DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: When I was a kid I remember the older adults at family parties making off-color or what I considered insensitive jokes. It used to get me so mad. Now it seems we have gotten so hypersensitive everyone is afraid to say anything for fear of offending someone or losing their job. What is safe to say anymore? --- KEEPING IT SHUT
DEAR KEEPING: We do seem to have backed ourselves into a corner conversationally these days, regardless of your political leanings.
With civility in increasingly short supply, it’s getting more and more difficult to find havens for rational discourse. So, if you want to play it safe and maintain peace, my advice is to think hard before you speak, stay as topic-neutral as possible, and in extreme cases, consider following the time-honored rule of sticking to the weather and your health.