DEAR MISS MANNERS: If someone burps, passes gas, etc., and says “Excuse me,” is it proper to say “You are excused”? I have someone teaching this to my grandchildren and it is new to me. Have I been disrespectful my entire life?
GENTLE READER: Without knowing you, Miss Manners can hardly say.
If your response to these bodily transgressions has heretofore been, “Ew, gross!” or “Wasn’t me!” then yes. If, however, you simply ignored them and responded with a polite smile, you would not be faulted.