Seeing Lynne Truss’s Talk to the Hand—an interesting perspective on manners and their decline to downright rudeness--(she also wrote Eats, Shoots & Leaves, btw) reviewed in the Times, I recalled how effectively using an etiquette book along with a standard interpersonal text worked in the Introduction to Interpersonal Communication course. The students were amazingly receptive to it and realized this was also a part of communication that they needed to know if they were going to make it in the business world. I gave them a list of etiquette books at the beginning of the semester and told them that they should examine several and pick the one they thought would help them the most. Since they were all using different books, I really couldn’t test them on it but I’m convinced they read them; they frequently referred to the etiquette books during class discussions and I saw many students carrying the book.

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