Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Manners Makyth Man

My title is the motto of New College, Oxford - well, it was new when it was founded in 1379 by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester.  He actually named the college the college of St Mary of Winchester in Oxford but that was too much of a mouthful and there was already another college officially named St Mary so this one became known as the New St Mary's, or just New College.  Bishop William also established Winchester College in the city of Winchester to act as a feeder to New College.  This, too, had the motto, "Manners Makyth Man".

I suppose if there is one thing trickier than explaining the rules of cricket in three paragraphs it must be trying to explain the difference between public schools (such as Winchester, Harrow, Oundle) and private schools.  After all, public schools aren't really public and private schools aren't private.  Throw into the mix state schools and church schools and...  Well, that's not what today's blog is about so let's not get side-tracked.

Manners.  Etiquette.  Usually a fairly simple matter of doing things like holding open a door rather than letting it slam back into the person behind but sometimes far more obscure.  Manners change with time.  When I was a child it was impressed upon me by my mother that a gentleman always walked on the traffic side of a lady.  (My mother told me it was because during the war American soldiers would sweep women into their jeeps so the man walked on the outside.  I still don't know whether or not to believe her.)  Anyway, that particuar "good manner" seems to have passed on and nobody bothers about it nowadays.

There was a time when one could buy books providing guides to etiquette.  Maybe one still can.  And maybe I need one.  You see, I have the feeling that I may have unwittingly offended against the etiquette of blogging.

Most of the time I lurk on other folk's blogs without making any comment and yet I have come across other bloggers who seem unable or unwilling to read a blog without adding some words of their own; maybe just "Well done" or "I fully agree" and maybe realting a fairly lengthy story of an experience similar to that decribed by the blogger.  Should I comment more?  Is it ill-mannered to drop by without commenting?

And what about those comments to my own blog?  I see some bloggers valiantly replying to every single comment.  That's OK if one has the time - which I don't - and works best when the template being used allows for replies to individual comments.  Mine only allows for more comments to be added to the end of the list so that's not so good.

Well, until somebody produces an idiot's guide to blogiquette I guess I shall just remain an ill-mannered lout.

Meanwhile, there seems to be a problem with yesterday's picture so here is the Old State House, Boston.


Buck said...

Should I comment more? Is it ill-mannered to drop by without commenting?

Whatever works for you... I don't believe there are any hard and fast rules. I'm one of those guys that likes to comment but sometimes I'll just lurk. Not often though, as I've had off-line discussions with my blogging pals and they all agree: comments are the lifeblood of blogging.

Suldog said...

I like to comment whenever possible, but if I find I truly have nothing to say about a subject, or what I have to say will likely only be seen as argumentative or disagreeable, I'll probably not say it.

Comments are wonderful, and they ARE the lifeblood, as Buck says, but the number of comments any individual entry receives works as an indicator of whether or not what you've written has truly connected with folks or not. When something I post gets twice as many comments as usual, I know I've done good work. When less than usual, I know I've been self-indulgent and boring. so, both commenting and not commenting have a useful function.

By the way, some trivia concerning our Old State House: There is a subway (underground) station beneath it - State - and entrance to it is through the building. It must have seemed like a wonderful thing to do when they built the stop back in the 1920's or whenever, but could you imagine the outcry now if somebody laid out plans to deposit a subway stop in the basement of an historic building?

Uncle Skip, said...

" Mine only allows for more comments to be added to the end of the list so that's not so good."

That can be fixed, but only if you really want it.

Brighton Pensioner said...

Thank you, Buck and Suldog - I'll bear in mind what you say. Thanks as well, Suldog, for the trivia. Always very welcome.

Skip - how?