Etiquette & Languages

Etiquette and Languages observes how people relate to each other through behaviors and speech. Find information on topics like tipping, sign language, good manners and slang.


The study also had surprising findings about the evolution of human language and grammar.

Anyone who has received a text or an email has seen the wild proliferation of the once rarely used exclamation point.

Sometimes, as it turns out, a sound is worth a thousand words. Huh? Huh?

A recent study shows that the more creative a person's use of profanity, the better their overall vocabulary.

Goodbye, Gary. Your name is going extinct. Which is a shame, because it's just the name to inspire trust.

We believe that saying curse words always evolves from taboo to eventually acceptable. But sometimes it goes the opposite way, too.

When there's a big influx of Northerners into a Southern city, why do the locals begin to lose their Southern accents, as opposed to the other way around?

Ever notice how one person's jerky behavior can sour a whole room? There's science behind that.

You may call your cousin a Luddite because he still plays CDs, but the word didn't originally mean someone who's a technophobe. What other historical words do people use incorrectly?

Ever dialed up or down your accent depending on whom you're speaking with? Or switched from one language to another mid-sentence? Even if you haven't, you've seen it done. Why do people do that — and is it conscious?

A Twitter war is brewing, and you're itching to drag an innocent into the conversation. To @ or not to @?

Ever met a person who wouldn't hand over an item until the receiver said "the magic word"? As it turns out, that person may be rude too.

We get it: You're a grammar nerd, and correcting typos is your lifeblood. You might want to slow down with the virtual red pen, though — pointing out typos is often unnecessary.

Even if you're waiting on some important calls, putting your phone on the vibrate or silent ringer setting can make a world of a difference.

There are plenty more troublesome public behaviors to discourage, but knitting can be a distraction all the same.

A friendly gesture in one country might be a highly insulting one in another. Here are 10 rude gestures that you'd better be sure you're using correctly before trying them out.

The thought of etiquette may conjure images of fancy dinners with a dizzying array of forks. Don't panic. Knowing a few simple etiquette rules can smooth the ride for all of us making our way in the world together.

Kicking someone out of your social media territory is necessary sometimes, even if you feel it's a breach of etiquette.

The good news: Sometimes you can ignore that text message you really don't want to answer. The bad news: The rules on when it's acceptable to do so are vague.

If you've got a runny nose but your spaghetti is just too good for you to leave the table, don't fret: It may be OK to blow your nose without stepping away.

The grammar-correcting pedant is a ubiquitous character in the strange and sometime cruel realm of social media and comment sections on the Internet. Are these "grammar police" helpful or just plain rude?

Let's face it: Free champagne and food are huge incentives to attend a wedding reception. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't go to the ceremony, too.

Normally, it's extremely rude to point out flaws in somebody's appearance. One big exception: the very embarrassing, but easily fixed, case of food stuck in someone's teeth.

It's an awkward task that most often falls to bosses, teachers and very close friends. So what's the best way to tell someone about an unpleasant body odor?

You should never assume you're invited to someone else's wedding ... but someone is sure to assume they're invited to yours. What do you do when that's not true?