Texting Tips: Mastering the Modern Day Bow
Our Dear Friends,
Until now, we’ve found Emily Post’s original book vaguely applicable to modern times. Today’s chapter on proper salutation through bowing and hat removal seems rather more distant. Did you know the way one executes his or her bow might give away his breeding, or the age he presumes you to be? For instance, if a gentleman thinks you an elderly lady, he will likely make a sweeping bow to the waist, removing his hat in the upside down position as a sign of great respect. To those more youthful, his salutation will be comparatively contained. He will simply lift his hat at its brim very slightly from his forehead and place it down again.
Clearly, we as a people no longer spend time worrying about how we ought to bow to the next passerby. Children today have time to study math, science and emerging technology where once they learned to bow like the gentry. It’s no wonder our pace of innovation has risen so dramatically with this new liberation. And yet, perhaps we now spend more time deliberating over how our most recent text message was received than a boy spent thinking about a blundered bow. Maybe these seemingly ridiculous exercises of bowing, saluting and hat-raising weren’t so trivial after all. The state of a relationship could be immediately sensed through one’s studied body language. Instead of the bow, society now offers the text, which is rather less telling, isn’t it?
So, if this brief mobile message is the world’s new bow, its mastery requires some of the same fundamentals of that bygone gesture. Namely, like the bow, it is concise and thoroughly conveys its meaning. This may require the use of emoticons, as unless you are Tennison, Emerson, or Yeats, it is difficult to convey inflection through brief written form. Brevity is key. Emily Post says a gentleman never took a bow with excessive flourish or drops to the knee, but kept it neat and tidy. It is executed correctly, meaning you took enough time to spell all of its words right. Post says, although it may not have been audible, a well-bred man would have made a motion of clicking his heals together during his bow. So employee your punctuation well and, as a final note remember, ever since the development of the full mobile keyboard, there is really no excuse to text “ur” instead of “your.”
Peter and Alexander