DEAR MISS MANNERS: I know someone who is in the late stages of a terminal illness. This person received one of those colorful, lovely animated email greeting cards from a close family member. The e-card wished the "Best New Year" for the coming year.
The recipient was shocked that someone would send such a thing. Even if it was the result of a thoughtless failure to edit a mass-mailing list, it seems a horrible breach of manners. The recipient was very hurt and said so. What do you think, Miss Manners?
GENTLE READER: That mass mailings do no one any good.
The failure to consider the feelings of the recipient is stunning in this instance, Miss Manners agrees. But even in ordinary cases, it must be obvious this has to do with checking off a list, not greeting individuals.