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Miss Manners: Taylor Swift tops list for polite behavior

Ten Best-Mannered People of 2012

1. Taylor Swift: For inspiring young people with her music and her manners

2. Rory McIlroy: For displaying good sportsmanship on and off the golf course

3. Robin Roberts: For the respect she shows others as a network host, and for extending warmth and kindness to “Good Morning America” guests

4. Gabby Douglas: For demonstrating humility and politeness as a young Olympic athlete

5. Justin Bieber: For consistently showing courtesy to his many fans

6. Matt Damon: For being a positive role model in Hollywood to younger generations

7. Kate Middleton: For the poise and dignity with which she conducts herself in the public spotlight

8. Drew Brees: For being a positive example for young athletes

9. Michelle Obama: For her positive encouragement of a healthy lifestyle to youth

10. Daniel Radcliffe: For the kindness extended to his “Harry Potter” fans

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By William Loeffler
Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, 9:23 p.m.

Should they ever meet, Harry Prince of Wales and country singer Taylor Swift will find they have something in common.

But it might be a subject that is best avoided.

Swift topped the list of “Ten Best-Mannered People of 2012,” issued by the National League of Junior Cotillions.

Harry was named the most-ill-mannered person of 2012, thanks to his scandalous nude frolic in a Las Vegas hotel suite in August.

Harry's transgression sparked a tabloid feeding frenzy when photos of the bacchanal were published.

In its 21st year, the list recognizes celebrities, pro athletes and other public figures that set a good example for young people, national director Elizabeth Anne Winters Russell says.

Despite the pressures of touring and recording and relentless media scrutiny, Swift has always been a class act.

“She continually carries herself with dignity, and is always gracious to her fans,” Russell says.

Harry's sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, is No. 7 on the list. She was No. 1 last year, but her new ranking should not be viewed as a demotion, Russell says.

Pressed to name her favorite on the list, Russell cites U.S. Olympic gold medalist Gabriel Douglas as one who demonstrated grace under pressure — not just during the competition, but in the subsequent glare of celebrity.

“Gabby Douglas was really an all-star this year,” she says. “She was thrown into the limelight at a very young age. Just the way she carried herself through all conversations and accusations. The way she held her head high really spoke to her character.”

Based in North Carolina, the National League of Junior Cotillions licenses local chapters across the country to teach etiquette, ethics and social dance to students, mostly seventh-, eighth- and ninth- graders. Students and chapter directors can submit nominations for the list.

More than 10,000 students have completed their program, which includes lessons in online manners, Russell says.

Young people must realize that the Internet is also a public place where posts and photos can come back to haunt them.

Had anyone made the list only to have them blow it with some cringe-worthy public outburst or gaffe?

“Every now and then, “Russell says. “We are all human. Inevitably, we will make mistakes and slip up. We really try to do a thorough background check on the individuals.”

William Loeffler is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 412-320-7986.



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