but still frequently referenced
And in related news.....
And in related news.....
Link to Maureen Downey's October 20 'Get Schooled' column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Turning up the volume in our lives. Everyone seems to be talking now, in the library, in class. Is quiet old school?"
Excerpt: The WSB-TV story about the mother being arrested in the Decatur library allegedly because she wouldn’t quiet her noisy toddler made me think about noise in schools and libraries. (BTW, having used that library many times and seen the tolerance toward boisterous children, I have to believe the library’s account that the police were called because of the woman’s loudness rather than the child’s.)
First off, libraries in general are louder than they used to be. As a young child, I was a regular at the library near my house and it was a silent, somber place where I checked out my “Harriet the Spy” books and fled home to read them.
Today, libraries are filled with parents and toddlers and there are bean bag chairs and little tables that invite kids to get comfy. The child-friendly nooks and crannies also invite noise because where they are children, there is noise.
In fact, I also see many more adults who talk in normal tones rather than the whispers in libraries. I am always shushing my own kids in the library while everyone else is talking as if they were in the food court of the mall.
It's not just libraries and schools.
Years ago, when people entered a church, they remained quiet until the start of the service. They didn't open their mouths until the singing of the opening hymn. Not to mention the fact that everyone dressed up. Men and boys wore suits or sports jackets, with a tie (I was still in my clip-on phase back then), and women and girls would never be seen wearing slacks. Most of the adults wore hats, although the men took their off upon entering the church. (OK, I admit it; I'm seriously dating myself here.)
Nowadays there are generally pockets of conversation going on even through the organ prelude. And the attire is decidedly casual, as if congregants were "in the food court of the mall".
Based on a 2002 report, Aggravating Circumstances: A Status Report on Rudeness in America, we don't seem to be inclined to change our ways.
Excerpt: Lack of manners for Americans is not whether you confuse the salad fork for the dinner fork, said Deborah Wadsworth, Public Agenda president. It's about the daily assault of selfish, inconsiderate behavior that gets under their skin on the highways, in the office, on TV, in stores and the myriad other settings where they encounter fellow Americans.
Among the report's key findings were that:
- 79 percent of Americans say lack of respect and courtesy should be regarded as a serious national problem; only 19 percent say it should not be viewed as serious given other issues facing society;
- 73 percent believe Americans did treat one another with greater respect in the past; just 21 percent attributed those feelings to a false nostalgia for a past that never existed;
- 62 percent say that witnessing rude and disrespectful behavior bothers them a lot and 52 percent said the residue from such episodes lingers with them for some time afterwards;
- Six in 10 believe the problem is getting worse, and;
- 41 percent confess to having acted rude or disrespectful themselves.