Not Too Nice

Of lunchtime invitations, flip-flop flaps, and shortened first names

Here's an instructive dialogue to practice at home:

Student: "Should I call you tomorrow about this, Jen?"

You: "Oh, I'm sorry -- actually, my name is Jennifer." [Friendly smile.] "Yes, let me give you my card; it has my phone number on it."

The difficult thing about correcting someone in an e-mail is that it's hardly easy to get that gentle, gracious tone across (emoticons, or "smileys," can't really get the expression right -- in fact, I usually register them only as stray punctuation marks). So I suggest that any e-mail name correction be done only by example -- for instance, you could change the subject heading to "A Reply From Jennifer" and sign your name, again, as "Jennifer."

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