The Changing Rules of Etiquette Check Your Knowledge

Technological advancements, the evolvement of the family, and different roles for men and women have all contributed to changes in etiquette rules. Test your knowledge below.

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1. Thank you notes should always be handwritten. [toggle_framed title="Answer"]ON-POINT. Email and texting does not count when it comes to thank-you notes. They should be hand-written, follow the four-sentence rule, and be sent within one week of receiving a gift.[/toggle_framed]

Businessman Writing Document

2. Don’t wear white after Labor Day. [toggle_framed title="Answer"]OBSOLETE. In the early 1900s, there was a dress code for everything. During summer months, formal dress relaxed a bit with white, light clothing. Now we wear what’s appropriate for the season, occasion and weather – which has to do more with fabric than color. [/toggle_framed]3. Men should be courteous to women by holding doors or offering their seats. [toggle_framed title="Answer"]Both ON-POINT and OBSOLETE (a trick question!). Good etiquette is about respect, kindness and consideration, so we should all hold doors and give up seats for each other whenever possible.[/toggle_framed]4. Wait to eat until your host or hostess begins the meal. [toggle_framed title="Answer"]ON-POINT. Don’t begin eating until you see the host/hostess start. There could be a blessing or a few words to be shared - don’t get caught with your mouth full![/toggle_framed]5. A bride’s family member should never host her shower. [toggle_framed title="Answer"]OBSOLETE. This was considered rude because it suggested the bride’s family was requesting gifts. While it is still considered in poor taste for an engaged couple to hold their own shower, pretty much anyone else can do so.[/toggle_framed]6. RSVP within a day or two of receiving an invitation. [toggle_framed title="Answer"]ON-POINT. Always reply in the manner requested on the invitation and within a few days of receipt (or by the deadline, at the very latest).[/toggle_framed]

Invitation, text over young business man typing on laptop at desk in office environment

7. A gentleman should always remove his hat indoors. [toggle_framed title="Answer"]OBSOLETE. Today men wear hats in public, but never at the dinner table, in a place of worship (unless it is part of ritual dress), or in a theater. Of course, no hats when the national anthem is playing or the US flag is passing by.[/toggle_framed]8. Bring a hostess gift when invited to a casual dinner party. [toggle_framed title="Answer"]ON-POINT. It’s always a nice idea to thank your hostess for her hospitality. It does not need to be expensive or elaborate - just a simple sign of appreciation such as fresh flowers (in a vase), a potted plant, a scented candle or a packaged gourmet food item.[/toggle_framed]9. When a man and woman dine out together, the man should pay the bill. [toggle_framed title="Answer"]OBSOLETE. It’s fairly obvious that this no longer applies, yet it can still cause difficulty. The simple rule of thumb is whoever invites, pays. This goes for business or pleasure. [/toggle_framed]


10. Put your napkin in your lap when you begin the meal, and to the left of your plate when you’re finished. [toggle_framed title="Answer"]ON-POINT. The meal starts and ends with the napkin. It catches crumbs, wipes food from your face, and blocks sneezes and coughs. Place your napkin to the left of your plate when leaving the table or finishing your meal. [/toggle_framed]

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