Social commentators say the disintegration of the family unit is largely to blame for Americans’ laissez-faire attitude toward manners. In fact, etiquette experts say Americans need to learn about the social graces more than they have in a long time. But now there is a host of help. You can consult not only tried-and-true Emily Post and Miss Manners but an array of new books designed to help unravel the mysteries of late-20th-century niceties. For example, Mary Mitchell, author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Etiquette,” offers this tip on handshakes: “Don’t rock or sway. Handshaking is not a tango.” Let’s get polite, folks.
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