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Miss Manners responded to me!

Er, Miss Manners answered the question I submitted:

"DEAR MISS MANNERS -- At this time of year, I try to be respectful of the diversity of the people I may meet by wishing them "happy holidays." I like to think this neither assumes what they may celebrate nor imposes upon them what I may celebrate, but still manages to convey my good wishes toward them.

However, I have recently begun to think this may not be entirely appropriate. After all, some people may not celebrate anything at all this time of year, and I would not want to inadvertently offend them. I also think it might be even more respectful to show some interest in offering more than just a generic farewell.

Do you think it would be appropriate to first ask, "Do you celebrate a particular holiday this time of year?" I could then tailor my farewell to their response, from "Merry Christmas," to "Happy Hannukah," to simply, "Have a lovely day." I want to find a balance between being festive and friendly without appearing unduly personal or rude.

GENTLE READER -- Please do not go around interrogating random people about their religious affiliations and practices. It is disrespectful of their privacy. Besides, the number you might offend would be considerably larger than the number offended by being wished a generalized or wrong holiday greeting.

Miss Manners is well aware that there are some who do take offense at any such wishes, specific or not, including "Have a lovely day." If you really want to protect yourself, you would be better off asking, "Are you the sort of person who makes an issue out of a simple expression of good will?"

But as that, too, would be an invasion of privacy, Miss Manners is afraid you will have to take your chances or wish everyone a happy winter."

I actually submitted that two years ago. Neat! :)


( 18 comments — Comment )
Dec. 1st, 2010 04:23 am (UTC)
Well, since it is not yet winter... Happy Autumn, Alan!
Dec. 1st, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
And to you, you silly person. :P
Dec. 1st, 2010 04:37 am (UTC)
I would ask myself "What would Dwight Schrute say?". The answer then becomes clear:

"May you have an uneventful December".
Dec. 1st, 2010 04:43 am (UTC)
Boomshanka. :P
Dec. 1st, 2010 05:06 am (UTC)
I'm sooooo jealous!!!! I will kiss either your hem or your pen!
Dec. 1st, 2010 03:10 pm (UTC)
I know! Equally surprising was it took her 2 years to answer it. I guess because it's a seasonal question.
Dec. 1st, 2010 05:19 am (UTC)
We have to answer the phone, "Seasons Greetings" and say that as people leave. We started on the 20th -.-
Dec. 1st, 2010 03:10 pm (UTC)
Yech. I don't like that at all.
Dec. 1st, 2010 05:23 am (UTC)
You Know
From Mr Manners (aka me)
A gleeful FUCK YOU should suffice in all things holiday related.
Dec. 1st, 2010 03:11 pm (UTC)
Ah, but manners and civility are most important in this day and age, moreso than most people imagine. So, to you, I wish you a festive winter and happy holiday, no matter what you may celebrate. :P
Dec. 2nd, 2010 01:29 am (UTC)
I do so enjoy manners. and i am usually quite forward with. however i get very angry with people that insist on shit like NO YOU CANNOT WISH ME A HAPPY ANYTHING so to them i give the ever festive "Fuck you" or "Fuck off" Or "Lick my genital slit" or "French Kiss My Cloaca" if they desire rudeness than it is only good manners to give it to them.
Dec. 2nd, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC)
Actually, it's good manners to give them good manners back, regardless. Rise above, m'dear.
Dec. 3rd, 2010 06:27 am (UTC)
But that would mean i would have to like lose a lot of weight or consume a lot of helium
Dec. 1st, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC)
How awesome to know that you have communed with the Goddess!
Dec. 1st, 2010 03:11 pm (UTC)
I NO RITE? A certain Dr. Cilley in San Diego will be most jealous, as I know he adores her (and met her once when she spoke at MIT).
Dec. 1st, 2010 04:33 pm (UTC)
Very cool to have your letter answered!

And it is a challenge this time of year. I have someone who works for me who doesn't believe in celebrating any sort of holiday, to where he doesn't feel comfortable attending a December company "Holiday Dinner" because it conflicts with his beliefs. :/
Dec. 2nd, 2010 08:33 am (UTC)
sounds like someone I know.
Dec. 2nd, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC)
How lame is that? Who passes up free food? :P
( 18 comments — Comment )

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