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In This Issue
Web Series Announcement
Engagements: What To Decide On First
Preventing the Flu
Small Talk? 5 Tips
Etiquette Bites!
Valentine's Day Survey
Pinterest: Tablescapes
Etiquette in the News
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Ask Peggy


Q: What is the best way to handle my teenage son's constant texting? At home or not, he's always on his phone!


A: Start by setting a good example yourself - then draw some boundaries.

Peggy Says:

Assuming you're not constantly texting, you can let your son know that doing it at certain times (e.g., at meals) is a no-go. You can also calmly explain that it's good for relationships if people actually talk directly to (and even look at) each other when speaking. But do realize that texting is a normal part of a teen's life these days, so if your guidelines are slow to kick in, you could ask your son to pay the cost of his text-messages. 



Read more of Peggy's advice each month in Good Housekeeping.     


GH new logo
Read Peter Post's blog "The E Word." It's Peter's ruminations on civility, manners and etiquette.

Recent posts:
Super Bowl Party Oxymoron

New York Times logo The Well-Mannered Wedding

Read Peggy Post's thoughts on today's most nuanced wedding dilemmas in her New York Times column.

Most recently:
 Wedding Q. and A. 
Dinner Party

Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning are monthly guests on The Dinner Party Download a weekly culture and arts show hosted by Rico Gagliano and Brendan Newnam, produced by American Public Media.

You can listen to the whole show, or scroll down to pick and choose segments.

Most recently:

 Episode 235  
Digital Manners no Dan head

Problem with a co-worker?



We in the Northeast will not be sending thank-you notes to Punxsutawney Phil this year. Instead we will dream of spring and all the things happening here at the Emily Post Institute, including the release of our 3rd edition of The Etiquette Advantage in Business and our annual Business and Children's Train the Trainer courses. But for now, we are looking forward to Valentine's Day and working our way through this white winter.

Peter is updating our e-learning program and continuing to work on new Etiquette Bites. He is also thrilled to have sent in the typeset revisions of The Etiquette Advantage in Business, 3rd edition, to our editors at HarperCollins.

Dan will leave the battle of the frigid Vermont temperatures and head to sunny L.A. in March to shoot an episode or two for a History Channel show, more to be revealed soon!

Lizzie is happy to have a few weeks at home to enjoy some winter horseback riding. She is excited for the launch of her new web series "Awkward Moments" with Lizzie Post on ulive.com (see below for more information).

Anna has been busy writing wedding columns for Inside Weddings and The Huffington Post's #MannersMondays, and with our new Valentine's Day survey (see below). In between writing and a client trip to New York, she has been busy with wedding planning.

We hope you are all having a fantastic February! Don't forget we want to hear from you, so please get in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter and visit our Etiquette Daily blog for answers to all your etiquette questions.

Enjoy this month's newsletter, and if there's something you'd like to see in an upcoming newsletter, let us know: newsletter@emilypost.com.


Watch Our New Web Series

Awkward Moments
with Lizzie Post
We are pleased to announce that Lizzie Post has teamed up with Scripps Networks Interactive (owners of HGTV, Travel Channel, Food Network and more) to produce an etiquette web series for their new website www.ulive.com.

Ulive is a network of video content aimed at adults in their late twenties to early forties featuring lifestyle and life improvement advice.

Lizzie's series Awkward Moments with Lizzie Post was released on February 4th, 2014 with all 12 episodes available. They are edgy, humorous, and informative.

We hope you enjoy them and share them on your favorite social media sites: #awkward.

What To Decide On First

Engagements can last anywhere from days to years, so every couple's planning, timeline, and focus will be a little bit different. For the most part there are 10 important decisions to make that will set the parameters for many of your other wedding plans.

1. Guest List - Deciding your guest list will help determine your budget and options for venues. The easiest way to trim a budget is to trim your guest list.

2. Budget - You certainly can't get far with out it. Knowing how much you have to work with will allow for every decision to come to be one you can make with certainty.

3. Season, Date, & Time of Day - Knowing where, when, and what time you want to be married will make it easier when selecting attire as well as the food and decor at your wedding.

4. Ceremony & Reception Location - These decisions might impact your guest list. Be sure to secure both these locations and know how many they can accommodate before sending out your invitations.

5. Ceremony Officiant - The availability of and flexibility of your officiant might play a larger role in deciding where and when you get married.

6. Style & Formality - Knowing what type of wedding you'd like to have will help in choosing everything from invitations, to venue, to food and attire.

7. Wedding Consultant - Deciding whether or not you want a wedding consultant will be one of your early decisions. His or her knowledge and planning expertise may be a good investment.

8. Wedding Party - It's important to decide whether or not you want a wedding party, and if so, who you want to be in it. You'll need to ask them as soon as possible and have them save a few key wedding dates in their schedule. Knowing who is in your bridal party will also help with your budget since there a number of costs the bride and groom take care of related to the bridal party.

9. The Rings - Some wedding rings are chosen based on how well they work with the engagement ring, others might take a long time to custom make. They are also easy to forget about which is why it's best to get them ordered or secured as soon as possible.

10. Honeymoon Location & Date - If your heart is set on a particular destination it may have an influence on when you choose to get married. It would also be important to know early on if you choose to set up a "honeyfund" as a registry option.


How to Prevent a Flu Faux Pas

This Flu Season

By Anna Post





During flu season, when symptoms like fever, aches, chills and extreme tiredness come on suddenly, it can be easy to forget your manners. The Emily Post Institute is working with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) to help remind others to practice responsible etiquette to help limit the spread of flu.


Etiquette is all about consideration. One way to be considerate is to help others avoid catching the flu by behaving appropriately when you are contagious. Flu is highly contagious and is easily spread within about six feet when people with flu cough, sneeze or even talk. NFID's "Flu Behaviors and Treatment" survey found that many (41%) Americans don't realize that flu is contagious before symptoms even start.


Here are flu etiquette tips we should all practice:

  • Be proactive. Protect yourself from seasonal influenza by getting vaccinated every year.
  • Lend a helping hand. Keep hand sanitizer and tissues with you at all times. If you find yourself next to someone coughing or sneezing while you are out and about, prompt them to protect others by offering a tissue or a spritz of alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Share space, not the flu. Flu is highly contagious. Covering sneezes and coughs is a good habit all year round, especially during flu season.
  • Hands off. Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hand, to help keep the flu virus from spreading.
  • One and done. If you use a tissue to cover your cough or sneeze, throw it away afterwards.
  • Know how to distinguish a cold from the flu. Remember the acronym "Flu FACTS" (Fever, Aches, Chills, Tiredness, and Sudden onset) to recognize flu.
  • Act quickly when you think you might have the flu. Contact a doctor quickly - the flu is treatable.
  • Stay away from others. It's okay to cancel a social event or leave work at the first signs of flu.
  • Hands down-the way to go. Classic good manners say to keep your hands below your shoulders when in public. The idea is to avoid touching your face, which may also help keep you from getting sick after rubbing your nose, mouth or eyes with unclean hands.
  • Be informed and show concern. If someone near you is exhibiting signs of the flu - fever, aches, chills, tiredness - encourage them to see a doctor quickly. Don't feel uncomfortable. Say, "I'm worried about you-it might be flu. I think you should see a doctor."

While the flu may not be predictable, through our actions we can help prevent its spread.


Visit NFID.org or FluFACTS.com for more flu-fighting tips and to download a free coloring book.


Please note: Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, provided The Emily Post Institute, Inc. and NFID with support to assist in educating about influenza.


Business Etiquette Tips


 How to be an expert at small talk:




1. Become familiar with various topics.

Read newspapers and news magazines to be knowledgeable about world and national events. It helps to stay informed on local news as well as general interest television programs. Become a generalist and know something about a variety of things.  

2. Ask people their opinions.

Before you go to an event, list three or four questions you can ask at the start of a conversation. Always couch these questions in terms of asking a person for his or her opinion. Remember, people love to be asked for their views.  

3. Stay away from controversial topics.

Politics, sex, and religion can be potential argument starters that can backfire on you.  

4. Know about your host(s).

If possible, learn their interests ahead of time. You can ask colleagues or your boss, or if the event is in your host's home or office, take note of the pictures and other objects for clues.  

5. Listen. Listen. Listen.

Become a great listener by learning to focus on the person who is talking and tune out the other distractions around you. Listening is a sign of respect, and a key component in every conversation.   


Etiquette Bites!
The Bulletin Board Rule

Peter Post explains The Bulletin Board Rule of communication.

Valentine's Day Survey Results!

As Valentine's Day approaches, many people's thoughts turn to flowers and candlelit dinners but not to awkward moments when a date takes a cell phone call at the table or long pauses when the check comes. Working with SurveyMonkey, The Emily Post Institute published a survey to gather opinions on the holiday.  

As it turns out, Valentine's Day is a holiday mainly for married couples. The majority of people surveyed who were planning on spending time with their significant other were married.

"I was really interested-and pleased-to see that most people who plan to ask someone out plan to do so in-person. That shows confidence," says Anna Post, the family spokesperson for the survey.

"I was also interested to see how many people plan to send non-romantic Valentine's Day greetings to friends and family. Imagine how touched a grandparent would be to get a Valentine in the mail!" While 72% of survey respondents will send a Valentine's Day greeting to their spouse/significant other/boyfriend/girlfriend, 45% will send to friends, 40% to their children, 28% to parents, and 9% to grandparents. (Note: Respondents could choose more than one person to whom they plan to send a greeting.)

Although there seems to be a downward trend in gift buying, most people still planned on purchasing candy and flowers. The majority of those surveyed responded that the most appropriate way to extend a romantic invitation is in person. Likewise, most agreed that they should give a response in person.

In accordance with proper dating etiquette, the majority also agreed that the person doing the inviting should be the one who pays, regardless of gender.
Of those asked out on a date, 72% say the inviter should pay for the date. However, the inviter wasn't specified as a man or a woman, and interestingly, when those who may go on a date on Valentine's Day were asked if the man should always pay, 39% said he should, and 44% did not.

There was a noticeable difference in reactions from the 18-29-year-old age group in New England to that on the Pacific Coast. Most 18-29-year-old respondents in New England plan on going out on Valentine's Day and have dated their significant other for about one year. They feel as though e-mail, text, and social media are all fine ways of sending Valentine's Day greetings. On the other hand, the 18-29-year-old age group on the Pacific Coast had more traditional replies. They feel as though the man should always pay for the date, and prefer texting Valentine's Day messages, with using social media coming in second.

We encourage you to reach out to the special people in your life and let them know how much you appreciate them!
Happy Valentine's Day! 

Emily Post & Etiquette in the News

Daniel Post Senning on WCAX'S The 30 talking about good host and good guest etiquette.    

Anna Post  
U.S. News and World Report - Valentine's Day spending
Seven Days - Social media at weddings

Daniel Post Senning
WCAX's The 30 - Good Host/Good Guest

Peggy Post

Naples News - Feature on Peggy Post

To see more news stories with Post advice, visit our newsroom

Please visit our
contact page to reach us, or you can find us on Facebook and Twitter. We love hearing from you so please feel free to post to our social media and join in the conversation. From our family to yours we hope you have a wonderful February! As always, thank you for your continued interest in etiquette and The Emily Post Institute.      


The Posts


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