Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door

Lynne Truss

Lynne Truss, the red-pen-carrying grammarian responsible for last year’s Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, now has turned her attention to contemporary society’s disregard for simple manners. Yep, she’s the eighth-grade-English-teacher equivalent of Miss Manners, only snarkier. Truss’ introduction is a witty recounting of the current state of manners; the rest of the book is a dismantling of our perceptions about what constitutes bad manners. Although she’s certainly got a sharp wit—and an equally sharp pen—she does make a fine point. Rather than from so-called political correctness that masquerades as manners when it’s really about self-righteousness, wouldn’t it be better if we were polite out of a genuine respect for ourselves and others?