Miss Manners: Is she mocking me on social media, or is she just dim?

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I friended an old classmate on social media. We weren’t close in school, but time passes, nostalgia sets in, and sometimes you like to reconnect.Related Articles
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This girl was pleasant as a child, though not real bright, and a bit shy.Lately she’s been commenting on every one of my posts using alTerNaTinG cAps aNd lOweRcAsE letters. I’m a writer, editor and typographer, but I had to look this up to find out it’s meant to convey a mocking tone.I’m baffled by my friend’s use of this style because her comments themselves are either benign or complimentary. So the creepy, disjointed type style either doesn’t fit or it lends a sarcastic tone to her comments.I’m not even sure she knows the real meaning of it, or is just using it because she thinks it’s cool and will make her comments stand out. If that’s the case, I don’t want to hurt her feelings by unfriending her. But if it’s truly meant as mockery, I don’t care to communicate with her anymore.Should I just come right out and ask her what she means by it? Or should I post a general comment to indicate I know what it’s supposed to mean, wait for her to read it, and see if she stops?GENTLE READER: The former.Miss Manners is inclined to give your friend the benefit of the doubt by saying to her, privately, “I noticed that your comments are often in alternating caps and just recently found out myself that that is generally used to convey sarcasm. I can’t imagine that was your intention, so I just wanted to make you aware.”

This way, even if it was deliberate, one hopes she would seize the opportunity to plead ignorance and stop. But then again, you did mention that she was nOt rEaL bRiGhT.DEAR MISS MANNERS: I attended a book launch for a friend, driving a long way to be there on her big night.I was, I admit, slightly embarrassed to have driven so far — like I’d made too big a deal of the event — and I hoped no one would make a fuss over it.Most folks just said how good it was of me to come, or asked in a general way where I’d driven in from, which was fine.One woman, however, simply wouldn’t let it go. When she asked how long my drive had been, I tried to sidestep with a vague answer, but she persisted.This went back and forth at least three times, until she finally asked, “But really, how many hours?” When I answered, she gasped and acted shocked, which was exactly what I’d wanted to avoid.Related Articles
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Driving all those hours home, I had time to wonder how I could have handled this better.Should I have patted her shoulder and said, “It’s nice of you to ask. I need to talk to that other person.” Or … what? How would Miss Manners handle being similarly pressed?GENTLE READER: By not being embarrassed to tell a persistent stranger that your friend is worth the trip.Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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This girl was pleasant as a child, though not real bright, and a bit shy.

Lately she’s been commenting on every one of my posts using alTerNaTinG cAps aNd lOweRcAsE letters. I’m a writer, editor and typographer, but I had to look this up to find out it’s meant to convey a mocking tone.

I’m baffled by my friend’s use of this style because her comments themselves are either benign or complimentary. So the creepy, disjointed type style either doesn’t fit or it lends a sarcastic tone to her comments.

I’m not even sure she knows the real meaning of it, or is just using it because she thinks it’s cool and will make her comments stand out. If that’s the case, I don’t want to hurt her feelings by unfriending her. But if it’s truly meant as mockery, I don’t care to communicate with her anymore.

Should I just come right out and ask her what she means by it? Or should I post a general comment to indicate I know what it’s supposed to mean, wait for her to read it, and see if she stops?

Miss Manners is inclined to give your friend the benefit of the doubt by saying to her, privately, “I noticed that your comments are often in alternating caps and just recently found out myself that that is generally used to convey sarcasm. I can’t imagine that was your intention, so I just wanted to make you aware.”

This way, even if it was deliberate, one hopes she would seize the opportunity to plead ignorance and stop. But then again, you did mention that she was nOt rEaL bRiGhT.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I attended a book launch for a friend, driving a long way to be there on her big night.

I was, I admit, slightly embarrassed to have driven so far — like I’d made too big a deal of the event — and I hoped no one would make a fuss over it.

Most folks just said how good it was of me to come, or asked in a general way where I’d driven in from, which was fine.

One woman, however, simply wouldn’t let it go. When she asked how long my drive had been, I tried to sidestep with a vague answer, but she persisted.

This went back and forth at least three times, until she finally asked, “But really, how many hours?” When I answered, she gasped and acted shocked, which was exactly what I’d wanted to avoid.

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Driving all those hours home, I had time to wonder how I could have handled this better.

Should I have patted her shoulder and said, “It’s nice of you to ask. I need to talk to that other person.” Or … what? How would Miss Manners handle being similarly pressed?

GENTLE READER: By not being embarrassed to tell a persistent stranger that your friend is worth the trip.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.