Hints from Heloise 2020

Today’s Sound Off is about our careless language:

Dear Heloise: Why can’t people use the complete words these days? For instance: “congrats” instead of “congratulations,” “refi” instead of “refinance,” “celeb” in place of “celebrity” or “intro” instead of “introduction.” There are more such examples, but these come to mind right now.

 — Billie M., New Braunfels, Texas

Billie, you bring up an excellent point. Why can’t people use the correct word instead of some abbreviation? I’ve wondered if it’s an attempt to sound “cool,” or if it’s a trend that will pass away in time. I know people have become a bit more casual about a great many things these days, but language is a communication tool, and if you’re using it improperly, how well are you communicating? Readers, I’d like to hear from you on why we shorten so many words. Let us know your thoughts at: Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001.

— Heloise

Fast facts

Some additional uses for those old grapefruit spoons:

• Core an apple with a grapefruit spoon.

• Scrape the seeds out of a bell pepper.

• Use to dig small holes in your garden.

• Use to scrape gum off a tile floor.

— Heloise

Lip balm

Dear Heloise: I have a little trouble threading a needle. However, if I coat the end with a couple strokes of lip balm, the tread will go through the eye of the needle with ease.

 — Casey J., Holland, Michigan

Another scam

Dear Heloise: Have you had someone call and tell you that you’re not taking full advantage of all your Medicare programs? It’s just a scam to get as much information out of you as they can. They claim they want to verify your Social Security number, address and more, but that’s to get your information. Don’t hand over any personal or financial data.

Another way they scare you is to say your Social Security number was used in a crime. Chances are it was not. This is another way to get information, because they know you’ll cooperate with them to clear your name.

I cannot stress enough to never answer your phone unless you know who is calling. Get an answering machine if need be, but be very careful about who you talk to and what they want.

 — Glenn D, Washington

A simple card

Dear Heloise: These are difficult times, and everyone has his or her own problems and sorrows. However, I received a card from my son who is overseas and it made my whole day. I can’t help but wonder if others were to get a letter or card from someone they cared about, wouldn’t it brighten their day too? So, I started to write to friends and found it cheered them up too. Maybe it’s time we all got back to corresponding by mail with those we miss or care about.

 — Helen A., Cody, Wyoming

Helen, I agree with you. Sometimes a simple note to say “hello” can brighten another person’s day.

— Heloise

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

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