Things You Need to Be Told: An Etiquette Manifesto


It is indeed a Tacky, Rude World, which we inhabit. The Etiquette Grrls have decided that things are simply getting out of hand, and they have Taken It Upon Themselves to step in with a helpful guide to navigate the Etiquette Quandaries in your day-to-day life. They dish up advice on cohabitation, letter-writing, telephoning, traveling, grooming, drinking, dining, dating, and marriage and, it would be Terribly Rude of you not to pay attention.

Who are they, you ask, to be ...

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It is indeed a Tacky, Rude World, which we inhabit. The Etiquette Grrls have decided that things are simply getting out of hand, and they have Taken It Upon Themselves to step in with a helpful guide to navigate the Etiquette Quandaries in your day-to-day life. They dish up advice on cohabitation, letter-writing, telephoning, traveling, grooming, drinking, dining, dating, and marriage and, it would be Terribly Rude of you not to pay attention.

Who are they, you ask, to be writing such a book? The Etiquette Grrls are graduates of New England Preparatory Schools and Prestigious Colleges; they are throwers of Great Parties; they can hold their liquor; their expertise on fashion and make-up and—especially Subversive Nail Polish colors-knows no bounds; they wear Doc Martens with their cashmere twin sets; and, most important, they know what they're talking about.

The Etiquette Grrls' advice has been featured in Ladies Home Journal, Chicago Sun-Times, and Business Week Online.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425183700
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Edition description: BERKLEY TR
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents


Chapter One: In Your Apartment
Chez Toi
You Don't Have to Love Thy Neighbors, but You Shouldn't Drive Them to the Brink of Insanity, Either
Indoor Sports
Practicing Your Do-Re-Mis
Appropriating Space: Common Areas
Sticky Fingers

Roomates: The Necessary Evil
Entertaining at Home
Table Manners
The Proper Place Setting
Are Hot Hors d'Oeuvres a Heresy?: Party Food
Your Bar
Whom to Invite
Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette
Miss Otis Regrets: Invitations and R.S.V.P.-ing
That You SHould Wear to a Soirée
The Weekend Guest
The Well-Stocked Pantry

The Etiquette Grrls' Recipe for Delicious Artichoke Dip

Chapter Two: Out and About
At the Bar
Are You in the Right Bar?
Drinking Games
Is It a Real Drink?
M Is for Martini
Has Anyone Ever Told You That You Look Just Like Gwyneth Paltrow?: Pick-Up Lines and How to Avoid Them
Where and When to Pass Out, and What You Should Wear

At the Movies, Theatre, and Concerts
Keeping Quiet
What You Should Wear
Food and Beverages
Sitting Still
Rock Concerts

From McDonald's to Tavern on the Green: Dining Out
Where you Should Dine
What You Should Order, and how You Should Order It
Advanced Math: Splitting the Check and Tipping
The Service at This Place Is Lousy!: Dealing with Surly Waiters

Chapter Three: Your Personal Appearance
Good Grooming
Basic Cleanliness
Cosmetics: Use and Abuse
What Looks Good on Everyone
What Looks Good on No One
What Looks Good When Applied Very, Very Carfully
The Importance of Subversive Nailpolish

General Advice on Fit
Faux Pas of Fit Which Must Be Avoided
General Advice on Style
Items of Clothing All Girls Should Own
Items of CLothing All Boys Should Own
Articles of Clothing Which Are Never, Ever Acceptable Attire
Last-Minute Checks
Choosing an Appropriate Outfit
Defining Our Terms: Formal, Semi-Formal, Etc.
Other Catagories of Dress
The See You in Hell Look and How to Create It

You Must Have Studied Dance: Posture and Movement

Chapter Four: Staying in Touch
The Internet
Forwarded Mail and Attachments
Some Thoughts on Clarity: The Well-Written Message
Choosing an E-mail Address and User-ID
What You Should Wear While On-Line

The Telephone
Call Waiting
Other Activities While on the Telephone
Wrong Numbers
When Not to Call
Answering Machines and Voice Mail
Taking a Message

The Facsimile (Fax) Machine
Portable Communications Devices
Cellular Telephones
Attn: Doctors and Drug Dealers-Some Thoughts on Pagers and Beepers
Palmtop Computers

Equipment for Letter Writing
Sealing and Stamping the Envelope
The Thank-You Note
What You Should Wear While Writing Letters

In Person
No One's Impressed by an Illiterate Hick: Grammar 101
Introductions and Farewells
Editorial Comments on Other People's Appearances
The Left-Handed Compliment
Too Much Information (TMI): Conversations You Should Not Have

Chapter Five: At Work
The World of the Gainfully Employed
Your Brilliant Career: Where You Should Work, and How to Land the Correct Job
When You're a Worker Bee
When You're the Leader of the Pack
Your Attire
Your Attitude
Bad Office Behavior
Optimizing Synergistic Cross-Platform Eyeballs: Tacky Office Speech
Under the Weather
Office Parties
Office Romance
Office Hook-Ups
Office Gossip: The Correct Way to Dish the Dirt
Working Lunches
Birthday Parites, Gifts, Etc.
Electronic Devices at Work
Quitting Avec Style and Grace
You're Fired!

Chapter Six: Dating and Breakups
Let Me Call You Sweetheart: Dating
How Do You Ask for a Date?
Who Should You Ask for the Date?
How to Refuse a Date, and How to Take "No" for an Answer
The Telephone: What It Is and How to Use It
What Constitutes a First Date?
Formals and Other Fancy Dates
Bringing a Date to Events Where Extended Family Is in Attendance
Public Displays of Affection (P.D.A.)
Disciplinary Action
Some Thoughts on Abandoning Old Friends
Engagement and Marriage

I Hope You Know That This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record: Breakups
The Graceful Breakup
The Cheatin' Heart
Going AWOL
Theft and Other True Crimes
Seeking Revenge

Chapter Seven: Traveling
First Class, Whenever Possible: How you Should Get There
Air Travel
By Train
On Busses
By Ship

Traveling Clothes
Your Luggage
Staying at Hotels
Staying at a Private home
The Bread-and-Butter Letter
Getting Your Kicks on Route 66: The Road Trip
What You Should Bring with You
What You Should Wear
Where You Should Go

The Etiquette Grrls' Grand Tour
Things to Think About Before You Cross the Pond

Chapter Eight: Miscellaneous Matters of Importance
Advice for the Collegiate Set
Your Rooomate
Decorating Your Room
Your Wardrobe
Behavior in Class
Making Friends Avec the Faculty
Asking for Recommendations
Social Life at College

At Church
Getting There on Time
Visiting a Strange Church
Behavior at Weddings and Funerals
How You Should Be Buried

Litigous Behavior
When You're Famous
Well, Conan, It Was a Funny Thing...: Talk Shows
The Etiquette Grrls Would Like to Thank the Academy: Award Shows
Dealing With One's Fame
Excuse Me, Are You...?: Meeting Celebrities

Very Unusual Situations
Spies Like Us
On the Usefulness of Speaking a Foriegn Language

Which Doc Martens?
Smoking Avec Style and Grace
The Servant Problem

Chapter Nine: The Etiquette Grrls' Patois: A Glossary
Profiles in Etiquette: About the Authors

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2006


    This is a fantastic read--the Etiquette Grrls are dead-on in terms of their views on comportment in the modern world. I think they have great taste, great judgement, and a wonderfully witty way of sharing it with others. I enjoyed this book immensely and wish that books like this would be required reading for young people growing up in a society where literally 'anything goes'. Bravo Etiquette Grrls!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2004

    Beach Read...If You Really Need Help, Go Elsewhere

    Things You Need To Be Told About This Book... 1. It's entertainment (which is what I rated it on), not a reference book. If you truly want the basics - and more - on social etiquette, then stick to the classics: Emily Post, Amy Vanderbilt, and (my favorite, though a more recent entry) Miss Manners, a.k.a. Judith Martin. This is more of a tongue-in-cheek lifestyle manual: 'How To Be Like Us' 2. If you have little tolerance for girly cuteness..random capitalization, French and faux-French words popping up everywhere, and sorority-flavored slang...this book will give you an aneurysm. 3. Both 'EG's' Lesley and Honore show some talent towards satire and biting humor, which makes the book enjoyable. 4. Manners and etiquette are not the same thing. Manners are born out of compassion and empathy and are natuarally more flexible...they are adapted to the situation at hand, their goal always being the comfort and dignity of others. Etiquette is a defined way of doing things that was invented to help define and separate social classes. It has its uses, but consider this: when people consult an etiquette guide, it's USUALLY out of fear that their actions will cause them to look ignorant or unsophisticated, NOT because they fear their actions will cause someone genuine distress, discomfort or harm. Etiquette makes a good read...manners make a better world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2003

    Great Advice from Great Grrls

    I wish that the Etiquette Grrls were my big sisters. They're funny as all get-out, and offer loads of great advice. Some of it is basic, but name me an etiquette book that isn't loaded with basic advice. Besides, this is the stuff my generation (I'm in my 20s) really DOES need to be told, becuase we didn't learn it anywhere else. I don't understand the review that said the EGs are rude and snobby--they couldn't be further from it! On the contrary, they always advocate doing the common-sensical thing, and most importantly, being kind to others. Even with thier two books and their two websites, I just can't get enough! These grrls rock!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2003

    What a great read!

    A light-hearted, amusing, and informative take on Etiquette. I actually laughed out loud a few times! In addition to the amusment, you will find useful tips regarding parties, e-mail, business functions, travel and the like. I'm going to buy their follow up book 'More Things You Need to be Told' immediately. It's nice to know that there are still some people out there who believe you should dress for dinner, RSVP on time, and give up your seat on the train. While they can be a bit caddy at times, these ladies are wonderful and it's incredibly difficult not to love them!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2003

    I sort of agree with the reviewer who gave the book one star

    I don't know, I did enjoy the book, it's humor, but honestly, the Etiquette Grrls do spend more time blathering on and on about Princeton, gin and tonics, Lilly Pulizter dresses and such. Even the Random Capitalization was fun and interesting at fist, but got VERY tiresome. It's hard to read almost all capitalized text. They sound like people who grew up in the 20th and 21st centuries, like the rest of us, but strive to make everyone wear dresses and suits on airplanes. Shunning IKEA and Bill Gates is just part of it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2002

    Etiquette for the 21st Century

    In this book, the Etiquette Grrls, present a briliiantly satirical take on polite behavior in the 21st century. It is with grace, elegance, and wit that they give advice on everything from proper thank yous to behavior in the workplace. The information is insightful and accurate and you really do need to be told!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2002

    Even the title is Rude

    This book is more about snobbish prep-school girls than it is about etiquette. The etiquette advice can be sound, but these girls waste more of the reader's time by writing about their personal preferences on style and life than they do writing about etiquette. The authors claim to attempt to rid the world of rudeness, however, the title of the book is rude in itself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2001

    Etiquette Meets Humor

    Who would have thought it was possible? As a fan of the Etiquette Grrls' website I've been familiar with their style of advice, dishing out humor hand in hand with etiquette advice for some time. Indeed they helped me through some sticky situations planning my wedding. I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of their book from the day I preordered it last spring. It finally arrived a little over a week ago and I wasn't disappointed. Here is the perfect etiquette book for the younger generation, my generation. So many people my age have no idea of what proper etiquette is when to write a thank you note, what are and are not acceptable table manners and what to wear for various occasions are examples that immediately spring to mind. Yes, the tried and true etiquette books have a lot to teach us, I myself enjoy my 1952 edition of a venerable book on the subject, but the Etiquette Grrls bring etiquette to the twenty-first century while respecting those tried and true volumes. Cell phone and email etiquette (at last!). How to dress for a job interview, how to be fashionable without merely being trendy, and 'subversive' nail polish colors, all are covered. I know I thoroughly enjoyed the conversational tone of the book, the amusing etiquette examples and stories, I even laughed aloud quite a few times. The glossary is a highly amusing feature, especially for those who follow their website. A light, yet informative read that explains things well, 'Things You Need to Be Told' has earned its place on my bookshelf.

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