My son, who is 17, is looking for a job that he hopes would carry into the fall when school starts again. He does a good job looking neat and clean, he has a good handshake and establishes eye contact, but when he meets someone he says, “Yo.” I have suggested this is not professional but he says it’s what people say now. Am I being old fashioned?

No, you are correct. It is commendable that he has all the other basics in line, but “Yo” is something to save for when he is saying hi to his friends. He needs to say, “It’s so nice to meet you,” or “I’m pleased to meet you, “ or even just “Hello,” but “Yo” will not go into the plus column when he is being evaluated as a candidate for a job.

I think you’ve answered this question before but just want to be sure. . .thank you notes for presents for my newborn should be signed by me or my husband, not by the baby, right?

Right. Patently, babies can’t articulate or write their thanks so it’s silly to write in baby talk or sign the baby’s name, no matter how nice the sentiment. When children are 4 or so they can draw a picture, and write their own names, with an added thank you from you, naming the gift specifically and saying how much your child enjoys the gift.

Do I prepare individual place cards for all my wedding guests or can I put couples together, like “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” or “Ms. Green and Mr. Brown”?

Back in the day when couples were rarely seated together, individual place cards were necessary. Today, however, couples are almost always seated together, so they can share a place card. Only if you are coding the place cards for the wait staff to indicate pre-selected entrée choices might individual cards be a necessity.

I was just told some pretty embarrassing gossip about a very good friend of mine. I refused to engage in the gossip and told the person spreading it that she should stop, but should I tell my friend what is being said about her, and by whom?

Would you want to know if someone was talking unkindly about you? You probably would, so it’s safe to assume that your friend would want to know, as well. Don’t ask her if it’s true or try to discuss it with her. Just say, “I thought you should know that Sarah is spreading gossip about you, about (whatever), in case you want to get in touch with her and tell her how this makes you feel.” You don’t have to become further involved. You did the right thing in refusing to gossip, and will do the right thing if you let your friend know, but shouldn’t become involved or put yourself in the middle. It’s up to the two of them to straighten this out.

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