DEAR MISS MANNERS: I think some in our family don't know dress etiquette. I told my family members that one should not wear white when there is an R in the month. They doubt my knowledge. Do you?
GENTLE READER: For a moment there she did, Miss Manners must confess.
"Oysters!" she felt like calling out. "You poor soul, you've mistaken your clothes for oysters."
This apparently nonsensical lament refers to the instruction (not issued from the realm of etiquette) that oysters should be eaten only in months that have the letter R in their names, namely September through April. The season for the ban on wearing white shoes (not on anything white; for example, it does not apply to shirts or teeth) is Memorial Day through Labor Day.
She soon realized, however, that the two formulae are pretty close. We're talking about less than a month's difference. If Miss Manners were one to compromise, she would suggest splitting the difference, but unfortunately, she is not.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a high school senior with several questions about announcements and thank-you notes. Who exactly do announcements go to -- all relatives and friends or just those who do not live nearby? Also, I was wondering how I could personalize thank-you notes, perhaps with senior pictures?
GENTLE READER: Miss Manners does not generally recommend applying logic to etiquette problems -- so much of it is simply custom that it would be like studying history by working out what you think should have happened.
However, logic would be useful here. You might ask yourself: What is the purpose of a graduation announcement?
The correct answer is to inform people who would be pleased to hear about the graduation. Everybody who put down that the purpose is to inform people that a present is due gets a blank diploma.
Some of your relatives and friends already know of the event, so you need not announce it to them. Some people who do not know might be distant enough not to be especially interested, so you wouldn't want to announce it to them.
By this process of elimination, the people to whom to send announcements would be those who you could reasonably assume would care but may not know and perhaps some who already know, but care so much that they would treasure your announcement as a souvenir of your achievement.
This is basic to what you call "personalizing" -- tailoring what you send to the recipient, more than merely showcasing yourself to everyone whose address you happen to have. It is especially required in letters of thanks. By all means, send a picture of yourself to anyone you think would enjoy receiving one. But, as these letters must be individually written, each geared to the addressee and expressing gratitude for the particular present that person sent, they cannot help being personalized.