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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13 Examples of Good and Bad Manners Around the World

What may elicit a thumbs up from Miss Manners in the U.S. may not elsewhere in the world. Some cultures do things very different from the way Americans are used to. Learn 13 examples of good and bad manners around the world.

13 Anagrams

An anagram takes the letters in a phrase and rearranges them to form a new phrase. Anagrams can sometimes spell out an accurate description of the original word. Some of the results will surprise you. See our list of 13 anagrams.

15 Palindromes

Palindromes are phrases or sentences that read the same forward and backward. How can that be possible? Read 15 palindromes and find out if this list of sentences does, in fact, read the same if you reverse the placement of the letters.

9 Bits of Irony

James Dean warned teens about the dangers of speeding the same year he died in a high-speed car crash. The Beatles were turned down by a record producer who claimed that groups with guitars were a fad. Read about this and all 9 bits of irony.

53 Slang Terms by Decade

If you're a newbie to slang, just chill and dig it. Every new generation has its own slang that kids use without their parents understanding. Or read our list of 53 slang terms by decade, and you'll be talking like a hipster in no time.

14 Pangrams

Tired of 'the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog?' Pangrams are sentences that use every single letter of the alphabet at least once. Learn other sentences that use the entire alphabet when you read our list of 14 pangrams.

15 Terms Popularized by Walter Winchell

Walter Winchell not only dished the dirt on celebrities and politicians, he also coined some clever phrases. Winchell is considered the forefather of gossip columnists who had a tendency for making up words. Learn 15 terms coined by Walter Winchell.

48 Commonly Misspelled Words

If you're headed to the spelling bee, here's a list of words you should have down pat. These words are some of the most common words that people spell incorrectly. Learn 48 commonly misspelled words, only at HowStuffWorks.

17 Favorite Quotes on Creativity

You know genius is all inspiration and perspiration, but it's time to find out what creativity is really about. This list provides some of the most famous quotes that are about creativity and invention. Read 17 favorite quotes on creativity.

15 Oxymorons

Virtual reality. Jumbo shrimp. These phrases have meaning, even though the words contradict each other. These words, whose meanings contradict each other, are called oxymorons, and you may use some of them without thinking about it. See our list of 15 oxymorons for more.

27 American Terms and Their British Equivalents

What do the Brits call cotton candy? Cotton floss, of course. Even though they speak English, our British friends have very different ways of saying certain things. Find 27 American terms and their British equivalents in this handy list.

9 Political Slips of the Tongue

Much to our amusement, politicians sometimes get tongue-tied. See our list of 9 political slips of the tongue by presidents and other leaders, including slips by Ronald Reagan and Al Gore.

20 Memorable Epitaphs

People will remember a life well-lived, but a well-written epitaph will render that person unforgettable. Here are 20 of the wittiest and most memorable epitaphs ever written.

How Sign Language Works

American Sign Language (ASL) is one of the fastest growing languages of study in the United States. Learn about the history of ASL, how it's used and how it differs from other sign languages in the United States and around the world.

How a Concierge Works

A concierge's work is more varied than ever as they take care of all the things most of us struggle to find time to do. Let this article change your mind about how you think the job of a concierge works.

How Braille Works

In spite of being so easy to overlook, Braille is amazing. Learn how Braille gives blind people an efficient method for communication and learning.

How Spanglish Works

A hybrid of English and Spanish known as Spanglish can be heard in many predominantly Hispanic areas as well as on TV and in movies. Learn where it came from and how it works.

Why do we say 'bless you' or 'gesundheit' when people sneeze?

Many of us offer a blessing when someone sneezes, and we don't even know why. Why does a sneeze get a "bless you" when a cough goes unanswered?"

How Gossip Works

You've probably heard the story about Catherine the Great and the horse. Although this false piece of gossip is more than 200 years old, it's still being spread as fact. Learn about the different types of gossip and find out why gossip is so ubiquitous.

How Swearing Works

In this article, we'll explore what makes words into swearwords, why most Americans use them and how society responds to swearing. We'll also look at one of its most fascinating aspects -- the way it affects your brain.

How Tipping Works

Did you know that servers, guides, drivers, concierges and others who help us dine and travel sometimes aren't paid even minimum wage by their employers? They depend on customer gratuities. Want to know what to tip and when?

What Does R.S.V.P. Mean?

What's the story behind the acronym R.S.V.P.? And what is the proper etiquette when you get an invitation that requests you R.S.V.P.?

How Verbal Self-Defense Works

A fascinating article that explains the techniques and science behind verbal self-defense!