Etiquette is the customary code of polite behaviour, a set of norms in a society, it interprets politeness as a ritual or a ceremony. Not only can etiquette be formed not only for the society in general, it can also be formed for members of a particular profession,group or social class.
In its present form and meaning the word was first used at the court of King Louis XIV. Guests were given cards with a description of how to behave properly at court. Etiquette literally represented a list of ceremonial observances of a court. Although certain codes of practice and rules already existed since ancient times etiquette became a standardized list of the ways one should follow.
The word originated in 1750, from French étiquette , meaning “prescribed behaviour”.
Etiquette derives from estiquette (Old French). Markedly estquette has a connection with the word ticket which can be seen from an early origin. Ticket was a shortened version of obsolete French etiquet. The word is closely related to ticket because rules of etiquette were written on cards during the times of King Louis XIV. It is important to realize that because all rules were written on the cards the word “etiquette” can be interpreted as a label in this context. Etiquet is related to ticket because of its meaning “short written note”. If one would look into deeper roots of the word, one would find that estiquier (Fr) which formed the word in a way its pronounced now, comes from Middle Dutch steken. Steken means to fix. Did this root of the word’s origin contribute to it’s meaning? Do people “fix” their behavior and follow etiquette to be polite or have good intentions? Or do people fix how they behave in order to impress someone?
Etiquette can be understood as an act of politeness and good manners. Politeness is not only a character trait but also requires some knowledge of etiquette relevant to the society where the person lives in. One cannot exist without the other.
Nowadays etiquette has morphed into a different setting because the values in the societies has changed over time but people will always have norms in terms of how to behave. Etiquette may differ in different conditions, depending on age and cultural environment.
Modern etiquette is a code of good manners and rules of conduct. People greet each other, know how to behave in public, theaters, transport and know how to serve reception. Everyone in the society has the knowledge of it to some extent. Knowledge of etiquette allows a person to make a good impression of their appearance through their ability to maintain a conversation or the ability to welcome guests and serve food.
Nevertheless the word etiquette is a word that nowadays by itself requires some official or royal setting for it to be relevant. The formalities required by usage in a diplomatic intercourse, the prescribed ceremonial of a court. It can also represent the order of procedure established by custom in parliament. Although as technology was developing the word netiquette was derived in the eighties, it followed the spread of internet. Netiquette is a set of rules of behavior within the communication networks, traditions and cultures of the Internet communities which most people hold. Thereupon technology brought etiquette onto a new level. In the past etiquette used to be more ingrained into culture, but due to spread of the internet technologies, netiquette has less boundaries which require to a new level of understanding.
"etiquette, n.". OED Online. September 2012. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/64853 (accessed November 13, 2012).
"etiquettical, adj.". OED Online. September 2012. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/64854 (accessed November 13, 2012).