If I’d already written a book whinging about how no-one knows how to punctuate properly anymore, and was just starting to do the publicity rounds for a new book whinging about how no-one has proper manners anymore, I’d start to worry about the karmic payback for all that negativity. I used to enjoy Lynne Truss’s journalism in the Times; it seems a pity that she’s turning herself into a one-woman Daily Mail editorial.
Actually, though, I have more sympathy for her new cause than the old one. Whether or not I’d be convinced by her argument, whatever it is, I can at least see that courtesy is important. The way people treat each other in all the mundane exchanges of everyday has a real impact on the enjoyability of life. I really don’t care whether the greengrocer knows how to use an apostrophe, but I do care whether or not he’s rude to me.