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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The end of civility
There are many books today that bemoan the end of manners and civility in an era on selfish me-first society driven by the mindless consumerism of TV and pop culture. Few of them have any humour, none of them (that I've read) have the wit Truss imparts.
Just as the Internet is killing grammar and punctuation, TV is killing social graces. We're being taught to be...
Published on May 25 2006 by Ian Chadwick

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2.0 out of 5 stars I guess I'm too rude.
I expected the same humour and "I agree!" moments that Truss's last book, "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves," afforded me. I was disappointed. I found myself disagreeing with her repeatedly, and the anger that seemed more on the joking side in "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves" came out much less funny this time around. Perhaps I'm just rude, but many of the...
Published on Jan. 3 2006 by A. Fowler


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The end of civility, May 25 2006
By 
Ian Chadwick (Waterside in Ontario) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Talk To The Hand (Hardcover)
There are many books today that bemoan the end of manners and civility in an era on selfish me-first society driven by the mindless consumerism of TV and pop culture. Few of them have any humour, none of them (that I've read) have the wit Truss imparts.
Just as the Internet is killing grammar and punctuation, TV is killing social graces. We're being taught to be rude, ignorant and insufferable as well as demanding and impatient. Many people toay seem to use Beavis and Butthead as their role models and more will learn from that and similar shows. Given that the average North American watches 22-25 hours of TV a week, and the vast amount of popular programming is dreck, that's not surprising.
Truss doesn't offer us any quick-fix answers; hers is more a gentle screed on our cultural development. And, of course, how bloody awful we are in the way we interact. We all know that we've arrived in some social hell in the proverbial handbasket, but she says it so much better than most of us.
She does suggest that by following a few simple rules of engagement we might lower the annoyance level a bit - use of forgotten terms like please and thank you, a little more social deference instead of the enforced familiarity foisted on us by customer service manuals, and in a very Buddhist sense, taking responsibility for your own actions, rather than leaving your mess for others to clean up.
An important point is that Truss delineates between "posh" manners which are rules of etiquette for their own sake (social graces which are usually intertwined with class structure), and social manners which govern and mitigate the way we interact at the street level. This isn't a book about which fork to use for your salad; it's a book about saying thank you when someone holds the door open, or stopping to let someone ahead of you back out of a parking space.
Would that this were mandatory reading today! But then, manners are in part being lost because we're reading less and watching TV more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For whom the bell tolls, April 12 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Talk To The Hand (Hardcover)
This is a superb and important book. Those hoping to find an amusing follow-up to Ms. Truss's previous work on punctuation will naturally be disappointed; as will those who cannot understand what she's talking about because they commit the very offences she describes and see nothing wrong with them.
This brief book is nothing less than a treatise on the decline of western civilisation, and as the bibliography demonstrates, it is amazingly well researched. It sets out the types of 'rudeness' that are really forms of attack in the guise of personal freedom, such as a lack of inhibition in public no matter how much others are distressed by it, a lack of civility in customer relations, and the failure any longer to recognize anyone else's right to respect if it conflicts with your own immediate, impulsive need. Good manners may be seen as an outdated inconvenience to some, but they are a mark of how harmoniously a society functions. As Ms. Truss points out, no one any longer wants to be corrected in any way since correction is taken as personal criticism. People no longer understand the concept of shame. If they want to do or say anything, that is all the authority they need to do or say that thing, no matter how rude or inappropriate it is. Pointing out how someone's inconsiderateness is disturbing you can lead to a punch in the face, or worse.
There have been other times in history when people have claimed that the end of civilization is nigh, but I think for sheer degeneracy our current era will be hard to beat. Pendulums have a habit of swinging back, usually farther than anyone likes. It won't surprise me a bit if eventually some draconian authority takes power in the West and ensures that we not only don't chew any more gum but that we conform in ways that will make today's Singapore look like a paradise of liberality. We will only have ourselves to blame.
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4.0 out of 5 stars We are not alone!, Dec 21 2011
By 
David B. Bosomworth (LUMBY, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Talk To The Hand (Paperback)
Talk to the Hand by Lynne Truss is an easy and delightful read, similar to her previous book, Eats, Shoots, and Leaves. The only problem I had was that many of the mannerisms were very "English" and even the way she speaks is very "English", not that this is all that bad. The English are known for a kind of humour that mocks their "proper behavious" in a rather raunchy way. Truss reverses this process. She gives hilarious examples of rude behavior that is very much in line with our new technological era, but is very serious about her disappointment in the human race for being unaware that there are other people in the room. I fully agreed with almost all of her issues, although I am hardly a man who is fixated on manners. I do, however, see that if we do not do something about improving our manners, we will simply lose sight of anyone else in the room but us, and that would indeed be a tragedy. This book very skillfully points out where we are heading and how we can stop the stupidity by just stopping the behavior. We need not be rude by nature; it is a matter of being aware of the simple fact: "We are not alone". And this is not just to refer to having a God hanging about.

My advice to all is not just to enjoy the humour but to look at your behavior. The next time that cell phone rings in the middle of a conversation with another, do you a) answer it, b) answer it with an apology, c) dont't answer it and let it ring d) don't answer and let it ring with an apology, e) shut it off or f) shut the damn thing off with an apology? What is even more important is to examine why you have it in your pocket in the first place. What does that say about you and your relationship with OTHERS around you? Are you able to cope with "delayed gratification"?
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2.0 out of 5 stars I guess I'm too rude., Jan. 3 2006
By 
A. Fowler (Saskatchewan, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Talk To The Hand (Hardcover)
I expected the same humour and "I agree!" moments that Truss's last book, "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves," afforded me. I was disappointed. I found myself disagreeing with her repeatedly, and the anger that seemed more on the joking side in "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves" came out much less funny this time around. Perhaps I'm just rude, but many of the things she claims to be terrible breaches of manners don't seem that big of a deal to me.
However, she lends a few interesting insights into the realm of why we think certain things are rude, and why we desire recognition for being polite. It is these occasional tidbits that earn this two stars, rather than one. Still, they are not a redeeming aspect, so I would recommend that a potential buyer (a) borrow this from a friend/the library or (b) find something else to read.
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