August 6, 2008
How To Be a "U"
Reading about the new MTV show "From Gs to Gents" I couldn't help but think about Nancy Mitford's instructions for being "U" (upper class) or "non-U" in her satirical guidebook, "Noblesse Oblige." Many of her rules were a matter of linguistics and vocabulary, for example:
non-U: take a bath
U: have a bath
U: false teeth
In looking up more examples, I came across this article on updated rules from UK etiquette expert, Mary Killen. A few examples:
-- At the grocery store, use a basket, never a cart
-- Never eat between meals. Stick to breakfast, lunch and dinner only
-- Say that butter is "off," not "rancid"
I'm pretty sure I'm a hopeless case, but I can pretend. Let's put it this way: I'm hosting a dinner party this weekend entitled "French Laundrymat" as opposed to "French Laundry." I think I'll go have a bath now.