Manners & Misdemeanors

What Exactly Is the Difference Between "Pardon Me" and "Excuse Me?"

And why you should never say "pardon me" at a dinner party.
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES/ SHELBY ROSS
Comments

Myka Meier knows her way around a dinner table. The founder of Beaumont Etiquette teaches the Plaza Hotel's Finishing Program, along with specific classes on the proper way to conduct oneself when dining, in business, and in social situations.

So when Uber was looking for an etiquette expert to lead an event it was planning to promote its food delivery service, UberEats, and how well its customer can dine at home, Meier was a natural fit.

In addition to a few hands-on skill suggestions (never twirl spaghetti in a spoon, always scoop soup away from you, hold a wine or champagne glass by the stem instead of the bowl), Meier offered up a phrase that should never cross a diner's lips: "Pardon me."


ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Etiquette expert Myka Meier

"To ask for a pardon is a term reserved for service staff, and implies you are asking to be forgiven," Meier says. "A server interrupting a conversation to take an order, for instance, would use the term 'pardon me' to do so."

Diners are instead advised to say "excuse me"—and nothing else—when they need to leave the table or get a server's attention.

The reason that it's best to keep it simple (and not give a more detailed reason for leaving the table) is straightforward: "Never announce you are going to use the restroom to those you are with, especially during a meal," Meier says. "None of your fellow diners want to think of you using the restroom, especially while they are eating! Instead, simply say 'please excuse me' when you leave the table."

Even fine dining is supposed to be fun and effortless, so the next time you find yourself needing to take a break from the conversation, remember to ditch the lengthy explanation—just say "excuse me," stand up, and carry on with your business.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com
*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

Comments
About The Author
Sam Dangremond
View Other Articles From Sam Dangremond
Comments
Latest Stories
 
Share
Because the best libations have just a hint of mint.
 
Share
Today, babaylans are past reminders of how Filipinos regarded women in high esteem, long before colonizers came ashore.
 
Share
The luxury watchmaker leads the list of the 100 most reputable companies in 2019.
 
Share
Meet the New New Money, the God, the East Rich, and more.
 
Share
The first bracelet was a custom piece for the Duchess of Windsor, but now you can get one of your own for a cool $1.2 million.
 
Share
 
Share
All those date night expectations are met at these establishments.
 
Share
The luxury fashion house comes to Shangri-La Plaza.
 
Share
Here's your first look at the new documentary, which airs this weekend on PBS.
 
Share
Here's everything we know about the Amazon CEO and his pilot girlfriend.
 
Share
Set sail on a luxury seven-night journey from Monte Carlo to Barcelona.
Load More Articles
CONNECT WITH US