October 18, 2011

Ifyou’re sentenced to the middle seat on an airplane, are you entitled to botharmrests? For this answer (along with answers to a range of etiquettequandaries) consider EmilyPost’s Etiquette, 18th Edition, by Peggy Post, Anna Post,Lizzie Post, and Daniel Post Senning. In this revamped 736-page volume, which ison-sale today, the authority on American manners tackles a range of issues—from tweeting and texting to online dating and adventure traveling.

Thislatest edition—the first appeared in 1922—was largely influenced by ayounger generation of Posts who understand the changing nature ofcommunication, with smartphones now serving as portable media centers.

“Aswe’ve learned to live on the go, we are quicker and less attached to the thingswe post or send,” says co-author Lizzie Post, who explains that tips on polite communicationare easy to digest in the book’s reformatted two-column layout.

For theglobetrotter looking to brush up on good manners, a section devoted to airtravel will do the trick. We got a sneak peek at “Airplane Etiquette 101,” whichcovers everything from the proper way to ignore the chatty passenger next toyou (Emily Post endorsees the headphones bluff) to lavatory codes of conduct(avoid lingering: “the full makeover can wait until you’ve landed”).

And whatabout that middle seat dilemma? While Emily Post experts maintain that middle armrestsare shared property, it is gracious for aisle and window seat-holders to givefirst dibs to passengers in the middle.

Briana Fasone is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

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