Manners maketh man.
  — English proverb

Manners are the unenforced standards of conduct which show the actor to be cultured, polite, and refined. They are like laws in that they codify or set a standard for human behavior, but they are unlike laws in that there is no formal system for punishing transgressions, other than social disapproval. In parenting however, a child may be punished for bad manners.

Manners are a kind of norm. What is considered "mannerly" is highly susceptible to change with time, geographical location, social stratum, occasion, and other factors. That manners matter is evidenced by the fact that large books have been written on the subject, advice columns frequently deal with questions of mannerly behavior, and that schools have existed for the sole purpose of teaching manners. A lady is a term frequently used for a woman who follows proper manners; the term gentleman is used as a male counterpart.

Purpose of mannersEdit

Ease the stress of communal living, and mannerly behavior recognizes the right of others to share communal space. Many of our daily expressions of politeness reflect this function. Saying "excuse me," for example, shows that you recognize that you have invaded another's space, and regret the necessity of doing so. It is a basic tenet in law that it is wrongful to cause damages to another (see norm). Since there cannot be a law for every slight, daily causing of damage to another, manners serve to at least acknowledge, if not make recompense, for the damage.

Table mannersEdit

Table manners refer to manners when eating. This includes the way of sitting, placing one's elbows, hands and feet, the appropriate use of utensils, the style of eating, chewing, drinking, and speech during meals. What is considered good or bad table manners differs greatly among cultures.

Table manners are usually taught in early childhood, as soon as a child can share meals with the rest of the family.

See alsoEdit

  This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Manners. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Spanking Art, the text of Wikipedia is available under a copyleft license, the Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike license.