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20-40-60 Etiquette: No thanks

Why don't people write thank-you notes? 20-40-60 Etiquette tries to answer, with Yvette Walker as guest.
by Helen Ford Wallace and Lillie-Beth Brinkman Published: August 12, 2012

HELEN'S ANSWER: Proper thank yous have been a subject of several columns during the past several years. We might need to take another look at why we continue to give gifts if they are not appreciated.

It is really important to express thanks if someone has done something nice for you and gifts fall into that category. We must not become a society of people who expect things to be handed to them without using good manners and respect for the gift-giving in return. Thank yous are not hard. I still think that the people you are gifting should be writing notes of appreciation. If they are not, there are many other people out there who might love to get your gifts and would have the appropriate response.

Parents and/or teachers need to take time to teach good manners to children, otherwise we will continue to lose ground in common courtesies.

GUEST'S ANSWER: Yvette Walker, The Oklahoman Night News Director and University of Central Oklahoma Media Ethics Chair: Sigh. I feel your pain, 20-40-60 reader. But really, it's our own fault. We've let etiquette fall behind as communication has moved into the digital age.

Judith Martin (aka Miss Manners) doesn't have a Twitter handle or an active Facebook page, so what can you expect? Is your smart-phone equipped to receive texts? If not, you might be missing your 'thank yous' because many teens and men seem to have trouble communicating in any other way. Are you on Facebook so you can receive those “likes,” annual birthday wishes and comments on photos you post? You're not? Ah, well.

Fortunately, you give because you want to — so continue your giving and take joy in it. That's the most important thing, right?

To ask an etiquette question, email For more 20-40-60 etiquette, go to

by Helen Ford Wallace
Society Editor
Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for...
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by Lillie-Beth Brinkman
Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman
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