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.

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Surely a level of Hell is reserved for inconsiderate parkers. But can the police actually write them a ticket? Well, it depends...

By Patrick J. Kiger

There are two main factors that influence the development of unique accents within a language: human nature and isolation.

By Laurie L. Dove

Speaking a country's native language counts for a lot — even more than birthplace — when it comes to national identity, according to a new Pew survey.

By Dave Roos

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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?

By Dave Roos

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?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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.

By Kate Kershner

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

By Kate Kershner

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.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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

By Kate Kershner

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.

By Kate Kershner

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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.

By Kate Kershner

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?

By Kate Kershner

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.

By Kate Kershner

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.

By Susan Sherwood

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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?

By Susan Sherwood

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?

By Susan Sherwood

It's hard to get a good whiff of your own breath, so if someone close to you doesn't smell a problem, it may fall to you to break the awkward news.

By Susan Sherwood

If somebody on your neighborhood bus has a booming, not-to-be-ignored voice, it's best to just leave it alone. But what do you do if that same voice thunders around your transatlantic flight?

By Susan Sherwood

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Not speaking up when witnessing racism sends a message that racism is OK — and even that you agree with it. Here are some tips for confronting racist language.

By Susan Sherwood

Near the top of the lifetime list of minor humiliations suffered in public: the unzipped fly. Here's how to tell someone what you wish someone had told you.

By Susan Sherwood

During a 2010 town hall meeting, a moderator asked Hillary Clinton which clothing designers she preferred. Her response? "Would you ever ask a man that?"

By Susan Sherwood

If your blind date just won't stop droning on, it's probably best to just let it go. But when someone's nonstop talking is affecting your workplace, that's another matter.

By Susan Sherwood

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Virtually everyone on Earth is operating under a set of prejudiced beliefs, whether they know it or not. Yes, even you. So what do you do when that prejudice reveals itself?

By Susan Sherwood

Sure, a banana-shaped hat shows off your humorous side, but should you wear it on a first date? Or even make it a profile pic on your online dating profile? In the world of dating, etiquette questions abound!

By Karen Kirkpatrick