DEAR ABBY: What can I do about a family member who corrects my grammar and pronunciation, interrupting what I am saying? I am well-educated and pronounce things well -– most of the time. An example: I was saying, "So, she said she was the liaison to ..." and this person will say, "Is that how you say that?"
I will say, "I thought so," and the person will respond, "Well, it's French, you know, so I would think it is pronounced ..." and on and on, and of course the original conversation is lost.
I have tried everything. I have asked her to stop and she promises, but does not. I have tried ignoring the interruption and talking over her, but that is rude, and then she acts hurt. I have tried stopping the conversation and not continuing afterward, but she doesn't notice. It seems not to have occurred to her that others in the room might actually want to hear what I was going to say.
I think she would stop if she could, and she isn't trying to be mean. Have you any suggestions, because this certainly is frustrating. -- PAMELA IN TAMPA, FLA.
DEAR PAMELA: If you haven't been able to make your family member cease and desist, there is little I can do. However, I will point out that people who interrupt others are rude –- and if she makes a habit of doing it, she is probably as welcome as a skunk at a garden party. She may interrupt to correct you because she wants attention, or she may consciously or unconsciously be trying to "one up" you. Whatever the problem is, I wouldn't blame you if you were in her company as little as possible –- which, by the way, may be the solution to your problem.