The Art of Conversation

Questioning is not the mode of conversation
among gentlemen.”

Samuel Johnson, Boswell’s Life

If we go by what we read, The Quintessential Gentleman tells us we are not supposed to discuss politics, money, religion or sex in polite company. Which leaves art, and since few know anything about that, what is left? Nothing.

If in doubt, let the host and hostess be responsible for setting the tone, and take it from there. If you are running the show, start off as trivially and uncontroversially as you can and see what develops.

Remember that it is bad form to leave someone standing on his or her own, and it is reprehensible to leave someone all evening with a known bore. If you find that you’re frequently left with bores all night, either you’re going to the wrong parties or you’re, lamentably, a bore yourself.

 

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~ by eaesthete on 12/19/08.

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