Assignment draft

Posted on September 30, 2011


Often a message’s meaning and intent is not simply in the words written on the page, but in how they are presented. Something as simple as a calling card, for example, can hold many differing meanings for differing societies. Emily Post’s works of etiquette (1922) has an entire section dedicated to the proper decorum related to the small piece of card and the tiny script upon it. Nearly a century later, business cards and calling cards also have meaning

In an age before


Post’s calling cards are physical creations that went through as many fashion changes as the clothing style of the time. There was a right and a wrong, a classy and a gaudy, a polite and a rude.

As maids and butlers do not generally serve in the contemporary suburban Australian home, Post’s calling card was modified into the modern day version of a calling card that is left when someone is not home; answering machine messages. Several different messages were recorded by different people for varying reasons and stating varying pieces of information, but all within what has been stated by Post as what should be contained within a calling card.

The visual aspect of the genre change took the form of informal messages that could be left behind in varying locations; in the letter box, wedged in the door jamb, under the mat and under the windscreen of a car. These are in the contemporary form of communication, and are again unable to be received by butlers and maids in this day and age, but contain all of the information that Post claims the calling cards would have contained, both written and implied.

Though Post’s calling card ettiquite may be somewhat dated, calling cards are still used to this day, though they take the form of business cards and are used more often than not in a purely formal environment. The contemporary friendship is far removed from the formality and ettiquite of Post’s day and age, and a calling card has taken the forms stated above. However, in Japan, cards are often used to identify the speaker and are bestowed upon another as a more permanent form of formal introduction.

In comparison to Western society, Japan is a far more formal culture, as (student) has noted in the comparison of the Western and Eastern greetings. For the visual component of the assignment, Post’s greeting card ettiquite has been applied to the Japanese greeting, as well as perhaps a little more extraneous knowledge in order to accurately recreate a Japanese greeting card (meeishi). Accompanying this is the verbalisation of the Japanese greeting through which such a card would be given, which I personally am able to do due to the fact that I have briefly taken a Japanese language course and know the greetings myself.


In comparison to the Japanese greetings, formal Australian greetings are almost impolite. As (student) notes, the typical formal Australian greeting is a handshake between men, though women often shake hands, contrary to what (student) says, especially in formal situations such as business encounters.


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