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Etiquette is a set of rules governing socially acceptable behavior that describes what a person should or should not do in order to behave in accordance to society and tradition.

Rules which are such that violations of them do not harm anybody, are considered by some to be unnecessary restrictions of freedom.

Proper etiquette at one time was considered to be a required aspect of "good breeding", or were behavior prescribed by authority that had to be observed in social or official life and was the ceremonial code of so-called polite society.

Etiquette is very much an aspect of culture; what is excellent etiquette in one society may not be so considered in another. The term is sometimes used synonymously with manners; advice columns along the style of Miss Manners can be seen as modern successors to the various "Handbooks of Etiquette" popular in 19th and early 20th century England and America. However, some writers make the distinction between manners to mean rules which involve justifiable respect shown to others, and etiquette to mean rules which are based purely on tradition with little obvious purpose.

See also: Netiquette

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