DEAR ABBY: I have lived in the United States for 40 years. My first 32 years were spent in Puerto Rico, so I speak with an accent. My problem is almost everyone I meet asks me where I'm from. I usually try to disguise my discomfort by jokingly asking them to guess.
The truth is, I feel singled out as being different and not belonging. My friends and family tell me I'm being too sensitive, that people are just curious. I say it's rude to ask such a personal question of a total stranger. Would it be impolite for me to point out that they're asking for very personal information? Am I being too sensitive? -- ACCENTED IN GEORGIA
DEAR ACCENTED: I think so. People are often curious when someone has an accent that is different from theirs. I have a strong Midwestern accent, and people ask me where I'm from. They aren't asking because they are nosy; they're trying to be friendly. Many people in this country come from other places, and the more people who come here, the more often that question will be raised.