A teacher needs a grammar lesson

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Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

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DEAR READERS: I'm marking my 10-year anniversary of writing the "Ask Amy" column by rerunning some of my favorite Q&A's from a decade of advice.

DEAR AMY: My first-grade son brought home some corrected homework the other day on which the teacher had written this note: "Write neater." Under any other circumstance, I would never correct another adult's grammar; that would be rude. Any thoughts?Stickler for GrammarDEAR STICKLER: If you think your son's teacher would appreciate having her grammar corrected by you then, by all means, let her know this language breach is something with which you cannot put up. But why don't you sit on your grammar issue for a few more weeks and assume she might have committed a one-time offense.

If you notice further grammar problems or if your son comes home with his participles dangerously dangling, you should speak with her. But don't get cute by circling her comments in red pen or anything. Just tell her you're a stickler and say you've noticed a grammar issue: Is she aware of this? (2003)

DEAR AMY: For the past few years, a friend has taken improv comedy classes, which always culminate with skits open to the public. I have attended these shows with a friend or two to show my support, although they can be quite painful to watch. It seems my friend expects attendance with "see you there" remarks when extending an invitation. I'd rather not be a perennial audience member. Can you suggest a polite way to say no to these invitations? Looking for Comic Relief

DEAR COMIC RELIEF: Tell your friend, "I'm probably going to miss this show, but let me know what comes up next, because I'm interested. I just can't make it to every show." (2004)