Dear Miss Manners: My husband sits at the table for dinner with his arm on the table and his head in his hand, which annoys me. If I say anything, he gets angry. Help!

Teach him Italian. That or similarly lively conversation will force him to be animated and — Miss Manners hopes — improve his posture, attitude and overall demeanor. At the very least, it will presumably be less annoying for both of you than sullenness and nagging.

Dear Miss Manners: I find it inconvenient not to have a napkin during a meal. Is it unreasonable to expect a host to have them available at the table? May a guest ask for them if they are not on the table?

Yes. But Miss Manners finds the phrasing, “I seem to be missing a napkin. May I trouble you for one?” infinitely preferable to “Am I supposed to wipe my hands on your upholstery?”

Dear Miss Manners: I have an unusual name that is mispronounced quite often. I'm always wondering if I should correct the person right away or just go along with it.

That depends upon how long you intend the relationship to last. Miss Manners feels certain that prospective employers and paramours are far more likely to result — and less likely to abruptly stall from embarrassment later — by knowing the correct pronunciation of your name.

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

2019, by Judith Martin