Dear Carson: An embarrassing thing happened to me at a business association dinner. I took a bite of meat that had such a tough piece of gristle that I couldn't chew it enough to swallow it. When I tried to swallow it whole I choked, which was even worse than if I had simply taken it out of my mouth and spat it into a napkin. What should I have done? - Mighty Morsel
Dear Morsel: A bite of food that one cannot chew should be removed from one's mouth the same way it went in. For instance, a cherry or olive pit would be removed by one's fingers and a tough morsel of meat should be removed with one's fork.
My advice is to chew it as best you can in order to result in a smaller amount of food, work the food to the front of one's mouth and remove it with the tines of one's fork. Never spit a masticated bite of meat into a napkin. Someone must remove the napkin and the unchewed bite would roll out. Put the masticated bite on one's plate, being sure to place it under something else, i.e. parsley or a roll. Camouflaging the chewed bite is important as others will not have to look at such an unappetizing sight.
Dear Carson: We have had a number of conversations at work about the proper list of names for a formal wall of donors. For example, which of the following is correct when we want to include the woman's name; "Dr. Daniel and Marilyn Benjamin", "Marilyn and Dr. Daniel Benjamin", "Daniel and Marilyn Benjamin", "Frank and Cheryl Jones", "Cheryl and Frank Jones", "Drs. Pamela and James Smith", "Dr. James and Pamela Smith" or "Dr. James Smith and Dr. Pamela Smith"? Thanks. - Donor Doubt
Dear Doubt: In my opinion it is better to have "Dr. and Mrs. Daniel Benjamin". For the second example I would use "Mrs. Marilyn and Dr. Daniel Benjamin". For the third set I suggest "Drs. Pamela and James Smith". You will notice that in each instance I have opted to place the man's first name closest to his surname. The basic rule is that a man is never separated from his name.
Dear Carson: I am writing a letter to Maria Shriver, the wife of California governor, Arnold Schwarzenager. What is the appropriate salutation in this situation? - Salutation Suggestion
Dear Salutation: One would use a salutation of "Mrs. Schwarzenager".
Dear Carson: I am giving my mother a 75th birthday party. Is it proper for the guest of honor to open birthday presents at a 75th birthday party? - Opening Ceremony
Dear Ceremony: Yes, people enjoy having their gifts opened and exclaimed over, seeing the honoree's pleasure at their selection. The only problem is for those who have not purchased a gift, feeling regret or embarrassment. However, it is reasonable to assume that, unless otherwise stipulated, guests would arrive at the birthday party bearing gifts.
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