Don’t – In Dress and Personal Habits

Vignettes from Don’t: Manual of Mistakes and Improprieties More or Less Prevalent in Conduct and Speech.

In Dress and Personal Habits –

  • Don’t neglect the details of the toilet. Many persons, neat in other particulars, carry blackened finger-nails. This is disgusting. Don’t neglect the small hairs that project from the nostrils and grow about the apertures of the ears – small matters of the toilet often overlooked.
  • Don’t wear apparel with decided colors or with pronounced patterns. Don’t – we address here the male reader – wear anything that is pretty. What have men to do with pretty things: Select quiet colors and unobtrusive pattern, and adopt no style of cutting that belittles the figure. It is right enough that men’s apparel should be becoming, that it should be graceful, and that it should lend dignity to the figure; but it should never be ornamental, capricious, or pretty.
  • Don’t expectorate. Men in good health do not need to expectorate; with them continual expectoration is simply the result of habit. men with bronchial or lung diseases are compelled to expectorate, but no one should discharge matter of the kind in public places except into vessels provided to receive it. Spitting upon the floor anywhere is inexcusable. One should not even spit upon the sidewalk, but go to the gutter for the purpose. One must not spit into the fire-place nor upon the carpet, and hence the English rule is for him to spit in his handkerchief-but this is not a pleasant alternative. On some occasions no other may offer.
  • Don’t have the habit of letting your lip drop and your mouth remain open. “Shut your mouth,” is the advice of a savant, who has written a book on the subject. Breathe through your nostrils and not through your mouth; sleep with your mouth closed; keep it closed except when you open it for a purpose. An open mouth indicates feebleness of character, while the habit affects the teeth and the general health.
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Published in: on March 2, 2007 at 1:47 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. These are very interesting. The “don’t spit on the carpet” made me chuckle, but then I realized if there’s a rule for that, it means some uncouth people must have done that. Eww!

    “An open mouth indicates feebleness of character” – there can be a lot of truth in this one.


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