Related to the “sidewalk dance” column, I noticed J.G. proposed that passing on the right was the “right” way to do it.
'Way back when there were pedestrians walking along roads without sidewalks, the rule was to walk on the left side of the road. When approaching another pedestrian on a sidewalk, therefore, it made just as much sense to adopt “pass on the left” as “pass on the right.”
Which just might account for some of the awkdancing that we experience: there is no convention for passing.