Melbourne: From swearing, being tardy, dressing down and not even remembering to say thank you and please, modern-day Aussies are shamelessly forgetting their manners, so says etiquette queen.
She says that while ‘formal’ had its heyday in the ‘50s, the refined customs of a bygone era should still hold a place in modern society.
“I am concerned the human race is slipping back to the heathen era and it disappoints me,” the Daily Telegraph quoted Dally-Watkins as saying.
“Even little things like remembering to say ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ are slipping away.”
She says that Aussies’ dependence on technology - the ease of text messaging, emailing, and communicating on Facebook - had spoilt face-to-face communication and made us increasingly unaware of others.
“I see people texting at the dinner table and walking down the street sending messages, causing other people to dodge out of their way,” she said.
“People would rather send a simple email than handwrite a letter of appreciation.”
When it comes to the death of chivalry, Dally-Watkins blames feminist Germaine Greer.
“Men and women were once courteous to each other, and then along came Germaine Greer, who said women should be more like men,” she said.
Dally-Watkins also fears young people are learning nothing but bad habits.
She said families are increasingly eating separately, which impacts table manners.
The way women dress today also makes her blood boil.
“There is nothing more inappropriate than shorts ... especially short shorts. Some ways of dressing ... give the impression of: ``I’m yours, take me``,” she said.