DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been elected president of a local professional organization, and I have been getting letters of congratulations from other members. Should I write thank-you notes in response? My feeling is that I should, but one of my business partners told me it was unnecessary as these letters are similar to thank-you notes themselves, and you do not write a thank-you note in response to a thank-you note.
GENTLE READER: Your business partner is wrong about congratulatory letters being the same as thank-you letters. But his lack of etiquette knowledge is made up for by his charming lack of political instinct. Miss Manners urges you to thank everyone, if not for etiquette's sake, then as the first step in your re-election campaign.