Open Thread

Welcome to the Etiquette Daily

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.


  1. Lily

    What would one do if in an area where people smoke?
    I am not a smoker & I do not enjoy cigarette smoke. However, as I am in a country where there are no laws restricting smoking in public places, I often find myself as the recipient of second-hand smoke. My usual response is to move away, but very often I also wave away the fumes in frustration. This action of mine was witnessed by someone last time and it got me wondering whether this was rude. Any ideas?

    • Elizabeth

      The norms around smoking are changing right now. As you mentioned, in some countries it is now illegal to smoke indoors (in the workplace, restaurants, etc), while in others it is totally unregulated. However, legality and etiquette do not always overlap perfectly. It may be legal to still light up around others, while socially it may be becoming less and less tolerated. In addition to moving away or waving away wafts of smoke, you might add another technique to your arsenal, and that is politely asking someone not to smoke, or asking them to go outside. If you ask politely, the worst they can do is say no. But you’ll be part of a change for good, which is ultimately reducing smoking in the world, a scourge if there ever was one.

  2. Mel

    Widowed then remarried, are there set rules for name changing?
    Example, if I was Jane Foster Anderson before I ever married, then after first marriage took the name of my husband, Smith, but dropped my maiden name/keeping my middle name so then being Jane Foster Smith, here is my question: after being widowed then remarrying, many friends tell me I should be Jane Anderson Jones (new husband’s name being Jones) but I prefer Jane Foster Jones. Which is correct or is this purely a personal matter and there is no correct or incorrect?

    • Elizabeth

      There may have been a more standard way of doing things in the past, but today it really is a matter of personal preference.

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