Order your copy of Minding Miss Manners now.

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

Announcing a Ceremony That Didn’t Happen

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I’ve often wondered about the correct usage of “please.” Should it be used in this way: “Please hand me that item”? Or, rather, “Hand that item to me, please”? Or the third option of, ”Could you please hand me that item?”

Two of these seem to be making a request, but one sounds demanding. Which would be most proper?

GENTLE READER: The “please” should go before the request. But now that tedious people are given to resisting the simplest of conventional courtesies, Miss Manners is grateful when it is in there at all.