The Trouble With Titles : When Is Someone A Junior?

Q. I am 5 months pregnant and considering naming my son after my husband. My husband is not named after anyone. Would my child be a ‘jr.’ or the second. Could you explain how that works.

A. When a child is named after his father, he is know as “Jr.”  A child named after his grandfather, uncle, or cousin is called the “2nd.”

Funeral Fashion : What’s Appropriate Attire for a Funeral?

Q. Many years ago you were to only wear the color black to funerals.

What colors are now acceptable to wear to a memorial service/funeral? Should females only wear skirts and not pants?

A. Because of the nature of funerals and memorials services varies so widely today, it is no longer necessary to wear black or dark gray. The exception is when you’ve been asked to serve as a pallbearer or honorary pallbearer. Remember though, that your choice of clothes should reflect the seriousness you assign to the occasion.

Funeral-goers are advised to forgo casual clothes and wear those that were once considered required attire for a religious service–jacket and tie for men, a suit or nice dress for women. The funeral home or someone from the family of the deceased can also give you guidance on what to wear.

No Ma’am ? : Is the term Ma’am disrespectful?

Q. Is the term Ma’am disrespectful to women?

A. The terms “Sir” and “Ma’am”, a shortened version of the title “Madam,” are titles of respect and show deference on the part of the speaker. For this reason, they are never used between people of equal age and status. No matter how charming a gentleman may be, a woman of the same age does not address him as “Sir,” nor does a man address a female contemporary as madam or ma’am.

“Ma’am” and “Sir” can be used to address distinguished people, including when the terms serve to avoid too many repetitions of a formal name and title. It is perfectly correct for a salesperson to call a customer sir or ma’am. The same goes for a pupil addressing a teacher. In short the terms are used when there is an age difference or when one person is serving another in some way.

Gift Tiff : Giving thanks to multiple givers of a single gift

Q. What is the appropriate way to thank multiple givers of a single gift.

A. If the givers are all in one setting, such as an office, household, etc., you may hand write one group thank you note that can be either passed around or posted in some common space. If the givers are individuals or several couples who live in different places, you should hand write separate notes to each.