Author(s): Jonathan Swift
Beginning with an 'expert' introduction to the perils of ill-educated discourse, Swift seeks to offer a remedy for conversational disasters. His aim: to ensure one is always equipped with the correct response no matter the situation, and the means with which to stoke up conversation when it lapses into an awkward silence. To prove his theses, he then proffers three mock dialogues, citing the drawing-room as the most suitable place to display the art of elegant and polite conversation. The result is a hilarious and deeply ironic analysis that is as relevant today as when it was first conceived.