DEAR ABBY: I am happily married to the most wonderful woman in the world. I feel blessed to have her in my life and to be a part of hers.
I am not an elitist; I like to think I am a humble person. But I do believe in correct grammar, proper pronunciation and the eloquent employment of words in conversation. My wife did not have the benefit of an upbringing in which these were practiced. She comes from the "ain't got no" school of speaking.
I can accept this at home, but in business as a corporate executive, I am embarrassed by her low verbal skills.
I would never hurt or shame my wife by correcting her in front of anyone. The obvious answer is to bring it up in private. I did that, but she is not inclined to improve her word skills. She has mentioned a friend who tried to help her in this endeavor, but it went nowhere. I wish I could do something. Any ideas on how I can help? -- WORDSMITH IN ILLINOIS
DEAR WORDSMITH: The most important line in your letter is the one in which you say you have spoken to your wife about the problem, "but she is not inclined to improve her word skills." You might try one more time, and tell her you're afraid her poor English will affect your chances for promotion and you would appreciate it if she would take some courses in English grammar and literature. But you can't force her.
You say you have a happy marriage and your wife is the most wonderful woman in the world. Nobody has everything. Love her for who she is and stop worrying about how others perceive her.
DEAR ABBY: I have a friend I'll call "Rose" who lives in a senior complex. Somehow she discovered that her key will fit random apartments in the complex, and she goes in when her neighbors are not present. I have told Rose that what she's doing isn't right, but she says "they all rent from the same person," so she's doing nothing wrong. She does not go in for any reason other than to nose around. Sometimes she asks a friend to go with her on these little trips. What do you think about this? -- PUZZLED IN CONNECTICUT
DEAR PUZZLED: Because everyone rents from the same person does not give ANYONE -- including the landlord -- the right to enter someone's apartment without permission. Rose is trespassing, and it's against the law.
It doesn't make sense that her key fits "random apartments" unless she has somehow gotten hold of a pass key. Management should be informed that their security system has been breached because the tenants have a right to privacy.
DEAR ABBY: I have had terrible luck lately at fast-food drive-through restaurants. I eat on a budget, and I'm getting tired of pulling away only to find my order is incomplete -- or worse, inedible.
My husband says I should check the order before I pull away, but I'm afraid it would be rude because it holds up the line. What do you recommend? -- STALE BURGER BUNS IN ILLINOIS
DEAR S.B.B.: Fast-food restaurants do not always have experienced help. That's why it makes sense to check your order before you leave as your husband suggested -- and doing so is not "rude." However, there is no excuse for a customer being served stale or improperly cooked food. If that happened to me, I would complain to the manager, and if it wasn't corrected, I'd take my business to another establishment.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)
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