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Introductions
REPLIES TO INVITATIONS Courtesy  demands  a  response  to  invitations  for brunches,  luncheons,  and  dinners  within  24  hours. Follow  this  courtesy  in  consideration  of  the  host  or hostess who must make all arrangements on the basis of  the  number  attending  or  invite  others  in  case  of regret.     Replies  to  invitations  not  involving  a  meal should be sent within 48 hours. Never answer a dinner invitation conditionally or ask  the  hostess  if  you  can  reply  later  on. Give  a definite acceptance or refusal at once.   If you accept, do  not  permit  anything  to  prevent  your  attendance except  the  most  compelling  emergency.    Unmarried officers   should   never   assume   that   an   invitation includes   a   guest   of   their   own   selection   unless   the invitation so indicates. FORMAL INVITATION REPLIES Generally, formal invitations include a telephone number for R.S.V.P.s (a French phrase,  repondez s’il vous  plait,  meaning  please  reply).     If  an  address  is given for an R.S.V.P., respond with a short note.  If an invitation asks for an R.S.V.P., do not ignore it.   The custom is growing in the United States of indicating “Please  reply  to  .  .  .”  or  “Telephone  reply  to  .  .  .” instead of R.S.V.P.   This practice urges a reply, which thereby encourages promptness. When sending acceptances or regrets in reply to formal invitations, write them in longhand with black ink  on  fine-quality,  undecorated,  white  note  paper. They   should   follow   the   form   and   wording   of   the invitation.     An  acceptance  should  specify  the  date, time,   and   place   if   other   than   the   host’s   usual residence.    A  regret  should  mention  only  the  date. Stating the general reason for declining an invitation is not necessary, but is in good taste.  Figures 7-2 and 7-3 are examples of formal handwritten acceptances and  regrets.    (These  two  examples  are  presented  in script for purposes of clarity.) INFORMAL INVITATION REPLIES Informal invitations often may omit the R.S.V.P. entirely or require only a telephone reply.    When an informal invitation requests a written reply, write it in the  same  degree  of  formality  as  the  invitation  on  a calling card, an informal card, or a personal note. EXPRESSION OF THANKS Seldom   observed   is   the   formal   practice   of   the guests’  leaving   cards   at   the   hostess’  home   within 7-3 Figure 7-1.—Informal invitation. Figure 7-2.—Acceptance for dinner.  (Handwritten) Figure 7-3.—Regret for dinner.  (Handwritten)

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