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

Announcing a Ceremony That Didn’t Happen

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My daughter is a high school senior who graduated this year. However, due to the coronavirus, there was no graduation ceremony.

At the beginning of the school year, we ordered graduation announcements that stated the originally scheduled location, date and time of the ceremony. My daughter thinks it’s “stupid” to send them out, since graduation did not happen.

While the ceremony was canceled, my daughter’s graduation is a milestone for her, and I would like to mail the announcements to family and close friends. Is it OK to mail the announcements even though the details regarding the ceremony no longer apply?

GENTLE READER: Your daughter has learned something in addition to her high school studies. It is indeed strange and misleading -- ”stupid” is a bit harsh -- to announce a ceremony that has not taken place. And it is especially tactless to do so over the objections of the person most concerned.

Yes, Miss Manners understands that you are proud of your daughter’s achievement. There are ample ways for you to mention it to everyone whom you believe will be interested without using announcements that would prompt them to think, “So they held a graduation after all? That was foolhardy. I just hope they’re all OK.”