DEAR MISS MANNERS: My sister-in-law sent out a social media invite for a surprise party for my brother’s birthday. The problem is, she invited his twin to the party, but only made the party for her husband, not both twins.
The other twin immediately felt bad and left out, as it is, of course, both of their special days. I am not sure how to express these feelings to my sister-in-law without hurting her feelings.
GENTLE READER: Why should anyone have hurt feelings in this situation? Miss Manners sees it as a priceless opportunity for the omitted twin to become the star of the party. She can practically write his toast for him:
“I believe I am the person here who has known Dwayne the longest. I remember when we first met. The circumstances were strange — it was a bit dark and crowded — but I immediately recognized that we had so much in common. Plus I just liked the look of him. ‘Now there’s a face you can trust,’ I remember thinking …”
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Ma’am, will you state an opinion about the public-address announcements that we all encounter? Is it as much of an aggravation to you as it is to me?
I hear so many nearly unintelligible loudspeaker announcements. No one has taught the speakers to account for echo.
They should speak in short bursts, one sentence at a time, pausing a single beat before they say the next. Think of a circus announcer, pausing before phrases — not speaking 200 words without a pause. There is a time lag between their lips and our ears, and the echo must have a moment to fade before they continue. They can still speak rapid-fire, just break up the sentences.
I hear well-meaning people, maybe in an airport, maybe in a grocery store, enthusiastically doing their announcements speaking…