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Quotes of the day: Amy Vanderbilt

Published Tuesday, July 21, 2015 @ 2:56 PM EDT
Jul 21 2015

Amy Vanderbilt (July 22, 1908 – December 27, 1974) was an American authority on etiquette. In 1952 she published the best-selling book Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Book of Etiquette. The book, later retitled Amy Vanderbilt's Etiquette, has been updated and is still in circulation. The most recent edition was edited by Nancy Tuckerman and Nancy Dunnan. Its longtime popularity has led to it being considered a standard of etiquette writing. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Breakfast is the one meal at which it is permissible to read the paper.

Ceremony is-really a protection, too, in times of emotional involvement, particularly at death. If we have a social formula to guide us and do not have to extemporize, we feel better able to handle life.

Do not smoke without asking permission or sit so near (as in a train) that the smoke might annoy.

Do not speak of repulsive matters at table.

Everyone knows that a man can marry even if he reaches the age of 102, is penniless, and has all his facilities gone. There is always some woman willing to take a chance on him.

Good manners have much to do with the emotions. To make them ring true, one must feel them, not merely exhibit them.

I am a journalist in the field of etiquette. I try to find out what the most genteel people regularly do, what traditions they have discarded, what compromises they have made.

In Hollywood, not to have an analyst is virtually an admission of failure ...

One face to the world, another at home- makes for misery.

Only a great fool or a great genius is likely to flout all social grace with impunity, and neither one, doing so, makes the most comfortable companion.

Parents must get across the idea that "I love you always, but sometimes I do not love your behavior."

The best-dressed women I know pay very little attention to the picayune aspects of fashion, but they have a sound understanding of style.

The modern rule is that every woman should be her own chaperone.

We must learn which ceremonies may be breached occasionally at our convenience and which ones may never be if we are to live pleasantly with our fellow man.

When we learn to give thanks, we are learning to concentrate not on the bad things, but on the good things in our lives.


(July 22 is also the birthday of Albert Brooks.)

Categories: Amy Vanderbilt, Quotes of the day


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