DEAR ABBY: In this ever-changing world, the use of our language, as well as the language itself, is constantly changing. The reason for this letter is to point out the fact that no one has yet come up with a new salutation for a business letter when one addresses a company or corporation and the gender of the recipient is not known.
"Gentlemen" has been in use for as long as I can remember, even when the letter is addressed to the attention of a woman.Perhaps you can come up with a better salutation. - TOM COLEMAN, SAN FRANCISCO
DEAR MR. COLEMAN: Many have been suggested; none have caught on. "Greetings" sounds like a summons from the draft board. "Good morning" is not always appropriate - what if the recipient opens the letter in the afternoon or evening? "Hello" sounds like you're answering the telephone. "Sir or Madam" is too stiff and formal. And what's wrong with just jumping in with the purpose of the letter?
If we depart from the standard salutation, how about dispensing with those meaningless sign-offs, such as "Sincerely," "Very truly yours," "Fondly," and especially "Love" - unless you really mean it.
Readers, any suggestions?
DEAR ABBY: How can I find a good psychiatrist I can trust? After seven years of marriage, I have come to hate my husband. I wish him dead every night! He doesn't deserve it - he's a nice guy. He doesn't drink, smoke, beat on me or abuse me or the children. He's a decent, upstanding professional man. But the truth is, I really hate him, and I don't know why.
Four years ago we went to a marriage counselor and wasted a lot of time and money for no help at all. I don't care to waste any more of either.
My husband is in charge of the money. I have no money of my own, and I certainly can't ask him for $100 a week more without explaining what I need it for. Please help me. - HATES MY HUSBAND
DEAR HATES: You are a very wise woman to realize that you need to see a psychiatrist. Tell your husband the truth - that you have feelings that seem irrational to you and you would like to understand these feelings. (It's not necessary to be any more explicit.)
Your family physician should be able to recommend a competent psychiatrist. If he does not, contact your state or county medical or psychiatric association for its recommendations.
After treatment, you may still hate your husband - but at least you'll know why.
DEAR ABBY: I am in love with a married man. (I'll call him Al.) We've been seeing each other for 14 months, whenever we can. He wants a divorce, but his love for his children is standing in the way. Al has two boys, 5 and 7. His wife is giving him a hard time about the divorce - she says she still loves him, but she can't put up with his coming and going whenever he feels like it. She is expecting again in August. (He swears he doesn't know how this happened.)
I am 24, support myself (waitress work) and have never been in love before. I didn't know Al was married when I first met him. He said he didn't want to tell me because he loved me so much, he was afraid he'd lose me.
I am not a tramp, Abby. I have lots of chances to date other men, but I turn them all down. I know Al loves me. He said he never loved his wife. He only married her as a favor to his brother, who got her pregnant but couldn't marry her because he was already married.
What should I do? - TRAPPED BY LOVE
DEAR TRAPPED: Quit seeing Al. No matter how much you love him, there is no future in this relationship. He's very much married, and if he really doesn't know how his wife got pregnant, he needs a refresher course in reproduction. Wise up, and get this man out of your life - the sooner the better!