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Things You Need To Be Told Paperback – October 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade; First Paperback Edition edition (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042518370X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425183700
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,429,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lesley Carlin & Honore McDonough Ervin are The Etiquette Grrls, creators of the interactive website which allows readers to ask and answer questions on any subject from martinis to cell phones.

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Customer Reviews

I found this book very entertaining and full of applicable etiquette tips.
Alyssa S. Hallinan
I, like the Etiquette Grrls, do not enjoy NASCAR, but I would never suggest that it is not a "proper" place for anyone to be.
DH
It seems that this book was published in 2001, although, it is obvious that it should have been written in the 1950's.
Kathryn Ryan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

162 of 178 people found the following review helpful By DH on February 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
First of all, it is Very Tiresome to have things Randomly Capitalized. It may be Slightly Charming in the context of a Short Article, but in a Terribly Long Book it is distracting and Difficult To Read. Secondly, using Quaint Expressions is also Mildly Cute for awhile, but after they use the Childish Adjective "wee" for the twentieth time, it gets old as well. Dear Readers, are we really to think that The Etiquette Grrls speak this way in their Daily Lives? I doubt it. The Affected Tone of this book makes it Difficult To Relate To.
Another thing that makes it hard to relate to the Etiquette Grrls is their Attitudes. The only Actual Etiquette in this book involves things like introducing people to Each Other, and not talking on your cell 'phone (yes, they Do Indeed write it 'phone) During A Movie. The rest of the book is full of things like their fashion advice--which is not All That Good. Be warned, Dear Reader, that The Etiquette Grrls think the height of slightly edgy fashion is wearing Doc Martens and Urban Decay nail color. Also interesting is the Dating Advice, in which you learn that girls should not Ask Boys For a Date, and the best way to Manage Your Boyfriend is with a system of punishments based on the Demerit Systems of their New England Boarding Schools. Sadly, I am Not Kidding.
They also sound Quite A Bit Snobby, managing to offend my Southern Sensibilities by claiming that "Grits is not a food." They make fun of clothing, music choices, and events which are Not To Their Taste. Which seems to me to be The Height of Rudeness. I, like the Etiquette Grrls, do not enjoy NASCAR, but I would never suggest that it is not a "proper" place for anyone to be.
So the advice of The Etiquette Grrls will only Be Of Great Interest to other well-bred women who are products of New England boarding schools, and I'd imagine those "grrls" need no help from The Etiquette Grrls as they would have learned All Of These Things Already.
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103 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
While some passages in this book appealed to me, I did find their style of writing and their opinion to be nothing but pretentious.
I was myself raised in Paris till my late teens, and have travelled quite a deal around the world and mastered several languages, including Latin and Classical Greek. However, I consider it outmost pretention and rudeness to drop in foreign words in my English conversation in order to sound "sophisticated".
Also, what is up with all the capitalized words? Improper use of grammar is tacky.
As far as choosing which cocktail, I consider it ridiculous to judge who you are by what your taste buds crave for at the moment. There are times that I enjoy a blue Hawaiian, and others when I could get by with a French 75. It all depends on MY mood, not some other person's opinion.
Real sophistication and class is within. People who look for material things to seek validation are extremely insecure, and that is the outmost lack of style.
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57 of 66 people found the following review helpful By T. Grasso on January 13, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Etiquette Grrls, as they refer to themselves throughout the book, might have some advice to give someone some day, perhaps after they've done something other than dress themselves, shop, make artichoke dip, and then "toss back a few". However, unless you need to be told not to prune the potted plants in hotels (this is really in the book) you certainly do not need thier advice on anything.
They start out by telling you how to set a table (something covered much more adequately in either Emily Post or Miss Manners). They don't get much wrong there, but once they start on fashion their advice becomes laughable. The Etiquette girls have confused Good Manners and Good Grooming with Purchasing Power. The quality that sets one apart from the unwashed masses, is, apparently, the ability to afford Coach bags and Ann Taylor Cashmere twinsets. Indeed, the only thing that seems to save them from the black skirt/twin set automaton look is their bravery in choosing nailpolish colors. Urban Decay creates colors that make the Etiquette grrls feel a little better in their extremely limited world of fashion. On the back of the book, the picture of the Etiquette grrls shows them dressed exactly alike: Little black dress, string of pearls. They look like a matched set of bookends.
When they tackle the social scene, it really does become pathetic. They are truly convinced that making catty remarks about the clothing and appearance of other party guests makes them seem witty. They think their ability to mix canned artichoke hearts with mayonnaise and bake it in the oven makes them accompmlished hostesses.
By the time they get to relationships, they have long since lost all credibility and the book becomes merely laughable.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Sukey Lee on January 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
I love reading etiquette books. I love the mannered style of actual etiquette authorities, and if I want a good chuckle as well, the gently cutting humor of Miss Manners always satisfies. So I thought this would be a fun read. What it is, in fact, is an exercise in self-indulgence from a couple of authors who fancy themselves quite witty, but who have little of worth to impart. For instance, they tell us that no one who knows anything about anything would drink so vulgar a liquor as tequila, but that only shows they know nothing about tequila. Sure if you order a frozen margarita with Cuervo and sour mix you will come off rather déclassé (if that matters to you), but the point is, they are making judgments about issues on which they are clearly ignorant. Not charming - and not even correct.

Moreover, this book seems to exist in a weird time warp. What is their fascination with Doc Martens? Is it 1994? I could understand if this book had actually been written in 1994 (although it's best never to date your material by referencing so specific a fad), but apparently the book was published in the twenty-first century! I was supposed to be charmed by their "quirky" habit of pairing twin-sets with combat boots, but I was merely jarred by the anachronistic reference. Some advice for the grrls: if we are going to make fun of others' fashion choices, it is well to remember that Grunge is Dead.

I should add that I am not terribly offended by snobbery (particularly the tongue-in-cheek kind); I simply feel that if this book was supposed to be funny and useful, it failed on the first function and got a barely-passing grade on the second. If you go in for obvious and overdone affectations (like the lamented Random Capitalization), you might find this book as charming as the authors hope you will. I found it simply tiresome and will be returning to my trusty Miss Manners forthwith.
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