Try­ing not to of­fend in mother’s obit­u­ary

By Ju­dith Martin, Ni­cholas Ivor Martin and Ja­cobina Martin

San Francisco Chronicle - - DATEBOOK - Send ques­tions to Miss Man­ners’ web­site: www.miss­man­; to her email ad­dress: dearmiss man­; or through postal mail: Miss Man­ners, Universal Uclick, 1130 Wal­nut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

Dear Miss Man­ners: My dear mother’s death is sadly ap­proach­ing, and it will be up to me to write her obit­u­ary.

I know that “she was pre­ceded in death by her hus­band, (in­sert Dad’s name)” is the first thing to add after the date she passed. Then comes the trou­ble spot for me: “She is sur­vived by …”

Do I in­clude daugh­ters/son­sin­law? How about nieces/neph­ews­in­law? Both my brother and sis­ter are mar­ried, but I am not. There are no big rifts in our fam­ily right now, so I don’t want to cause one.

What would be the cor­rect word­ing? “She is sur­vived by her son, Abe­lard, and his wife, Heloise”? “She is sur­vived by her son, Abe­lard, and daugh­terin­law, Heloise”? Please note that Heloise is eas­ily of­fended, which is cer­tainly not what I want when this sad time ar­rives.

Gen­tle Reader: The proper

word­ing is to list per­ti­nent fam­ily mem­bers in re­la­tion to the de­ceased. In this case, it would be, “She is sur­vived by her son, Abe­lard, and daugh­ter­in­law, Heloise.” Un­for­tu­nately, Miss Man­ners is afraid that if Heloise is prone to be­ing of­fended, she will prob­a­bly find cause no mat­ter how you phrase it.

Dear Miss Man­ners: If you’re wear­ing a mask, do you have to cover your mouth when you yawn? Or is the mask suf­fi­cient?

Gen­tle Reader: Who can tell?

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