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by Abigail Van Buren

Problems in Human Relations Translate to Every Language

DEAR ABBY: I was surprised at the letter from the reader in Harpers Ferry, W.Va., who feels using your column to teach English as a second language might send the wrong message about the United States.

You were right on the money when you said that "See Spot Run" and cartoon-like depictions no longer hold the interest of adult learners. I am a professor of English in France and often use your column to teach adult conversational English. My students find the exercise a fun and interesting way to practice English. Judging by their responses, the problems in your column are in no way unique to the U.S. -- SHARI YOUNGBLOOD, PARIS, FRANCE

DEAR SHARI: I was heartened by the number of letters I received from readers who wanted to defend the column. Thank you for yours. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: I teach a writing class at a teacher's college. Your column transcends national boundaries. I took special delight when you expressed best wishes to your Muslim readers at the end of Ramadan. Your column shows America to the world, and because of your sage advice, the wisdom displayed and your evident sympathy -- indeed, that shown by your readers as well -- you present America at its best. -- JACK DUNSTER, LUBLIN, POLAND

DEAR JACK: It is a given that my readers are people who are interested in, and care about, one another.