Sadly lacking these days alas, etiquette by definition is “the customary code of polite behaviour in society or among members of a particular profession or group”
What most people do not know that it stems from a direct reference to Louis XIV.
The etiquette of the French court at Versailles was absolute and extreme. Who could sit, who must stand, who could sit on a chair or only a stool, how women walked, talked, dressed…everything was governed to some degree by etiquette.
The original use of the word came about because Louis XIV’s recently finished palace of Versailles was overrun with sycophantic courtiers and aristocrats desperate to hob nob with his imperial majesty. Consequently they were rather negligent about the gardens when the monarch hoved into view and were want to trample over the grass in their eagerness to get a shufti.
So in an effort to preserve the grounds the first ever “Keep off the grass” signs where placed around Versailles on little cards or in French “étiquettes” – little tickets.
So what started as a sign now familiar to most people who gaze longingly at immaculately cut grass upon which they are forbidden to tread are observing the first rule of étiquette.
Don’t get me started on the origins of Courtesy!