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by Abigail Van Buren

Man Hopes to Open the Eyes of Woman Blind to His Love

DEAR ABBY: We are a group of women who get together to play poker a couple of evenings a week. We are all well-educated and comfortably retired. Two of us have very slight regional accents.

In our group is a woman I'll call "Winifred," who is funny, accommodating and good-hearted. However, Winifred has appointed herself our English teacher without our permission. She delights in correcting us for what she considers mispronounced words. We are proud of our accents and have never asked to be corrected. We find it not only rude, but embarrassing. How can we discourage Winnie without breaking up the group? -- ACES HIGH IN THE EAST

DEAR ACES HIGH: The next time Winnie corrects you, smile and say, "We've done all right with these accents so far. It's part of what makes us unique. So please stop trying to make us sound like everyone else. We're happy as we are." If she takes offense and folds, deal her out. The alternative is tolerating more of her rudeness.