Tag Archives: Gossip

Manners in the Drawing Room — some ‘don’ts’

From an undated but late Victorian self-help / etiquette book called Don't: A Manual of Mistakes and Improprieties more or less prevalent in Conduct & Speech (Ward, Lock, London circa 1890). The author is noted as 'Censor' - now known to be Oliver Bell Bunce. Much of the advice still holds, e.g. about reading a book in company...in 2014 it  would be about perusing a smartphone.

DON'T repeat old jokes or tell time-worn stories. DON'T make obvious puns. An occasional pun, if a good one, is a good thing; but a ceaseless flow of puns is simply maddening.

DON'T be always on the look out for opportunities of making jokes. For a man, to be constantly straining after witticism is to render himself ridiculous, and to annoy the whole company.

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