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Judith Martin Quotes

Chaperons don't enforce morality; they force immorality to be discreet.

Chaperons, even in their days of glory, were almost never able to enforce morality; what they did was to force immorality to be discreet. This is no small contribution.

Honesty has come to mean the privilege of insulting you to your face without expecting redress.

Hypocrisy is not generally a social sin, but a virtue.

If written directions alone would suffice, libraries wouldn't need to have the rest of the universities attached.

Indeed, Miss Manners has come to believe that the basic political division in this country is not between liberals and conservatives but between those who believe that they should have a say in the love lives of strangers and those who do not.

It's far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.

Many people mistakenly think a new technology cancels out an old one.

Most people who work at home find they do not have the benefit of receptionists who serve as personal guards.

Parents should conduct their arguments in quiet, respectful tones, but in a foreign language. You'd be surprised what an inducement that is to the education of children.

There are three social classes in America: upper middle class, middle class, and lower middle class.

We already know that anonymous letters are despicable. In etiquette, as well as in law, hiring a hit man to do the job does not relieve you of responsibility.

We are born charming, fresh and spontaneous and must be civilized before we are fit to participate in society.

When a society abandons its ideals just because most people can't live up to them, behavior gets very ugly indeed.

You do not have to do everything disagreeable that you have a right to do.

You glance at an e-mail. You give more attention to a real letter.