Talk to the Hand

Talk to the Hand

The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, Or, Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door

Book - 2005
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"Talk to the hand, 'cause the face ain't listening," the saying goes.

When did the world stop wanting to hear? When did society become so thoughtless? It's a topic that has been simmering for years, and Lynne Truss says it's now reached the boiling point. Taking on the boorish behavior that for some has become a point of pride, Talk to the Hand is a rallying cry for courtesy. Like Eats, Shoots & Leaves , Talk to the Hand is not a stuffy guidebook, and is sure to inspire spirited conversation.

Why hasn't your nephew ever thanked you for your carefully selected gift? What makes your contractor think it's fine to snub you in the midst of a major renovation? Why do crowds spawn selfishness? What accounts for the appalling treatment you receive in stores (if you're lucky enough to get a clerk's attention at all)? Most important, what will it take to roll back a culture that applauds those who are disrespectful? In a recent U.S. survey, 79 percent of adults said that lack of courtesy was a serious problem. For anyone who's fed up with the brutality inflicted by modern manners (or lack thereof), Talk to the Hand is a colorful call to arms--from the wittiest defender of the civilized world.

Publisher: New York : Gotham Books, c2005.
ISBN: 9781592401710
Characteristics: x, 206 pages ;,20 cm.


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Mar 28, 2019

I'm turning 43 today and I think I have some wisdom to impart, but the younger generation seems resentful of the pronouncements I have taken to making this whole year. Lynne Truss is very funny and speaks very correctly since she also wrote Eats, shoots and Leaves abt grammar. C I text 2 much?! Of course most people in their twenties, despite what seem to me their youthful, baby faces, have worked longer than me, now. This is because I got social security 5 years ago. Because of my disabilities I left the workforce. I was 38. I guess I can now count 3 gray hairs, so am not a young thing myself. I am not calling out people if they Ma'am me! I guess I'm Ok with it, the getting older thing. However, it is fun to read a book by someone who speaks the Queen's English well, and is really trying to absorb how much behavior has changed, tho she queenly doesn't really see the need to change herself. I also tried it out on someone ten years older, but she is or was my friend, guess can't invite her to party:(. I guess I thought I could change other people, but I still have quite a bit of sawdust in my own eyes, and am growing up more. I'm trying to hold onto Childlike not Childish ways, tho trouble is making me cynical too. I'd like to just be skeptical, like Diogenes who went around wearing only a barrel, and put pebbles in his mouth to cure his lisp, or maybe some other Greek philosopher. See I'm trying to be funny too like Ms. Truss, or maybe she is old-fashioned and prefers Mrs. I think she's married, well you will have to read to find out her fascinating private life. Mostly its about English rudeness, but its not that different from American rudeness. A young man's phone rang loudly in computer room. I asked 2x politely to quiet his phone, but he calmly said it would stop when it stopped, and lo and behold it stopped the instant he said that! Magic? Maybe he or you will read this and just say like I did 'Whatever.' Working on No F*s Given. See older people can be rude too, and have great vocabularies! Not me, used to. Lynne Truss is my heroine on this topic. I like it better than her other grammar one, bc here she doesn't always know what she is talking about and it makes her a tad more humble. But keep your Tiara up, Mrs. Truss!
I worry about the high school grads who have never known a life before 9/11. The time I decided to hide in my parent's home, and avoid all that hard stuff. The world has gotten Hot, Flat and Crowded like Jared Diamond, tho he is usually too conservative for me, predicted, and they deal with much more environmental pollution, horrible out-size crimes, and people (and politicians) out only to make No.1 some big bucks. Good Luck and Good Night.

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 22, 2015

This book isn't a guide to manners and etiquette (which fork to use), but a plea to show consideration to others. Truss doesn't just bemoan the lack of manners, but analyzes social, economic, political and philosophical shifts that make these breaches more common. Truss uses plenty of everyday examples, and her sense of humour, despite boorish treatment by others, shines through.

Jul 16, 2014

A quick read and while the author herself does admit that it's sort of a rant, which it is, that doesn't undermine the central purpose that she's trying to deliver on. A fun read overall that gives the reader a better understanding of rudeness today with a little humor mixed in.

geniusgirl613 Jun 24, 2013

This brilliant book,from the perfect title to the very last page, is the ultimate way to improve society. If only everyone would read this funny book! Lynne Truss's attitude toward the state of manners today is hilarious and, at the same time, all too easily identified with.

bkilfoy Mar 28, 2013

An examination of the collapse of manners in every day life, Lynne Truss unleashes her wit (and exasperation) in an effort to amend the situation. Exploring the six reasons why one should stay home and bolt the door that revolve around the increasing disappearance of manners and the encroaching lack of respect that happens as a result, Truss explores the history of manners and the reflections on society that manners have. While there are some very funny moments in the book, I was not as taken with this volume as I was with Eats, Shoots & Leaves, perhaps because manners are not as important to me as grammar and punctuation are. Or perhaps, as Truss argues towards the beginning of the book, I am simply too young for many of these things to bother me. Additionally, this book is almost exclusively focused on the descent of British manners and makes several arguments surrounding the defunct class system that was far more potent on that side of the pond which means that some of the examples used are not as cross-culturally applicable. An interesting read that will make you think and probably chortle a little, and perhaps encourage you to thank the person who held the door open for you.

Aug 12, 2012

The attempts at humor are a little too forced; the conclusion is achieved quickly with not much argument. Not as good as Eats Shoots and Leaves.

Mar 30, 2012

A little too much bellyaching about what the author finds rude to be taken seriously as an etiquette handbook. (She says herself she wouldn't attempt to write one, because manners are "unenforceable". This might be technically true, if we knew what she means by force, and why she thinks it is necessary.) Still, very entertaining, with some shrewd insights, especially on how we define rudeness as just over the line from our own behaviour.

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geniusgirl613 Jun 25, 2013

geniusgirl613 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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