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MARTIN: So thats an enormous stride, and we have our downfalls. Dear Miss Manners; A colleague in my office has a fondness for hot pants, tight tops with plunging necklines and bracelets that rattle together. I dont want to hurt her feelings, but whats a good way of getting her to put on some more clothes? If youre on trial as a criminal with a criminal charge, youre lawyer is going to tell you how to dress and its not going to be in a t-shirt that says blank you and torn jeans. MARTIN: Its got to symbolize that youre an upstanding citizen. WATTENBERG: Looking at the modern era, you see people walking down the street or frequently in an elevator using a cell phone or listening to i Pod, whatever that is. Well, thats changed, and America changed that so thats one of the changes for the better and Im sure you can name plenty of changes for the worse. MARTIN: I think the good parts are good and the bad parts are bad. Now, one of the things thats changed is the increase in the number and rate of women in business and in the workplace, and the letter that Im going to read you is about that. The language of clothing is high symbolism and we all, in moments where we need to know this, realize it. Would you find it annoying if Im reading a book while Im in an elevator? they will always cite an example of something ridiculously outrageous where somebody has taken insult where insult was not intended. But the fact that we no longer tolerate the open expression of bigotry is wonderful. Do you approve of men and women living together before marriage? You looked down on people who worked with their hands. So, I mean, do you think that in general, that the export of the American culture and the American experience around the world through all the internet and the satellites and the television and the newspapers and whatever, is a salutary development? It will be far easier — and less expensive — for your brother to engage in a lasting fight with his relatives than with his wife.If your brother does, at some point, find out and chastise you for not alerting him, you can rightly tell him that you thought it was none of your business. DEAR MISS MANNERS: Save-the-date cards for my upcoming wedding went out several months ago, and we’re preparing to send formal invitations in a few weeks.WATTENBERG/OC: Its said that Americans have lost their manners, that they are coarse and vulgar, and that such behavior ultimately corrodes our society. To find out, Think Tank is joined by Judith Martin. Now, you have been called I read through some of the some of the material - you have been called a social philosopher. Is there a general strategy that one can use in such situations? WATTENBERG: You have been called, well, Im going to call you... This happens whether such behavior occurs in politics, in business or in our personal lives. She is known to Americans as Miss Manners, and appears in a widely distributed newspaper column, in a variety of magazines, and the Internet. MARTIN: Public debate is a wonderful thing, but that is not debate; that is insult-exchanging and people often think that etiquette inhibits the exchange of ideas and of of tough opinions and and so on. You could have a discussion on both sides of any of these topics, but only if people are polite. MARTIN: I was gonna say, whos doing all this name-calling? Do you still on formal occasions use pen and paper or engraving and so on?

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Theres enthusiastic, lets continue the conversation interrupting, which is sort of overlapping talk which can be fine, not always depending on how much you do it. There are certain traditional charming gestures that are very appropriate in social life, which is what these people are describing and and very inappropriate in professional life.

Miss Manners insists that no good can come from being the messenger here.

Especially since the posting has since been taken down, there will be trust issues on all sides if the family accuses his wife of something that he can no longer witness himself, and that she can always deny.

The men with the plunging necklines and the chests open and even the dangling bracelets exist, too. MARTIN: This is part of the casualization, the phoniness of the business world. MARTIN: Well, they were hiding behind their computers, yes. MARTIN: Nobody knows what youre wearing if youre home alone with a computer. I enjoy taking him out to lunch sometimes to show my appreciation for him and he seems to enjoy it.

Goodness knows, Im the first person to go around saying tsk, tsk when I find this. MARTIN: And its not you said its women in the workplace. WATTENBERG: A lot of this came out of the high-tech thing where guys would come in with loafers and jeans and a t-shirt. Well, what is wrong with symbolizing that you are in a professional role? Dear Miss Manners; I am a woman and my assistant is a man.