Thursday, May 27, 2010

Open Mouth Mastication

Open mouth mastication is completely unacceptable.  In my new occupation due to the location of my desk, I have the misfortune of suffering the audible sounds of such a person.  Carrots and apples, no less, are the foods of choice.  I am confounded by this brazenly crass behavior.  The fact is the behavior is commonplace in modern society.  Such a lack of etiquette is the result of poor parenting; moreover, it is the product of an inconsiderate person, who takes no interest in elevating their stature.

This matter led me to consult the only volume containing answers on how to handle this situation, Etiquette.  Here is what it says: "All the rules of table manners are made to avoid ugliness.  To let anyone see what you have in your mouth is offensive; to make a noise is to suggest an animal; to make a mess is disgusting."  Emily Post's Etiquette, p.g. 485, 1955 edition.  This week, I could take it no more.  I had to address the situation with the culprit.  They have since endeavored, due entirely to my indefatigable correction, to chew with their mouth closed in near silence.  Indeed, I, like Mr. Jefferson, tremble for my country if this is the condition in which the mass majority of parents release their children into society.

Thanks to The Modern Traditionalist for the quote.  When we visited Charlottesville back in February, she purchased this vintage copy of Etiquette, which happens to be the last edition edited by Emily Post.

Take a look at the first 25 seconds of the clip below and you'll get a good sense of the issue with which I dealt.  



  1. "If a man snorts like a seal when he eats, as some people do, and smacks his chops like a Bavarian yokel, he has given up all good breeding" (Tannhaeuser's 'Hofzucht', c.1250).

  2. VB,

    As always, you are on point, thank you for sharing this perfectly apt quote. Welcome back, glad to see the ash has not slowed you down.


  3. I agree with you....unfortunately rude and disrespectful behavior has become the norm. No one has any manners anymore. Even when I look away I still know it's happening.



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