DEAR ABBY: Why has the word "veggies" replaced "vegetables"? When people say "veggies," to me it sounds like they are talking to a child. -- GROWNUP EATER IN GEORGIA
DEAR EATER: It's probably because "vegetables" has at least three syllables and people have a tendency to shorten words that have more than one syllable. It may also be because parents think it's a way of making them appear more palatable to small children.