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"RSVP" is an initialism of the French phrase répondez s’il vous plaît, meaning “please respond.” It was adopted by the English in the late 18th Century, during a brief fad for copying French mannerisms and etiquette. It was codified in the 20th century by etiquette writer Emily Post, who held that failing to respond to an invitation containing the phrase “RSVP” was the worst thing a person could do, worse than murder or treason. But not, presumably, worse than copying the French.

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Red wine is served at room temperature, in a wide glass, and benefits from slight aeration (or, swirling) in the glass. For meals it is paired well with strong cheeses, pasta with red sauces, beef and chocolate.

White wine is served chilled, in a tall, tulip shaped glass. It is best paired with seafood, cheeses, appetizers and poultry.

That two dollar bottle of cheap plonk you bought at Trader Joe’s and are so inordinately fond of is best served down the drain.

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A megalith is a large stone used in the construction of a structure, often a monument. Their use dates back to the Neolithic period, but appears to have largely died out by the Bronze Age. They appear throughout the Mediterranean and Europe, and the earliest known structures are chiefly French. The most common structure type is a portal tomb; upright stones with a flat stone used as a roof, though stone circles are best known in popular culture.

There is no evidence whatsoever that they have any connection to “druids” so kindly take your crystals elsewhere.

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When ordering wine in a restaurant, it is customary for the sommelier to place the cork of the opened bottle on the table.

Do not smell the cork. Honestly, what on Earth makes you think you’re supposed to do that?

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Anonymous asked: burlesque - what is it?

Burlesque is a work, chiefly literary or dramatic, created to satirize through caricature a more serious work in the medium, or to simply mock a subject or theme that could be viewed as pretentious. The word is derived from Italian, and the style appears chiefly in France and Italy during the 17th century before being popularized in England.

In America, burlesque is a music-hall performance featuring busty young women taking off their clothes. This is why we can’t have nice things.

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Gothic architecture emerged out of France in the middle of the 12th Century. It was originally known as “the French style” but was later coined “Gothic” as a pejorative, as it was felt that the style was inferior to classical architecture of the Greek and Roman styles, “goth” being a term used to describe presumably barbaric Central and Northern European people whom the Italians blamed for just coming in and ruining everything like a bunch of whiny cry-babies.

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Pagliacci is an opera written by Italian composer Ruggero Leoncavallo. The plot focuses on a clown who murders his wife and her lover in a fit of jealousy.

It was almost certainly plagiarised from the French play La Femme de Tabarin.

This is probably the point at which the more philosophically minded would ruminate about originality and art, but most of you are still trying to sound-out the pronunciation of “Pagliacci.”

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For formal occasions, a gentleman uses a Windsor knot in his tie. For casual occasions, the four-in-hand knot is acceptable.

The four-in-hand is sometimes called a “schoolboy knot” because it’s the sort of thing a child finds acceptable in formal wear. Learn to tie the damn Windsor.

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Romanticism was an artistic and cultural movement in late 18th century Europe. It’s primary themes were an idealization of the past, individualism, nationalism and a rejection of scientific and rational thought in favor of “intuition” and emotion.

We would never be so crass as to suggest that, culturally, America is lagging two and half centuries behind the rest of the world.

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In the United State “Esquire” is a title used when corresponding with a member of the legal profession. The correct form is “Richard Kochs, Esq.” You never use both the honorific “Mister” with the title “Esquire.”

In the United Kingdom “Esquire” is a title used for men who have no other, more specific title to use, but are still recognized as being of a better class than the rest of you slime.