DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am in second grade and sometimes read your column. Here is my question: Is it ever polite to burp out loud? I was wondering this because my brothers burp a lot, and they say in some cultures it is polite to burp to show that you like the food.
GENTLE READER: Knowing about different cultures is important, and Miss Manners gathers that your brothers have learned that there are other languages of behavior, just as there are other languages that different people speak.
The next lesson is when to use such languages. For example, it would be wonderful if they could speak Japanese. But would they go around speaking it to Americans who did not understand?
There are places where burping is understood to be acceptable. In America, it is considered unfortunate at best, but rude if no attempt is made to control it.