This is what comes of people thinking they can change etiquette rules without Miss Manners’ permission.
The practice of denying titles of respect to African-Americans (and female office workers, household employees, and whoever else was dismissed as inferior or childlike) violated the most basic requirement of manners, which is to show respect for others.
It took an unconscionably long time for people to realize this. But it happened in a period when the bizarre notion prevailed that the pretense of universal friendship would solve the world’s problems. The greatest proponents actually urged hugging strangers, formerly known as assault, as a form of philanthropic therapy.
And so when it was recognized that forms of address needed to be equalized, the solution that Miss Manners would have thought obvious — granting titles of respect to all — was bypassed. Instead, equality was to mean that nobody would be entitled to that dignity. Under the pseudo-friendship model, people were no longer allowed to chose their own friends.
Well, that’s how things changed. But, as you no doubt gather, it is not an authorized change, and you do not have to accept it. You will, of course, be polite, knowing that the offenders are ignorant of the history, but you should be insistent. If the first correction makes no impression, you should said, “Excuse me, but I said I prefer to be addressed as Ms. (surname).”Bridal shower etiquette DEAR MISS MANNERS: Would you please tell me what is the proper etiquette for inviting someone to a bridal shower if they will not be invited to the wedding? Is that an appropriate thing to do? GENTLE READER:
The proper etiquette is: don’t. Miss Manners wonders why anyone would think that someone not close enough to be welcome at the wedding would want to participate in a less important but more intimate gathering.© Universal Uclick 7/5