Advice on manners and morals.
Jan. 2 1998 3:30 AM



Prudence, drawing on her rich experience of life, will answer questions submitted by readers. She will respond to questions about manners, personal relations, politics, economics, and other subjects. Questions should be sent to They should not exceed 200 words in length. Please indicate how you wish your letter to be signed, preferably including your location.

Dear Prudence,

Once I have asked the "how do I tell Alan Greenspan how much I love the way he screws me?" question, what other questions are there that deal with "love, etiquette, AND macroeconomic policy"?

--Nit-pickingly,Perry Nelson

Dear Nit-pickingly,

I'm sure a person as clever as you can find many questions that meet the standard you have read into our instructions. Here's one: "How should a capital-gains tax cut be dressed up to make it seem an act of lovingkindness to people who have no capital?"

Many people who read our instructions were not deterred by the defect you discovered and have sent us heartfelt questions on a number of subjects. Unrelenting attention to syntax can be an obstacle to communication.

--Prudence, inexactly

My dear Prudence,