DEAR MISS MANNERS: My former in-laws refuse to call my daughter by the name she chooses -- her middle name, which is a family historical name on my mother's side. The family knows her preference, but insists that they will continue to call her by her childhood nickname, which ends in "y" and is a nickname for her first name.
She is in her 30s and using her middle name in the town where she has relocated. All her friends, colleagues and employers use her middle name.
I say, shouldn't we call a person by the name they choose?
This gets no response except, "Other people can call her whatever, but she will always be (....y)." They sound so firm and united that I am bewildered. I'm not going to get into an argument with anyone, but this seems rude and domineering to me. Of course my daughter is disappointed in them.
GENTLE READER: While you are correct that it is impolite to address someone by a name they do not use, exceptions are made for family members who remember when, in first grade, your daughter demanded that she henceforth be known as Rapunzel. And for teachers of preschool, where all the girls ask to be called Elsa.
If your daughter cannot allow her grandparents this liberty, likely arising from an affectionate association with her childhood nickname, protesting against it should be left to her.