quote by Judith Martin

Nowadays, we never allow ourselves the convenience of being temporarily unavailable, even to strangers. With telephone and beeper, people subject themselves to being instantly accessible to everyone at all times, and it is the person who refuses to be on call, rather than the importunate caller, who is considered rude.

— Judith Martin

Charming Miss Manners quotations

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.


Miss manners quote Be where you are, otherwise you will miss your life.
Be where you are, otherwise you will miss your life.

Nobody believes that the man who says, 'Look, lady, you wanted equality,' to explain why he won't give up his seat to a pregnant woman carrying three grocery bags, a briefcase, and a toddler is seized with the symbolism of idealism.

Miss manners quote Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

In the old days, ptomaine poisoning was a cover-all.

If you missed a show and you were young, it meant you were having an abortion. If you were old, it meant you were having a face lift.

It is one of Miss Manners's great discoveries that one needn't contradict others in order to set them straight.

. . . women were brought up to have only one set of manners. A woman was either a lady or she wasn't, and we all know what the latter meant. Not even momentary lapses were allowed; there is no female equivalent of the boys-will-be-boys concept.


Miss manners quote The scariest thing about distance is that you don't know whether they'll miss yo
The scariest thing about distance is that you don't know whether they'll miss you or forget you.

I sat on the bed. Neither of us said anything. I wasn't slick and sophisticated enough for this. What do you say to boyfriend A when he finds you naked in the bed of boyfriend B? Especially if boyfriend A turned into a monster the night before and ate someone. I bet Miss Manners didn't cover this at all.

Tell me about yourself, Miss Russel." I started to give him the obligatory response, first the demurral and then the reluctant flat autobiography, but some slight air of polite inattention in his manner stopped me. Instead, I found myself grinning at him. "Why don't you tell me about myself, Mr. Holmes?

It is, indeed, a trial to maintain the virtue of humility when one can't help being right.

Miss manners quote Where these is too much, something is missing.
Where these is too much, something is missing.

Miss Manners does not mind explaining the finer points of gracious living, but she feels that anyone without the sense to pick up a potato chip and stuff it in their face should probably not be running around loose on the streets.

Liars are experts in chopping logic and missing the truth slightly - 'Did God say not to eat from any tree?' In order to pin a liar down, words must be defined in the most careful manner available.


Graphic design was largely about communication in an artistic or creative manner, much like writing is used to convey ideas. Many designers completely miss that aspect of the "art." Some are completely satisfied with just making things pretty, without taking the communication element into consideration.

Miss manners quote You can love someone so much... But you can never love people as much as you can
You can love someone so much... But you can never love people as much as you can miss them.

Whamming someone smaller than oneself in order to teach that person civilized behavior is not within Miss Manners' concept of propriety, much less logic.

Miss Manners herself, while never rude, is given to pulling a fast pinch in the way of a handshake on those who believe in kissing on, not even the first date, but the first sighting.

I have been missing the point. The point is not knowing another person, or learning to love another person. The point is simply this: how tender can we bear to be? What good manners can we show as we welcome ourselves and others into our hearts?

Miss manners quote Never miss a good chance to shut up.
Never miss a good chance to shut up.

The Queen sniffed. "I rather miss your Jace," she said. "Of all of you, he was the prettiest and the best-mannered.


GENTLE READER: You, sir, are an anarchist, and Miss Manners is frightened to have anything to do with you. It is true that questioning the table manners of others is rude. But to overthrow the accepted conventions of society, on the flimsy grounds that you have found them silly, inefficient and discomforting, is a dangerous step toward destroying civilization.