DEAR ABBY: Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it rude to shorten someone's name without his or her permission?
I'm so tired of introducing myself as "Elizabeth" only to be called "Liz." This happens to me often. I have tried correcting people who do this, but it doesn't do any good - they go right on calling me "Liz."I just can't understand why so many people believe it's OK to take a "shortcut" with someone's name, can you? - ELIZABETH (NOT LIZ) IN DALLAS
DEAR ELIZABETH: Most people who take a shortcut with someone's name do so in the spirit of friendliness. However, it may be perceived as undue familiarity, so unless he/she feels certain that it will be well-received, it's better to go the longer route.
No one would presume to call Queen Elizabeth "Liz" - while Margaret Thatcher responds good-naturedly when she's called "Maggie." I would not recommend calling Henry Kissinger "Hank," but Hank Greenberg would be puzzled were he to be called "Henry." Although former California Gov. Brown's name is really "Edmund Gerald," everyone calls him "Pat" for short, and he wouldn't have it any other way.
I have heard from many Barbaras who detest being called "Barb" and Richards who do not care for "Dick."
Bottom line: It's always wise when meeting a person to ask, "And what shall I call you?"
DEAR ABBY: My grandson and his wife have two darling children whom I love dearly. (They live out of state.) Every birthday and Christmas, I shower them with loads of gifts, but I have never had a word of thanks, nor even heard whether they received the packages.
I'm not looking to be thanked, but I think the least they can do is let me know my gifts were received. How can I politely tell them I'd appreciate a call or a note telling me they received the gifts I sent? - BUGGED GRANDMA
DEAR GRANDMA: You don't say how old your great-grandchildren are, but if they are old enough to hold a pencil or crayon, they are old enough to scrawl a "thank-you."
Don't blame them - it's the fault of their parents who have failed to guide their little hands to the task.
Tell your grandson, or his wife, what you have told me. It would be a kindness.
DEAR ABBY: Please tell your readers that any female employee who gets involved with her boss is out of her mind. I speak from experience.
I was 23 and he was 48. I was married at the time and so was he. He told me he loved me. I was pretty and blond - 5 foot 4, 36-25-36. He said I was "perfect," but when my measurements changed, so did he. This is all ancient history now, and thanks to heaven and an understanding husband, my life was not ruined. (I had an abortion, but that's another story.)
Abby, please tell those young girls who are tempted to have an affair with their bosses to back off. It's never a secret. Their wives eventually find out and it's a no-win situation, but I suppose it's better to have . . . LOVED AND LOST
DEAR L. AND L.: With all due respect to Alfred Lord Tennyson, when it comes to adulterous affairs, it's NOT better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
Thank you, wise lady, for sharing your costly and painful experience.
Everything you'll need to know about planning a wedding can be found in Abby's booklet, "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)