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Thursday, 6 April 2017

#AtoZChallenge - 4-6-2017 - Letter E

E for Etiquette

I first heard this word uttered by someone who wanted to say, “Don’t you have any manners?” Instead he said what sounded like, “Don’t you have any atticates?”

Since then, I have noticed that many people interchange these words. And it never fails to bother me.

Manners are basic behaviours that human beings follow, to show that they are not animals. Hence, the practice of offering food to others before having it ourselves. Or letting someone enter or exit a place ahead of us. Or not interrupting someone who is speaking.

But etiquette is a system of manners put in place by different cultures, according to their own customs. Thus, the order one eats food in, or the implements one uses to have that food, are all part of etiquette. Notice how a lot of etiquette revolves around food! A die-hard etiquette-follower might be shocked if the fish fork were to be used to eat something else!

Within our own country, the code changes from region to region. For example, in the North, women may cover their heads with a dupatta or the pallu of their saree, when entering a temple or in the presence of elders, as a mark of respect. However, in the South, covering of the head is more of a no-no.

Etiquette is for easing social interaction, not for building walls of disdain between human beings.


  1. I like your distinction between 'manners' and 'etiquette'. Here in the United States, many southern states teach children in a program called 'cotillion' where they learn all those social graces, or etiquette. It is considered a rather antiquated system but I think it is wonderful.

    1. Thank you! I mean to expand this article later on!