DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was at a restaurant when a solitary diner loudly admonished the neighboring table for talking too loudly. The two ladies in question were at the table next to me and their conversation was not intrusive in the least. They, as well as I, were nonplussed by this comment.
No one responded to the complainer and, after a startled look of disbelief, everyone went back to their meals and conversations. Should something have been said to this person?
GENTLE READER: You mean that someone should have admonished this person for the rudeness of having admonished others?
Satisfying as you may have found that, Miss Manners is afraid that it would have made your complaint difficult to define. The two ladies could have responded by saying, "We are so sorry to have disturbed you" and turned back to their meals. You could have said, "Perhaps you might want to have the waiter move you to a secluded table." But as you are not allowed to quash rudeness with rudeness, you were all best off tending to your dinners.