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.