impression of her background intact, while an equally attractive and equally well-dressed woman proclaims her lack of background through an overuse of both slang and colloquialisms.”

We walk a fine line. You’ve been warned.

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  1. I’ll immediately grasp your rss as I can not to find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly permit me understand so that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

    • To receive an email subscription, scroll down to the bottom of the page. It’s in the right hand column. Please let me know if this helps.

  2. Since Emily is so big on plain speech, I wonder what she would say about this lesson from my childhood: Never say “I’m full.” Instead, say “I’ve had a sufficiency, thank you.”

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