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.