Spotted recently in the Chicago Tribune: a guide, on the eve of the Summer Olympics, to understanding (and emulating) “all the customs, quirks and idiosyncrasies” of British etiquette:
1. Greetings. A firm handshake is welcome. Other forms of touching, less so. “Social kissing is, however, becoming increasingly popular in Britain, but it is by no means an accepted norm,” writes British etiquette expert Jo Bryant. “As a general rule, don’t kiss colleagues or people you don’t know. Do kiss close friends.”
2. Waiting your turn. The British don’t cut lines. Nor should you. “Even the reticent English will feel justified in sharply pointing out the back of the line to any errant queue-jumpers,” writes Bryant.
3. Stay calm at sporting events. “Excessive shouting, cheering or whooping will disturb others and be viewed as bad manners,” writes Bryant.
4. Serving tea. “If a waiter places a teapot on the table without pouring the tea the person nearest the pot should pour for everyone” writes Bryant. The tea should be poured first and any milk or sugar added afterwards.”
For more, see “Modern Etiquette: Best of British Manners for Visitors.”
(image via RealSimple.com)