Dear Abby: Booklet gives easy tutorial on how to write a letter

Dear Abby: I’m a freshman in college, blessed to have an internship in the office of a nonprofit organization. As time goes by, and as trust is built, I am being given more responsibilities. One of them is writing letters for various purposes – thank-you letters, invitations, congratulatory letters, etc.

When I was in high school, I was never taught the format for how to write these kinds of letters. I get confused about spacing and how to address people with titles. It’s a shame that technology has left my generation so clueless on how to do important stuff. Is there a resource for letter writing available from you? I need it because I feel awkward always having to ask other staff members. – Clueless Intern in Algonquin, Ill.

Dear Intern: Judging from the high volume of mail I receive, letter composition is something that many people besides you struggle with. I publish a booklet called “How to Write Letters for All Occasions,” and among the topics it covers are how to address a senator, member of Congress, clergyperson, etc. It can be ordered by sending your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to Dear Abby Letters Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

Dear Abby: My boyfriend and I have been together for four years. I love him deeply, but I have lied to him about certain things. I feel guilty about it, but I can’t bring myself to tell him the truth because he has a temper.

One lie I told was that I was laid off from my previous job, but I really quit. He didn’t want me quitting, but I did it for my own good. I was having a nervous breakdown, and all I felt were negative thoughts when I worked there. Although I found a better job months later, I never summoned up the courage to tell him the truth.

We don’t live together. I’m 24 and he’s 26. Do you think this lack of communication is a reason to break up, or am I being too sensitive about his temper? He doesn’t abuse me, but he won’t talk to me if he doesn’t have things his way. – Unsure in the West

Dear Unsure: I’m glad you’re not living together because if you were, your problem would have serious ramifications. You may love this man deeply, but from my perspective the relationship isn’t a healthy one. If you want to end it, you are justified.