DEAR ABBY: Many times, my co-workers make grammatical and punctuation errors in emails they send (both internal and external) or misuse words on conference calls. Is it in bad taste to mention to the individuals their misuse of the word "there" versus "their" or "your" versus "you're"? One of the most common spoken grammatical mistakes is, "I seen it" instead of "I've seen" or "I saw." I am not sure if they would appreciate knowing they are misusing words or if they might become offended. — HELPFUL IN FLORIDA
DEAR HELPFUL: If you see a co-worker consistently make grammatical errors, it would be doing the person a favor to point it out — once or twice — in private. However, to continually harp on it would likely cause embarrassment, come across as one-upmanship and cause resentment. The same is true about errors that are spoken.
DEAR ABBY: My life is boring, repetitive and I am often depressed. I have trouble talking to others, which makes things harder. Every day is the same: Get up, go to a long day of school, come home, do homework, play video games, draw, go to bed.
The weekends aren't much better. My family never does anything, we never go anywhere. I don't have friends (the one I'd consider hanging out with is always busy), and at 15, I can't drive anywhere, get a job or do anything on my own for another year. I have never kissed, dated or even had a crush on anyone (I'm not sure why, it's not like I'm gay or too embarrassed), so I haven't got much to talk about with my peers anyway.
I'm alone. I'm not popular, I'm a complete nerd and I'm afraid to tell others what I enjoy. If I tell anyone I like video games and Dungeons and Dragons, I know I'll be mocked for the next few years of my life.
I'm pretty smart and I do well in school, but I'm not good at much else. My social skills are borderline nonexistent. My entire life is school. I just want some attention, some friends, something to do with my life. I need help, some advice, something, ANYthing! — BORING LIFE IN WISCONSIN
DEAR BORING LIFE: Having never met you, I can't surmise why you have difficulty interacting with others. However, there is nothing wrong with playing video games unless you substitute them for real-life experiences.
Surely, there are activities at your school that you could join that would give you more contact with your peers — sports and special interest clubs, such as art, come immediately to mind. If your family belongs to a church, there may be a youth group that would welcome you.
If you need suggestions for finding an activity at school that might be a good "fit," talk to a counselor there. Explain how depressed and isolated you're feeling and ask for help. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
And remember, things will change when you turn 16 and can drive and work.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.