Open thread

by EPI Staff on June 18, 2009

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This open thread is your space to use as you like.  We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth Upham Howell June 18, 2009 at 6:53 am

Greetings! This is Elizabeth, not Lizzie, Liz, Beth or Betsy. I am the PR/Marketing person at The Emily Post Institute. I’m chuckling about the following story this morning:

http://www.abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=7862575&page=1

In brief, an executive assistant and office manager for Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., got angry at a lobbyist for calling her “Liz” rather than “Elizabeth” in an email. The above link shows the entire email chain of conversation.

OK, she freaked and violated a few email etiquette guidelines. But, sista, I’m with ya! From a very young age, my father always insisted that I be called “Elizabeth” and he was always happy to point this out (loud and proud) to anyone within his earshot who attempted to call me anything but. It used to drive me crazy, but as an adult, I am thankful. I like my name. And yes, it-is-an -entire-four-syllable-production, but it’s my name!

Can you imagine anyone calling Edward Cullen Ed? Come on!

From the business etiquette side of things, assuming you can call someone something other than their name without first asking is presumptuous and inconsiderate. Here’s what I do when it happens to me:

James: “Hi Liz, this is James. I’m calling to talk to you about that meeting we’re having next week.”

Elizabeth: “Hi James. Please call me Elizabeth, I don’t go by Liz. Thanks. Let’s talk about setting an agenda for the meeting.”

So the Washington-DC Elizabeth is taking a public whipping today. I say, leave her alone! Are there any Katherines, Michaels, Roberts, Patricias or Margarets out there that are with me? :-)
Have a great day!

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Sean-Thomas Flynn June 18, 2009 at 5:56 pm

i will agree that it was assumption on the person’s part to call her liz. but maybe he was thinking of someone else. maybe he has a sister or a friend that goes by LIZ and just thought this person did too. frankly, while he may have made a mistake, she made a simply mistake into a much bigger deal than need be. your advice is correct, just correct him and move on – it’s no big deal. and yes, i have dealt with this many times over the course of my life – people still pronounce my name as SCENE and not SHAWN (English spelling). however, as an adult, i realize they didn’t do it to upset me. and this is my chance to correct them and look like the bigger person. there are so many etiquette battle to wage daily, but, and maybe i haven’t been paying attention to Emily, but we should deal with them in a calm, direct, but polite manner.

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Rebecca Ross June 19, 2009 at 12:07 am

I’m submitting a question regarding wedding etiquette.

Our daughter is getting married in two weeks, we invited a married couple (acquaintance friends of ours who we don’t have much contact with and they are parents of a friend of our son) and received the rsvp back from them with a response of 6 people attending. We only invited these two. What should I do?

Thank you

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Daniel Post Senning June 23, 2009 at 10:09 am

Contact them immediately and apologize for any confusion. Clarify who you intended the invitation to be for and remind them how much you are hoping that they will be able to attend. As much as you are able, try to direct the focus of your message toward the people that you are inviting. If they ask about the “extra” guests, you can explain that due to many factors you have limited the guest list to those who have specifically been invited.

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