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Bullying Groom Demands a Gift, in Sickness or in Health

However, I'm curious: Why is telephone usage the only expense thus singled out? The guest eats and drinks, uses electricity, hot water and laundry supplies, soap and other consumables. Is there a reason that phone use is not part of the hosting package? I accept the rule but would love to know the rationale.

When the guest eats and drinks, the hosts can eat and drink. When the electricity is on, it shines on the guest and host alike. With any luck, they can both take showers at the same time, although Miss Manners knows about the problems in old houses.

However, when the guest uses the telephone or, for that matter, the host's computer, the host is cut off from sending and receiving communications. Therefore, the considerate guest brings his or her own devices or asks permission to use the host's and minimizes usage.

Dear Miss Manners:

Hello, what is the etiquette on tipping the owner of a business?

According to whom?

Those of us who actually know etiquette can tell you authoritatively that it is improper to tip the owner of a business. Tipping is done to supplement the inadequate wages of service employees, and should be considered insulting by entrepreneurs.

However, Miss Manners is given to understand there are entrepreneurs who do not mind being insulted when it comes to money. She finds that regrettable.

Feeling incorrect? E-mail your etiquette questions to Miss Manners (who is distraught that she cannot reply personally) at or mail to United Media, 200 Madison Ave., New York, N.Y. 10016.

2009 Judith Martin

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