Here is the mistake you never knew you were making, because 99.9 percent of the time, it isn't actually a faux pas. But that .1 percent of the time that it comes up, you have a chance to get this 100 percent right. It's really easy, and invisible to everyone but the elderly and extremely proper: When introducing people to one another, speak first to the person you want to honor, and be sure to use both of their full names and titles. Which is to say, when the city councilman visits your church and you want to connect him with your friend, you say, "Councilman Fredericks, may I introduce my friend Billy Williams. Billy, this is Councilman Fred Fredericks." Look at you, acing your fancy-etiquette opportunity with flying colors.
(P.S. This handy chart from Emily Post
is a good refresher for this and other first-meeting manners your grandmother taught you.)
Amy Shearn is the author of The Mermaid of Brooklyn: A Novel
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