DEAR MISS MANNERS: I submit that even if my conduct is incorrect, I am entitled to a presumption that said conduct is an honest mistake, unless the conduct is truly heinous -- which, in my case, it never is. Of course, others are likewise entitled to the same presumption from me. What do you think?
GENTLE READER: Indeed, Miss Manners is always urging people to give minor transgressors the benefit of a doubt about whether they meant to be rude. The automatic tendency to come out swinging at the slightest provocation makes for an unpleasantly abrasive society. And some who did intend to be rude will still accept the opportunity for a face-saving retreat when a transgression is treated as an inadvertent mistake.
However, Miss Manners would perhaps prefer that you apply this when necessary, rather than use it to build a case for yourself in advance.