Miss Manners by Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin

Try Taking Mean-spirited ‘Joke’ Seriously

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Lately I have been to a number of funerals where there is no receiving line. Dozens of people are all milling about and hard to see. As a result, I only get to talk to the family members I recognize, and it’s often been many years since I’ve seen some of them.

Do you agree with me that if the no-line protocol is used, then the people I have come to share condolences with should wear nametags in order to be known?

GENTLE READER: No, because Miss Manners believes that the only way to make sure that everyone has a chance to see the family is a receiving line.

The same is true of weddings, which are often equally frustrating to the guests because of the silly idea that receiving lines are “too formal.” As if funerals and weddings are casual occasions.

(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)