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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Miss Manners 9/16

By Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I often get text alerts that my friend or family member “liked” my previous text message, along with the entire message repeated back to me. On group text threads, this can go on for a while.

I did some research online and learned that certain types of phones have a fun feature that allows users to acknowledge texts by adding a thumbs-up or a heart. How nice. But for the rest of us who don’t have this feature, it is REALLY ANNOYING.

I realize that part of the burden lies with the rest of us to gently inform our friends and family that this feature doesn’t translate (do you have any advice on how to word this?), but would you be willing to help get the word out? People should reconsider before they hit “like” on every text.

GENTLE READER: Sure. How about, “Oh no, sorry I missed your birthday invitation. I’m afraid it got buried in the chain of ‘likes’ and repeated texts on my phone. I wonder if we could all verbally express our approval rather than use those buttons so that I don’t miss any firsthand information.”

And then Miss Manners suggests you turn off your phone – if you want to avoid seeing your message countlessly liked and repeated.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: It’s normal for a parent to express pride in regard to their child’s achievements. Is it possible to voice what certainly feels like pride in the achievements of close family and friends without being paternalistic?

If I say I’m proud of my sister for reaching a work milestone, or of my friend for a beautiful birthday cake he made, am I implying I take some credit for it – like a parent might in their child? Am I overthinking this? I don’t want to offend anyone.

GENTLE READER: For which Miss Manners assures you, she feels pride.

Those looking to take offense can certainly find condescension in the sentiment – or more likely in its tone, depending on how it is said. Because in Miss Manners’ opinion, it is not so much the idea of taking credit as it is the implication that you thought the task could not be achieved. Therefore, she suggests you save that pride in making a birthday cake for someone other than your adult friend.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My recently married son and daughter-in-law received some antique drinking glasses from my sister as a wedding gift, which they are not fond of. They wonder if it would be OK to give them to me or to someone else.

I am not sure what to do, because it might hurt my sister’s feelings if she sees that I now have them. Can you tell us what to do?

GENTLE READER: Regifting only works if one does not get caught. Consider the candidates for it with this in mind, and Miss Manners will sign off on it.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website

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