This is a short two-part newsletter.

Thought for back-to-school: Your back-pack does not have eyes in the back.

I have traveled a lot on street-cars this summer. I can’t believe how many times I have watched people being inconvenienced because of huge bags which people carry on their back. Passengers don’t think of lowering their bags either. And they don’t even realize when their back-pack hits someone shorter in the face. And if they stand at the front of the street-car people can’t get in, can’t get out. The bag is blocking the entire area. This is very upsetting – nearly as bad as loud cell phone conversations.

Let’s be a little more thoughtful. Remember … only mothers have eyes in their back.

Secondly, clarification to my last newsletter:

“Not sure I understand your message here” – Wendy is the only person who wrote back about what I have feared – that I give four different messages in the same newsletter. So let me clarify:

  1. Historically the right hand was the good hand, the left hand was the bad hand.
  2. If you eat with your fingers, use the right hand, because in a number of cultures the left hand is used for toiletries, and hence you gross them out.
  3. Left-handedness is how some of us are born, but we should still hold the knife and fork the proper way, it is no excuse to eat differently.
  4. Host should not make a big deal out of this and order the left-handed person to sit at the edge because he needs more room. No, he does not.


Teen etiquette workshop
Saturday, September 20, 2014
9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
100 Dowling Avenue, Toronto

Advanced registration for
• Adult international etiquette
• Kidiquette

To register, please email


What People Are Saying:

It is always interesting to read your Business of Manners. I have some additional comments about left handedness: I heard on the radio some years ago that the Israeli Army liked left handed soldiers because they had found that generally lefties learn quicker than us righties. This opinion was apparently based on comparing a large number of young soldiers. The radio also noted that the stats show that lefties have a one year shorter life span. I was recently examined by a young dermatological intern at Sunnybrook, who was left handed. Complemented her about it and she said that a large number of her class were lefties, which to me confirmed the Israeli view.

Please note the many recent US presidents are/were lefties. Obama, Clinton, Bush Senior and probably Reagan, who may have been forced to use his right hand for writing. Placing lefties on the end of a table is an American habit.

That touching food with your left hand in Ethiopia upset some of the locals does not surprise me. In most of the Muslim countries toilet paper is not used, the left hand takes its place. That is why when a Muslim sticks out his left hand to greet you, it is meant as an insult.
– Thor

Ezt a leutóbbi cikket különösen érdekesnek találtam. Köszi szépen. Gondolom a szokás, hogy a férfiak a hölgyeket a jobbukon kisérik, szintén összefügg a jobbkezesek kard viselésével. Ez aztán befolyásolja a ruházatot, a férfi és nöi ruhák szimetrikusan ellentétes irányba gombolódnak. Egyébként a gombok használata magyar eredetü. Az ösi magyar sírokat a bennük talált gombokról lehet felismerni.
– Üdv Erik

Always enjoy your newsletters. They are one of the few that I actually read!
– Heather
Adeodata, I enjoy your newsletters. I thought you might be interested in the following multiple language pun: The Left in Canada is more Gauche than Sinister!
– Bill

As usual you always, always give us something to think about. Keep it up.
– Dawn

Thanks Adeodata, I learned something new today!
– Sharon

Interesting read indeed!
– Rick Hurst

Very good as per usual
– Don Flynn

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