Dealing with an unaware friend and readers respond on ways to get more mpg's | Kitsap Week

Ask Erin - Richard Walker
Ask Erin
— image credit: Richard Walker

Dear Erin,

How do you tell a friend that the words they use (i.e. retarded) offend you and your family, without making them feel bad?

Hurting in Hansville


Dear Hurting,

I know it won’t be easy, but you need to have a chat with your friend.

I have found, most often, people use derogatory words off the cuff, without realizing their true hurtful impact.

Unfortunately, decades ago words like “retarded” and “gay” (as in “The movie was so gay”), became part of our slang vocabulary. Most people realize the harm of those words and have removed them from their language. But some haven’t yet gotten the memo.

Be open and honest with your friend and tell him how you feel. Chances are he will be apologetic and will adjust his language accordingly. You will also be doing him a huge favor. If his language offends you, I guarantee it offends others. He may use those words at work, at his child’s school or at a dinner party and offends large groups of people without even knowing it.


Reader Update

Readers responded on my column about how to get more miles from your car (Ask Erin, page 5, March 4 Kitsap Week). Reader Cliff Durant has increased his mileage by 10 percent and offered these good tips:

If you want to get some meaningful relief at the pump, you need to change how you drive. I have been practicing what I am preaching for about four years. It is a simple concept but difficult to do. The main thing is to get the lead out of the right foot which requires a change between the ears.

  • What I do is use as little throttle as I can get by with and still get down the road. In doing so, the transmission shifts sooner and picks up speed without pushing it.
  • I also maintain some distance between me and the car in front so I don’t have to go fast and slow like a lot of people do.
  • When traveling on the freeways, I don’t go over 60.
  • When I see a light up ahead has turned red, I take my foot off the gas and many times I can go through the light still going 20-30 mph.


Another reader wrote in that she removed her roof-top cargo carrier, giving her car less weight and less resistance, and hopefully more miles per gallon.

Keep it up, Kitsap!


­— Ask Erin is a feature of Kitsap Week. Have a question? Write Ask Erin, Kitsap Week, P.O. Box 278, Poulsbo 98370 or e-mail Questions can range from advice to practical issues.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 21
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates