Dear Miss Manners: I have noticed that after having a tweet go viral, many users leave their cash transaction app addresses below the tweet as a sort of virtual tip jar. I usually leave a tip if I find it funny, as I would at a restaurant with good service.

A friend recently told me he does not tip, no matter how much he enjoys the tweet. I feel like this is rude and devalues comedic expression. He believes that a tweet, regardless of content, probably doesn't deserve his money. Who is in the right here?

Well, it seems that “free speech” is, in fact, dead. What an amusing new twist on that notion.

Miss Manners understands that social media is often used as a platform to try out comedic material. If and when that material is transferred to the stage or page, its authors should be duly compensated. In the meantime, they need not be paid for the rough draft.

Dear Miss Manners: The nephew of one of our family friends came to visit from another part of the country. We are both 15 years old and white. I was surprised that the n-word was a normal part of his vocabulary, but I've made no move to stop him from using it, because he didn't seem to have malicious intent.

It's his first time away from home, and since he's our guest, it would be rude to correct him. Were he an adult, I would have no issue telling him how offensive and unacceptable the term is. I feel torn between trying to spare his feelings and trying to spare others' feelings in the future. I found myself wondering, "What would Miss Manners do?"

While it is generous of you to presume the best of your acquaintance, it is impossible to separate the word he is using from its malicious intent. It is inherently meant to offend.

Rather than your age being a hindrance, Miss Manners finds it uniquely suited as a means of peer pressure: “I was taught never to use that word, and I think you will find it’s considered horribly offensive here. Other kids are likely to feel the same, and I would not want you to feel ostracized.” You will thereby be showing him the most infinitesimal glimpse of the feeling he has clearly heretofore been imparting on others.

Dear Miss Manners: When someone asks for a recipe that I do not want to share, what should I say? The requested recipe is one I have been cooking for 50 years. Living in a small town, I'm afraid that "my" recipe will make the rounds and no longer be associated with me. After a person compliments a hostess for a particular dish, why can't that person wait for the hostess to offer to share the recipe?

“Well, if I share it with you, then I will no longer have the pleasure of luring you back for more.”

New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website,

2018, by Judith Martin