29 APRIL 1989, Page 27

Polite conversation

Sir: May I suggest a modification of Mr Michie's list of inconsiderate behaviour (Brushing up manners', 1 April)? Con- versation thrives ill under compulsion, and stands to gain as much from a book on the knee, though it may never be glanced at, as from a glass at the elbow.

I advocate extreme caution, however, in breaking in with, 'Hey, listen to this . . .' Charles Kerry

21 De Montfort Road, Lewes, East Sussex