Judith Martin Quotes

Most popular Judith Martin Quotes

Growing up is the best revenge.


Ideological differences are no excuse for rudeness.


Hypocrisy is not generally a social sin, but a virtue.


Traditionally, a luncheon is a lunch that takes an eon.
Protocol is etiquette with a government expense account, and is not to be sneered at.


Let us make a special effort to learn to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation.


We are born charming, frank, and spontaneous and must be civilized before we are fit to participate in society.


Charming villains have always had a decided social advantage over well-meaning people who chew with their mouths open.

charm manners

Adorable children are considered to be the general property of the human race. (Rude children belong to their mothers.)


A general rule of etiquette is that one apologizes for the unfortunate occurrence, but the unthinkable is unmentionable.
— Judith Martin


In artful boasting, one states all the information necessary to impress people, but keeps the facts decently clothed in the language of humility.


Conversation consists of developing and playing with ideas by juxtaposing the accumulated conclusions of two or more people and then improvising on them.


If you put together all the ingredients that naturally attract children—sex, violence, revenge, spectacle, and vigorous noise—what you have is grand opera.


Chaperons, even in their days of glory, were almost never able to enforce morality; what they did was to force immorality to be discreet. This is no small contribution.
— Judith Martin
The whole country wants civility. Why don't we have it?  It doesn't cost anything. No federal funding, no legislation is involved. One answer is the unwillingness to restrain oneself.
— Judith Martin
It has always puzzled me, in my business, that people think they have to answer questions, no matter how disagreeable or dangerous, just because they were asked. Of course, we journalists would be out of business if they didn't.

asking questions

Etiquette is about all of human social behavior. Behavior is regulated by law when etiquette breaks down or when the stakes are high—violations of life, limb, property and so on. Barring that, etiquette is a little social contract we make that we will restrain some of our more provocative impulses in return for living more or less harmoniously in a community.
— Judith Martin