My boyfriend says I have to use British words
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I spent a year in England as a transfer student. I met a nice guy and I plan to move there to be with him.
The only thing is, he asked more than once that I start using their lingo instead of typical American phrasing. Like saying “loo” instead of “bathroom” or “elevator” instead of “elevator”. That sort of thing.
He said that some English people he knows had an unfavorable opinion of Americans and that made me stand out in a negative way. What do you think?
NICE READER: How useful it would be to know what the English gentleman thinks before committing yourself to him. Is it the pride of his nationality? Or shame on you?
Miss Manners would consider it reasonable for her to expect you to use the language of the country you are visiting. But if he’s embarrassed that you’re an American and chooses to respond to others’ prejudices, you should reconsider.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My son is graduating from high school and I’m thinking about how to celebrate.
When his sister graduated years ago, we threw a great party at our house: her friends, former teachers, church families, neighbors, and everyone else stopped by to wish her well.
Little brother doesn’t have many friends and hasn’t found any teachers to connect with. We no longer go to church and have moved 45 miles from our old hometown. I’m afraid a party isn’t going well for him.
He says he doesn’t want any recognition, but it’s a big step, so I want to do Something. He offered me a trip which I accepted.
But I had an additional idea, and I want your opinion on it. I thought of sending out graduation announcements with a little card that the recipient could send back. On the card, I would ask them to complete the sentence: “If I could go back and give one piece of advice to myself at 18, it would be…” or something like that. I think it would be interesting to hear the advice my older family members have to offer.
I think it would be a way for extended family and old friends to recognize his accomplishment, and perhaps also for him to receive monetary gifts to use on the trip.
What are the kids doing these days instead of graduation parties?
NICE READER: In order to extort money from relatives and friends of their parents?
Miss Manners was with you till you mentioned it. How nice to celebrate your son’s graduation, and in a way that’s right for him. A family trip sounds like a great idea.
The idea of seeking advice for him was undoubtedly well-intentioned, although it might not be on a teenager’s wish list. And the people you ask might be upset about having homework to do.
Maybe it’s a good thing the pandemic has partially interrupted these grown-up parties for grads. Customers tend to interpret them as – well, what you’re also suggesting: freebies. Graduation announcements are also interpreted as such in these rude times, although surely all a recipient needs to do is congratulate.
Send announcements if you wish, but please only to people you have reason to believe would be happy to hear about them. The excitement around high school graduations for kids of knowledge tends to be somewhat limited.
Please send questions to Miss Manners on her website, www.missmanners.com; to his email, [email protected]; or by mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.