CHAPTER 1

Twenty-First Century Manners

Can Courtesy Survive in the Brave New World?

Finally it arrived: the new millennium. For most of us, it was full of hope and promise and fresh beginnings, but also filled with dire predictions and omens. After all the hoopla, hype, and histrionics, we have passed through the gateway into a new age. And with the traumatic and gut-wrenching events that have ushered in this new era, we may have felt an ongoing urge to reflect and take stock.

Are we making any progress in the civility department? Are we ruder than the generations that have gone before us, or do we still value courtesy and politeness? Granted, we no longer draw and quarter people in the town square, but we gleefully pillory our fellow citizens ...

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