A gentleman’s word is his bond


Few things are more annoying and ungentlemanly than a person who you cannot take at their word. Once a gentleman commits to something, not even an invite from Winston Churchill to smoke from his cigar reserve can make a gentleman renege on what he has said.

Winston will be disappointed, but a gentleman’s word is his bond.

All too often, someone will organise a meeting at the local public house for a dram only to decide to turn up “fashionably late”. This ungentlemanly manoeuvre is intentional and the anti-gentleman seeks to infer that they are so popular and so busy that they cannot possibly be everywhere on time. This line of thought it fundamentally flawed. True gentlemen are, by their nature, popular and busy; but they do not make commitments they cannot keep.

Sinatra’s timing was always impeccable. We see him here with what I can only assume is the International Gentleman's Award for being a Man of his Word.

The only thing worse than someone arriving late to a rendezvous is someone not arriving at all. Vague excuses such as “something came up” are not part of the gentleman’s vocabulary. This can be a sure-fire way to identify the anti-gentleman. Be sure to alert this acquaintance to their ungentlemanly behaviour when you next see them. Consider throwing down your gauntlet as well. The anti-gentleman will run scared, but may perhaps reconsider their actions next time.

Humphrey Bogart strikes his ‘waiting for a friend to arrive’ pose while waiting at Rick's Café Américain for an ungentlemanly friend.

This, of course, does not only apply to punctuality. Anything a gentleman says must be followed through with. If someone invites you to a gathering to which you cannot attend, do not say you will go and then just not turn up, and do not say “maybe” when you know you cannot.

Gene Kelly studies the legal document “The Gentleman’s Bond” with his favourite microphone to make sure he is always the perfect gentleman.

So make sure when you say you will do something or be somewhere, you do as a gentleman does, and be a man of your word. If everyone is a gentleman, the world would be a more punctual place.

All the best,

HL Griffith