Date: Sun, 30 Oct 1994 12:37:25 -0400


Subject: born in a barn

We have always used "born in a barn" primarily to refer to failure to close the

door, but secondarily in reference to any actions that treat the house as if it

might as well be a barn--eg., leaving clothes on the floor, shouting and

yelling, etc. Hence to some degree the phrase is concerned with "manners."

In this regard, by the way, I don't believe the distinction between manners and

ethics and morals which Lew Sanbourne made is entirely valid. Truly good

manners are not concerned simply with elbows on the table; their rational is

surely the need to act with kindness, compassion, and gentility in all the

appropriate circumstances. Seen this way, they cover a lot of virtues.ra

Bob Lancaster

SUNY emeritus - English

(Sorry about that - "rationale")