Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Etiquette and Body Odor

Most people are reluctant to ask others whether their own body odor stinks or not. And even if an individual was able to work up enough courage to ask such a question, they’d have a hard time knowing whether the answer was sincere. In an attempt to put people’s minds at ease, Konica Minolta Inc. recently unveiled what it claims is the world’s first device that measures and rates a person’s body odor. The gadget, dubbed Kunkun Body (kunkun is an onomatopoeia for sniffing in Japanese), is a pocket-size instrument co-developed with the Osaka Institute of Technology that rates a person’s body odor on a scale of 1 to 100 and sends the results to a smartphone that is connected wirelessly. “Scents are chemical substances but how people’s sense of smell works varies according to each individual,” says Daisuke Koda, one of the key researchers behind the instrument’s development. Koda says, “We thought it would be very useful if we could create some kind of system to measure the types and strength of scents that are close to how humans smell.” Users simply launch an app on their smartphone, place the device near the area where they want to measure their body odor (ex.— their armpits or feet) and, about 20 seconds later, the results appear on their smartphone.“Body odor is one of the hardest things to point out to another person but because many people can’t smell their own odor, they have this vague sense of anxiety,” Koda says. “Now, however, they can feel assured by being able to ‘see’ their own scent.” - Japan Times Online


Not creating a stink at the office — More Japanese companies are taking the issue of unpleasant odors in the workplace seriously


From sexual harassment and power harassment to maternity harassment and alcohol harassment, unjustifiable conduct in the workplace takes many forms. In recent years, however, a new issue has begun receiving media attention: “smell harassment.” The “smell” referred to in the above phrase could be anything from bad breath and body odor to perfume and fabric softener. Regardless of whether a person is conscious of their odor or not, some consider it to be harassment if others are bothered by the smell. However, unlike other types of harassment, smell harassment — often abbreviated as sumehara — is a very personal and sensitive issue, making it difficult for others to speak up.

It’s worth noting at this point that some men and women suffer from a medical condition called axillary osmidrosis (commonly called wakiga in Japanese), a hereditary disorder caused by the secretion of the apocrine gland that causes body odor. Experts say that an estimated 10-15 percent of the Japanese population have this condition, adding that, in most cases, it can be treated through surgery.m

For the majority of the population, however, body odor is a consequence of general sweating. Both men and women sweat, but men are more likely to emit a stronger body odor. And more often than not, the person responsible for the odor is likely to be completely oblivious to the smell they are emitting because of olfactory fatigue, a condition in which individuals cannot distinguish a certain smell after being exposed to it for a period of time.

With more women in the workplace as well as commercials frequently using the term “kareishū,” the Japanese equivalent of “old-person smell,” men are increasingly becoming conscious of their smell. Drugstores typically feature rows of men’s products, from roll-on and spray-type deodorants to body-wipe sheets, scalp-care shampoo and so on. Deodorizing suits and socks are now available at menswear chainstore Yofuku-no-Aoyama, while Konica Minolta Inc. launched a gadget that measures body odor called Kunkun Body in mid-July.

“Body odor is not just a personal issue, because it affects those around you,” says Keisuke Oku, chief of the Public Relations Division at major cosmetics manufacturer Mandom Corp. “It could not only make others not want to work with you, but also negatively impact what people think of you.” In a survey compiled by Mandom in May, 63.1 percent of the 1,028 people who responded in Tokyo and Osaka ranked body odor as the No. 1 thing that bothers them during the government’s Cool Biz energy saving campaign, which calls on companies to set their air conditioners at 28 degrees Celsius. More specifically, respondents highlighted body odor and bad breath as the top two grooming categories they wished others would pay closer attention to.

Meanwhile, respondents who have come across the words “smell harassment” appear to have doubled from 20.1 percent in 2014 to 45.8 percent in May. “People’s awareness of body odor and smell is increasing,” Oku says. “It is not like sweat, which is mainly uncomfortable for yourself. Body odor will cause discomfort to others, too.” — Japan Times Online

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Etiquette, Gents and Flowers

A girl under five feet five might prefer a small arrangement to be worn on her back décolletage, rather than one to be crushed at the waist or on the shoulder during dancing or a tiny nosegay to pin to her gloves or bag. Tall girls can stand the big impressive corsages men love to buy, but little girls often abhor them. 


Men... In the sending of flowers, confused, they buy something expensive and therefore, they believe, impressive, but it may be quite unsuitable to the occasion or to the costume the girl is wearing. A corsage of purple orchids looks foolish at a football game, whereas a shaggy chrysanthemum, a bunch of violets, or orange calendula, or even a charmingly arranged spray of bittersweet would be in tune with her sport coat, lap rug, and stadium boots. A woman is much more impressed when her escort makes an effort to find out what kind of flowers she would prefer to wear than if he just leaves it up to the florist. 

If a man can't determine for himself whether a girl is the orchid or gardenia type and can't bring himself to ask her what she plans to wear, he is safe in sending white flowers — lilies of the valley, gardenias, chrysanthemums (for daytime wear), rosebuds (but they are perishable for an evening of dancing), carnations in a tight little round bouquet. But he should be careful not to have so many flowers in the corsage that a delicate gown will be pulled out of place by the weight of it. And for a short girl, never, under any circumstances, should a corsage of more than one or two orchids be sent. A girl with taste and a taste for orchids would prefer one little green, yellow, or white spray orchid to half a dozen ostentatious purple ones. But, orchids or cornflowers, corsages should be free of ribbon trimming, and rose corsages should not have any greenery but their own as background. 

Flowers are worn various ways with evening clothes. (If they are to be worn on the shoulder for dancing, the right shoulder keeps them fresh longer. ) A girl with braids or a chignon might prefer a red or pink camellia or a single gardenia for her hair rather than a corsage. A girl under five feet five might prefer a small arrangement to be worn on her back décolletage, rather than one to be crushed at the waist or on the shoulder during dancing or a tiny nosegay to pin to her gloves or bag. Tall girls can stand the big impressive corsages men love to buy, but little girls often abhor them. 

Flowers should be arranged in corsages so that they will be worn the way they grow, with the heads up. They should be sent with several florist's pins so they can be anchored firmly in place. Bouquets of flowers should always be sent with some thought of where and how they will be arranged. Several dozen towering dahlias, chrysanthemums, or gladiolus, sans container, will not always be welcome in a hotel room, in the compartment of a train, or aboard ship, in anything less than a suite. A potted plant is impractical for a transient. 

Flowers corsages or arm bouquets sent to trains and planes are usually just a burden to the recipient. It is a very nice thing, however, to send flowers for decoration to a girl who is giving a party. I once knew a charming gentleman with imagination enough to do that. He filled my apartment with flowers the afternoon I was giving a large cocktail party and sent along his Filipino butler, too, to help out. 

A man who is laying siege to a girl's heart does well not to systematize his flower-sending. I knew one man who could be counted on to send two dozen long-stemmed red roses every Saturday, rain or shine. And another who might send a gay, red geranium in a simple clay pot or turn up with a single gardenia in a twist of green waxed paper or a new recording or some fresh catnip for the kitten one never knew. Any woman could tell in a minute which was the more interesting man. — The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky, 1953


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Etiquette at the Door


A Question of Etiquette: Do you hold the door for others?
"Everyday acts of etiquette, such as holding doors for other people, reflect the internal simulation of acts of social cooperation."?

American researchers stake out a door and find it far from an open and shut case

Whether one person holds a door open for another is not simply a question of etiquette, says a study by Joseph P Santamaria and David A Rosenbaum of Pennsylvania State University. No, they say. Nothing simple about it.

Santamaria and Rosenbaum worked to pursue the answer through a tangle of belief, logic, probability, perception and calculation. Their study, Etiquette and Effort: Holding Doors for Others, was published in 2011 in the journal Psychological Science. It is, one way or another, a gripping read.

Santamaria and Rosenbaum selected a door that gets heavy use by people entering or exiting a building. “We recorded the behaviour of 148 individuals approaching and passing through the door. We determined whether the first person held the door for the follower or followers, how far the follower or followers were from the door, how long it took for the follower or followers to reach the doorway, and how many followers (one or two) followed the first person at the door.”

“We found,” they reveal, “that the closer the follower or followers were to the door, the more likely people were to hold the door open.” The researchers devised the experiment to test their new hypothesis — their highly educated guess — as to what happens in the mind of a person faced with a decision to either hold the door open for the next person, or not hold the door open.

“Specifically, we hypothesised that decisions about whether to hold a door open depend on calculations of the odds that one person’s holding the door would require less effort than would each individual’s opening the door on his or her own.”

Santamaria and Rosenbaum’s small, specific door-holding hypothesis is a toy version of their big, general hypothesis: “We hypothesised that everyday acts of etiquette, such as holding doors for other people, reflect the internal simulation of acts of social cooperation.” Their theory aims for a deep level of understanding: “According to [our] view, etiquette, or the form of physically expressed etiquette considered here, is not just a symbol for respect; it is also a means of reducing physical effort for the group.”

In the final paragraph, the study points out one of its obvious limitations: “Some forms of etiquette do not concern physical effort (eg napkin folding).”

The Santamaria/Rosenbaum study follows distantly in the tradition of John Trinkaus. Professor Trinkaus published nearly 100 academic studies about things that annoyed him. His paper, called Exiting a Building: An Informal Look, published in 1990, reported the behaviour of 819 people leaving a New York City building that had two side-by-side doors, one held in the open position, the other closed. Trinkaus observed that approximately 70% of those people chose to exit through the open door.

Marc Abrahams is editor of the Annals of ImprobableResearch and organiser of the Ig Nobel prizes - From May 2015, TheGuardian.com

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Victorian School Etiquette

“Good manners are the shadows of virtues, if not virtues themselves.”


School-Room Etiquette

If teachers realized the inestimable amount of good they might accomplish by giving a little time and thought to the manners of their pupils, surely they would willingly give it. Those of their pupils who have no proper training at home would thus gain a knowledge which, in after life, would prove a blessing. And such a course acted upon by the teacher would be of great assistance to the parents of those who are well trained at home; for a large portion of a child’s time is spent in school, and under conditions that require such training.

Teachers must treat their scholars politely if they expect polite treatment from them.

Every teacher should see that no pupil is allowed to treat those of a lower station in life with disrespect.

It is a common occurrence for a teacher to speak with seeming disrespect of a pupil’s parents, blaming them for the pupil’s lack of interest in school, truancy, etc. Such a course is highly reprehensible in the teacher, and gains the pupil’s ill-will. It is better to assume that the parents would be displeased with anything wrong in the pupil, and to appeal to the pupil for his mother’s or father’s sake.

A teacher should never allow herself or himself to be addressed by pupils as “Teacher,” but as Miss or Mr. Smith.

If pupils would take pains to bid a teacher “good-morning” and “good-night,” they would appear well in so doing, and easily give pleasure to another.

The entire atmosphere of a school-room is dependent upon trifles. Where a teacher, by her own actions and in accordance with her requirements, insures kindness and politeness from all to all, she may feel almost sure of the success of her school.

Young misses ought to be addressed by the teacher as “Miss Julia,” “Miss Annie.” Young boys (too young to be addressed as Mr.) should be addressed as “Master Brown,” “Master Jones,” etc.

Teachers should use great discretion in reproving any unintentional rudeness, especially on the part of those ignorant from lack of home training. If such were reproved gently and privately, it would be more efficacious and just. No one should be allowed to appear to disadvantage from ignorance.

Selfishness, untruthfulness, slang, rowdyism, egotism, or any show of superiority should be corrected in the school-room.

Young teachers hardly realize with what fear and dread mothers intrust to them their carefully reared children, especially young ones.


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Etiquette for Telephoning

When there are several different persons using the same line, two or three of them may mistake the call for theirs, and all rush to the telephone at once. If at all stupid, or lacking in politeness, they will make it quite unpleasant for each other. - From "Practical Etiquette," 1899  
While it is fun to read retro-etiquette or vintage etiquette posts, which preceded our carrying our phones everywhere with us,  they rarely need much modification to suit today's needs.  Keep this in mind when reading. With mobile phones, or cell phones, fewer people are making actual phone calls. Texting and engagement through social media sites are far more prevalent. 
The amount of text, email and social media app data usage, surpassed the amount of voice data used in cell phone calls in less than a decade. One 40-year-old marketing consultant from Canton Massachusetts, said that she probably only spoke to someone verbally on her cell phone, once a week, when interviewed by the New York Times in 2010. To get, and keep jobs, in which conversation skills are highly valued, proper telephone manners may have to be learned, or refreshed, as the current trends continue.


Telephoning

For the benefit of those who but seldom make use of the telephone, and consequently feel more or less ill at ease when attempting to use one, and also for those who, from ignorance of the first laws of politeness, or who, from thoughtlessness, ignore them, a few hints upon the subject may not come amiss. It is after having called up “Central,” and been given the number requested, that one often stands in need of no small amount of tact and good breeding, as well as of some idea of the best method of procedure. 

When there are several different persons using the same line, two or three of them may mistake the call for theirs, and all rush to the telephone at once. If at all stupid, or lacking in politeness, they will make it quite unpleasant for each other. The one entitled to speak should politely inquire for the one for whom she has called at the telephone, also giving her own name as the one delivering the message. If this does not suffice to enlighten those who sometimes keep calling “hello,” “hello,” without waiting to learn if they are the ones desired, the one talking should again announce herself, and the name of the one to whom she wishes to speak. Then, occasionally, even while in the midst of a conversation, some one will break in with a “Hello!” “Who is it?” “What do you want?” etc., which is quite distracting. If one can gain a hearing in no other way, it is well to say: “Excuse me, I hold the line.” If this does not bring order out of chaos, one should ring off and call again.

One should be careful not to call up friends at inconvenient hours, and when one is notified by a servant, or otherwise, that someone, the name being given, is at the telephone wishing to speak with her, she should certainly be as expeditious as possible in replying; for, by holding the wire, she is inconveniencing others, as well as the one who is waiting for her. No lady needs to be warned against speaking discourteously under any circumstances to the telephone assistants at the central office. It is in these little things that one shows herself to be well-bred or not.

None, of course, but the most informal of invitations can be delivered by telephone.

Servants should be taught always to answer the telephone politely and intelligently. When answering, a servant should say whose residence it is, if asked, not by giving the family name, as “Smith,” but as “Mr. Smith,” and then, if asked who is at the instrument, she should reply, “Mrs. Smith’s cook” or “maid.”

One’s individual manners, and ordinary polite or impolite forms of address, are very noticeable when accentuated by the telephone. — From Practical Etiquette 


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Etiquette and Chaperonage

The Chaperone — Ready to spoil just about everyone's fun! 


Chaperonage in 1899 

The foreign custom that makes a chaperone indispensable where young people are gathered together at places of public entertainment, has long obtained in the cities of the East, and in all conventional communities everywhere. No really fashionable party is made up without a chaperone.

A young woman condemns herself in the eyes of good society who is observed to enter alone with a young man a place of public refreshment, be the restaurant or tea room ever so select. Bred under other conditions of a society so necessarily varying as that in our broad America, a stranger visiting New York, for instance, might readily and innocently make a mistake of this nature, and blush at finding herself condemned for it. In the same category of offenses is ranked that of maidens visiting places of public amusement under the escort of young men alone. Many parts of the South and West allow this to be done with the smiling consent of good society; but in Eastern cities it is considered a violation of good form, and for the comfort, if not the convenience, of the girl considering it, had better be ranked among the lost privileges upon which social evolution may look back with fond regret.

It is always wisest, when a number of young people are to have a party, to ask two or three married women to be present, not only for propriety’s sake, but because there will then be no danger of anything unwished for happening, inasmuch as it is the duty of the chaperones to make all social entertainments smooth and pleasant.

When it is necessary for a girl to pay long visits to a dentist’s office, she should be accompanied either by her mother, or some woman relative, or maid.

The etiquette of chaperonage is much less strict for a young widow than for an unmarried girl of the same age; but it is important and in good taste for a woman who is a widow to be very quiet and inconspicuous in all she does, giving by her behavior no opportunity for criticism. — From Practical Etiquette



Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Etiquette and Francatelli's Legacy

"At Windsor Castle, Francatelli, and then the royal chefs who followed him during Victoria’s long reign, had at least two Yeomen of the Kitchen and 24 assistant chefs to prepare these meals, and then, of course, all kinds of servers and lackeys were involved in washing, table-setting, serving and clearing away." —M.F.K. Fisher 


"Her Majesty’s (Queen Victoria's) French? Italian? English? chef, Charles Edme Francatelli, wrote ''The Modern Cook'' in 1846, and it sold almost as well in America as in England. Few kitchens here could follow all its directions for the light Gallic dainties Francatelli introduced to counteract the basic heaviness of royal dining habits, but gradually his style of making two courses of a meal, with a predominance of sweet dishes in the second, was adapted by our housekeepers to shape the way we now eat lunch and dinner.

In the Queen's menus, there were often three soups, three fishes, a kind of savory (for instance, marrow patties with a fines-herbes sauce), four dishes and eight entrées in the first course, all served at once. In the second there were three roasts and poultry and game, three sweet desserts, two more side desserts of pastry, and 12 entremets, including vegetables, aspics and fruit tartlets.

At Windsor Castle Francatelli, and then the royal chefs who followed him during Victoria’s long reign, had at least two Yeomen of the Kitchen and 24 assistant chefs to prepare these meals, and then, of course, all kinds of servers and lackeys were involved in washing, table-setting, serving and clearing away. 


Nonetheless, American housewives as far west as Iowa and then beyond, helped by one or two immigrant servants, read ''The Modern Cook'' and its lesser imitators and gradually changed the accustomed pattern of one long hodge-podge of dishes served together, even in a plain Family Meal, to two courses, with sweets alone finally constituting the second course. This might consist of two kinds of pies or tarts, a cool pudding, a jelly and a tall layered cake, but at least these did not appear side by side with roast pigeons, asparagus soup and a haunch of venison flanked by boiled vegetables." — From Food: The Arts (Fine and Culinary) of 19th Century America
By M. F. K. Fisher