DEAR MISS MANNERS: Which is more proper in addressing a mixed couple in a bar or restaurant:
"What can I get you guys to drink?"
"What can I get you folks to drink?"
"What can I get you and your lady friend to drink?"
"What can I get you and your man friend to drink?"
"Does either of you have a drink preference?"
GENTLE READER: The only thing wrong with that last suggestion is the assumption that people go into a bar not caring what they drink.
How about just "What would you like to drink?" with the plural assumed?
Miss Manners fails to understand the dilemma here -- or even the meaning of "mixed couple" -- but feels certain that it cannot be good. The relationship of customers to one another is none of the server's business or concern. It is not likely to affect their drink order.