DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am looking for an appropriate way to uninvite someone to a corporate event. The guest list has been revised, and I need to uninvite five guests.
GENTLE READER: If this were a social function, Miss Manners would have to tell you that there is no polite way to rescind a proffered invitation. In contrast, revising the list of attendees to a work meeting carries no such ban.
It seems clear that the event in question follows the unfortunate practice of blurring the boundary between professional and private life. Your only hope is to reassert the distinction.
This will be easier to do if the uninvitees are employees who were "working" the event, since -- after you explain and apologize -- you may be able to suggest that their workload is being reduced. If, however, you have spent the past few months telling everyone that this event is fun and not work -- of if these are outside guests -- you would do better to locate five more chairs.