December 4, 2006
The Original Miss Manners
One of the tons of literary references in The Year of Magical Thinking is to the section of Emily Post’s Etiquette that deals with funerals. Didion mentions she ran across Etiquette on the Internet, and sure enough, here it is, with its ultra-authoritative tone, sage wisdom on matters particular, and wry wit:
A man whose social position is self-made is apt to be detected by his continual cataloguing of prominent names. Mr. Parvenu invariably interlards his conversation with, “When I was dining at the Bobo Gildings’”; or even “at Lucy Gilding’s,” and quite often accentuates, in his ignorance, those of rather second-rate, though conspicuous position. “I was spending last week-end with the Richan Vulgars,” or “My great friends, the Gotta Crusts.” When a so-called gentleman insists on imparting information, interesting only to the Social Register, shun him!
I move that we resurrect the verb to interlard.