Decorum vs. Decency
"Decorum" refers to appropriateness and good taste in behavior, while "decency" denotes moral uprightness and respectability.
Difference Between Decorum and Decency
It's important to understand that both "decorum" and "decency" play crucial roles in society. Decorum ensures smooth interpersonal interactions and maintains the sanctity of specific settings, while decency upholds the broader ethical and moral standards that bind communities together.
While "decorum" often refers to outer behavior, demeanor, and appearance in line with societal expectations, "decency" delves deeper, touching on the inherent quality or character of a person. Someone with decorum might know how to behave at a gallery opening, but a person with decency would stand up against any form of injustice they witness.
At times, "decorum" can be situation-specific. For example, what's considered decorous at a formal dinner might differ from what's seen as appropriate at a beach party. "Decency", however, transcends specific settings and tends to lean on universally accepted moral standards. Not shouting obscenities in public, for instance, would be an act of decency.
"Decorum" and "decency" are English words that often get intertwined but hold distinct nuances in meaning. "Decorum" primarily deals with proper etiquette, manners, and appropriateness in specific situations. Think of it as knowing the unspoken rules of a social setting. On the other hand, "decency" is more overarching, delving into moral uprightness, respectability, and often the larger sense of "right" in societal terms.
Decorum vs. Decency Comparison Chart
Proper behavior and etiquette in specific settings.
Moral uprightness and general respectability.
Often superficial or situational.
More profound, touching on inherent character.
Can vary based on the situation or cultural norms.
Tends to be more universally understood and accepted.
Dress codes, table manners, formal speech.
Honesty, integrity, not causing harm to others.
Relation to Morality
More about appearance and perception.
Directly linked to a person's moral compass.
Decorum vs. Decency Definitions
Proper behavior in a specific context.
She displayed impeccable decorum during the ceremony.
The quality of being morally upright.
His decency made him stand up for the underprivileged.
Dignified propriety in behavior, speech, or dress.
With utmost decorum, she addressed the assembly.
Respectable and appropriate behavior.
She had the decency to apologize after her mistake.
Adherence to established conventions or standards.
The decorum of the court requires formal attire.
A socially acceptable standard or practice.
Common decency dictates that we don't litter.
An appropriate or expected social behavior or action.
The attendees maintained a strict decorum during the event.
Modesty in conduct, speech, or dress.
She chose her attire with a sense of decency in mind.
Observance of polite manners and etiquette.
He was schooled in the decorum of high society.
The state or quality of being decent; propriety.
Appropriateness of behavior or conduct; propriety
"In the Ireland of the 1940's ... the stolidity of a long, empty, grave face was thought to be the height of decorum and profundity" (John McGahern).
Conformity to prevailing standards of propriety or modesty.
decorums The conventions or requirements of polite behavior
the formalities and decorums of a military funeral.
Social or moral proprieties.
The appropriateness of an element of an artistic or literary work, such as style or tone, to its particular circumstance or to the composition as a whole.
Surroundings or services deemed necessary for an acceptable standard of living.
(uncountable) Appropriate social behavior.
The quality of being decent; propriety.
(countable) A convention of social behavior.
That which is proper or becoming.
Propriety of manner or conduct; grace arising from suitableness of speech and behavior to one's own character, or to the place and occasion; decency of conduct; seemliness; that which is seemly or suitable.
Negligent of the duties and decorums of his station.
If your masterWould have a queen his beggar, you must tell him,That majesty, to keep decorum, mustNo less beg than a kingdom.
The quality or state of being decent, suitable, or becoming, in words or behavior; propriety of form in social intercourse, in actions, or in discourse; proper formality; becoming ceremony; seemliness; hence, freedom from obscenity or indecorum; modesty.
Observances of time, place, and of decency in general.
Immodest words admit of no defense,For want of decency is want of sense.
propriety in manners and conduct
That which is proper or becoming.
The external decencies of worship.
Those thousand decencies, that daily flowFrom all her words and actions.
the quality of conforming to standards of propriety and morality
the quality of being polite and respectable
Observance of moral and ethical standards.
Decency demands that we treat others with respect.
Decorum vs. Decency Frequently Asked Questions
Can decorum vary from one setting to another?
Yes, what's decorous in one situation might be different in another, depending on cultural or situational norms.
How about decency?
Decency is about moral uprightness, respectability, and generally accepted ethical behavior.
What does decorum primarily refer to?
Decorum mainly refers to appropriateness and good taste in behavior, speech, or appearance.
Is it possible to have decorum without decency?
Yes, someone might exhibit proper etiquette but lack a moral compass.
Is decency universally accepted?
Decency, being linked to broad moral standards, is more universally understood and accepted.
Does decorum only deal with external appearances?
While decorum often focuses on behavior and appearance, it can also encompass deeper values in certain contexts.
Are the terms interchangeable?
While they share some similarities, they aren't fully interchangeable due to their nuanced differences.
How does decency manifest in daily life?
Decency can be seen in acts of kindness, honesty, respect, and standing up for what's right.
Which term relates more to societal expectations?
Decorum often relates more to societal expectations in specific settings.
How can I ensure I'm showing both decorum and decency?
Being aware of cultural and situational norms helps with decorum, while adhering to universally accepted moral standards ensures decency.
Written byMuneeza Rehman
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Edited byMuazma Batool
As a content editor, Muazma Batool is not just a grammar guru but a creative mastermind who breathes life into every word. With an eagle eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, she transforms bland text into engaging content that captivates audiences and drives results.