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Etiquette, Netiquette and Sportsmanship

August 13, 2000

Whether you are running in a race, communicating in cyberspace or talking to someone face to face, good manners can help you succeed. In this world of many cultures and changing circumstances, knowing the appropriate rules of behavior, or "etiquette," can help you avoid misunderstandings as well as make yours and others' lives more pleasant. Become a more thoughtful citizen by learning the rules of etiquette, netiquette and sportsmanship through these direct links on the Times Launch Point Web site:

Here are the best sites for getting your schoolwork done or for just having fun.

Level 1

Manners Madness: Good manners are a combination of common sense and thoughtfulness that can make interactions with others flow smoothly. Learn how to deal with annoyances at home and at school by exploring real-life situations and coming up with solutions.

Top Tens at the Table: Keeping your mouth closed while you are eating is highly recommended, while juggling baked potatoes or drinking from the gravy dish is definitely frowned upon. Learn what to do and what not to do at the dinner table and impress your parents with your awesome table manners.

Meet Benny Good Sport and the Good Sport Gang: Find out how to be a good team captain and show good sportsmanship through an illustrated story starring Benny and the Gang playing kickball.

Level 2

Arrested! Minors in Possession of Bad Manners: Discover what today's teens think of the good manners expected during the 19th century in this fun site that discusses the history of etiquette and includes helpful sections on dating, business, phone and driving etiquette. You can even learn about netiquette rules for using electronic mail and read the "Ten Commandments for Computer Ethics."

Sportsmanship Education: Good sportsmanship is not just for athletes and coaches; it's also important for spectators to show respect for the participants and the officials. Find out the "high fives" to good sportsmanship and learn how sports can be an arena for both physical and ethical excellence.

Netiquette for Netizens: How to Mind Your Manners Online: What is spam and how do you avoid flame wars and spreading hoaxes? Learn common-sense tips for effective electronic communications through this site, which offers many helpful examples.

Level 3

The Rose Tea Room: Learning cultural customs of courtesy can help you avoid misunderstandings and build friendships. This comprehensive site introduces you to international etiquette and explains what to do in all sorts of situations, from introductions, table manners and tipping to good manners at the workplace, including smooth communications using the telephone and the Internet.

Institute for International Sport: National Sportsmanship Day: According to tennis star Jim Courier, "Sportsmanship for me is when a guy walks off the court and you really can't tell whether he won or lost, when he carries himself with pride either way." Explore the issues of sportsmanship through interviews with top athletes, inspirational quotes and other resources and learn about special events for the National Sportmanship Day held each March.

Netiquette Home Page: Important rules of using the Internet for communication include remembering the human touch, respecting other people's time and bandwidth and forgiving other people's mistakes. Become a knowledgeable netizen through this solid collection of resources, including an online manual and interactive quiz.

Launch Point is produced by the UC Irvine department of education, which reviews each site for appropriateness and quality. Even so, parents should supervise their children's use of the Internet. This column was designed by Rebecca Chang, Corinne Boykin, Anne "Chu-Jen" Lu and Anna Manring.


The answer to this Internet quiz can be found in the sites at right.

What eight character traits demonstrate good sportsmanship?

CLUE: See Sportsmanship Education

Find What You Need to Know: Have a project on California history? Need help doing a math problem? Launch Point covers more than 100 topics for getting your schoolwork done. Go to for the full list of subjects and direct links to the best Internet sites.

Answer to last week's Quest: The chemical nitroglycerin is used not only to make dynamite but can also be used to prevent heart attacks.

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