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Reality TV Versus 'Emily Post's Etiquette'

The Huffington Post    
First Posted: 10/21/11 09:46 AM ET Updated: 12/20/11 05:12 AM ET

According to its publishers, the 18th edition of "Emily Post's Etiquette," released this week, is the last word on "Manners For A New World." But do we still need manners in the so-called New World?

To answer this question, we turned to that medium that supposedly (in name, at least) reflects who we are now: reality TV. Here are some clips of reality TV moments accompanied by Emily Post's advice on approaching the scenario at hand.

WATCH:

'The Real Housewives of New Jersey': Dinner Party Deportment
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Emily Post: "At the table, there are some conversational mechanics to keep in mind:

- Don't shout down at the table.
- Be careful not to interrupt.
- Stay clear of offensive language and gross or sensitive topics.
...

Safe Topics:
- Talk about the subject without offending or making it personal.
- If you think the conversation is becoming personal or offensive, curb your inclination to respond.
- Don't argue - it's tough to argue when the other person refuses to participate.
- Whenever you want to move off a controversial topic, say so and then have another safe conversation piece ready: 'I think we may never agree on this, but I know we both want the Saints to win this year. Did you see their last game?'"
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