It can be assumed that most people have encountered several different people who are very ill-mannered and are simply rude people. They ask questions that unknowingly offend others or fail to address how the other person may feel in regards to the question. In this "laugh-out-loud guide,"
Would it Kill you to Stop Doing that?: A Modern Guide to Manners, author Henry Alford addresses several different instances in which people have spoken without thinking and ignored the concept of manners. Through his very comedic writing style, Alford presents both personal examples in which he has experienced an ill-mannered situation, as well as general instances that others may have experienced.
For example, one common mistake made by many people is the failure to RSVP to an event. According to Alford, whether one is planning to attend or not to attend a social gathering, it is common courtesy for the invited guests to RSVP regardless. It cannot be assumed that the lack of a response implies that the person is not going, and it is not fair for the guest to just spontaneously show up to the party without the host knowing. Although this may seem like a minor issue that should not offend others, Alford merely explains that it is a simple courtesy to RSVP to events, as it shows respect to the host.
Additionally, Alford addresses several different types of rude questions that one can ask or be asked by another person. Of the several different types presented, the one in which I am sure everyone has been asked are the very personal questions regarding finances. When one informs another of their newly earned job, they have probably been asked the question “How much money do you make?” or some form of that question. These are personal questions that many people do not feel comfortable answering, thus do not feel comfortable being asked them. Alford states that asking such questions is disrespectful and shows a lack of manners.
It is evident that many people lack manners and social etiquette both in today’s society, as well as in the past. Alford does a great job in addressing the reality of ill-mannered people, as he provides great examples that can be related to people of all ages. As simple as this novel appears, it proves to be very beneficial in that it allows one to understand how to act and speak in certain situations. Though I am sure that everybody has personally committed an ill-mannered deed at some point, this novel just brings such actions to light in hopes of people learning from it to create a more “polite” society. --Stephanie Sorbara, Class of 2015