Technology, it might be said, by providing machines to do what used to be done by hand . . . has complicated our lives in as many ways as it has simplified and enriched them . . . but in committing ourselves to machine control we have sacrificed many of the pleasures of self-control—of manners, if you wish. . . .
Now and then someone I have just met, avoiding false coziness, calls me "Mr. Lynes." I am as astonished as I am pleased, but it's my age and white hair that evokes it. I think of a story told by Dame May Witty, the distinguished actress, who was in a London shop and was being waited on by an uppity salesgirl (there are two words that have vanished) who was offhand and rude. Dame May, piqued, said, "I suppose you know who I am," and the clerk replied, "Certainly." To which the actress said, "I suppose you think you're as good as I am," and the girl said, "Of course." "Then why," Dame May said, " can't you be civil to your equals?"
Civility is, of course, the root and branch of manners . . .
-Russell Lynes, from his 1986 essay, On Good Behavior, found here