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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Direct email to evite party host is OK

Judith Martin Universal Uclick

DEAR MISS MANNERS: More and more frequently, I find myself receiving electronic invitations from friends for various events. While I am eager to RSVP as quickly as possible, many of these “evites” are sent through services that require invitees to create an account and/or log in (divulging an email address and other identifying information) to make their intentions known.

As I have no desire to share my personal data with them, this is something I am loath to do. But when I attempt to circumvent the system by sending an email directly to the host indicating my plans, I am often thanked, then asked to respond via the site in question anyway. I want to be a good guest (or gracious decliner), but must I sacrifice my electronic anonymity to do so?

GENTLE READER: Congratulations on identifying a rare exception to the rule about answering an invitation in the form in which it was made. Well, not exactly in the same form.

Had you received this invitation by post, you would have been obliged to answer it by post. Had you been invited by telephone, you would have answered on the telephone.

Well, you are invited through email and you respond through email directly to the host. That is enough. You are not required to join a service to do so. Anyway, Miss Manners suspects that it is the service, not your friends, who are doing that unpleasant nagging; another reason not to join.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: How do you answer questions from extended family members about your salary? I am a professional and probably earn more income than the other members of the extended family. I don’t want the issue to cause any hard feelings. I would prefer not to divulge the details of my salary.

GENTLE READER: “Thank you, I’m comfortably off. You are kind to worry, but I’m not likely to be a burden on the family.”

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website,; or to her email, dearmissmanners@