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Emily Post's "Motor Manners"

Posted by Robin Abrahams  August 13, 2013 01:04 PM

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Emily Post cover.jpg

Thank you to reader D.W.G., who kindly mailed me Emily Post's Motor Manners: The Bluebooklet of Traffic Etiquette. D.W.G. wrote, "This booklet was published in 1949 and sponsored by the National Highways Users Conference, Inc. My late mother received this, compliments of Esso."

It's a delightful read. Here are the first two pages.

Emily Post traffic 1.jpgIt must have been a hell of a thrill for a staid etiquette advisor to get to write "MURDER" in all caps in her very first paragraph. You don't get to do that often in this business. 

Emily Post traffic 2.jpg

I do love "Behind the wheel of a car, men and women both whose behavior in all other circumstances is beyond reproach, become suddenly transformed into bad mannered autocrats. This inconsistency is certainly one of the unsolved mysteries of our time." And especially of our place, dear Boston. 

Notice how bad driving manners are attributed to the relative newness of the technology, just as we blame bad smartphone etiquette on the newness of that gear. 

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at

Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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