Dear Heloise: I use emojis when I text and email my friends, but are emojis acceptable at any time in business writing? — Hunter in Texas
Hunter, it’s important to gauge the climate of your office and the tone of your co-workers, bosses and clients. An emoji, sometimes called an “emoticon,” is a tiny cartoon picture used to convey a feeling or emotion. There are hundreds of emojis out there; a simple smiley face is a popular emoji.
Experts agree: No emojis on the first few emails, instant messages, interoffice bulletin boards or texts to the boss or client. Once you establish a working relationship with someone, a “Have a nice weekend” with a smiley face to close out an email might be OK.
Use emojis in your work-related writings sparingly. You don’t want to appear too immature, casual, unprofessional or silly. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: I hear the word “hypoallergenic” a lot. What does it mean? — Lara F. in Arizona
Lara, great question! Let’s break it down. The prefix “hypo” means “below” or “less than normal.” “Allergenic” refers to an allergy, where your body negatively reacts to a particle, irritant or stimuli in the environment or in this product.
Therefore, an item labeled “hypoallergenic” is deemed by the manufacturer to cause fewer problems for the consumer.
But hold the phone. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (www.FDA.gov) has no guidelines for exactly what “hypoallergenic” means, and what standards a product would have to uphold to be deemed hypoallergenic.
In other words, it’s a buzzword, used by advertisers to entice you to feel more favorably about a product.
Fortunately, the ingredients are listed on the packaging. Discuss with your dermatologist, for example, about a skin care product labeled “hypoallergenic.” She or he will help you understand what’s safe and healthy for you. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: Living in an apartment is the right choice for me, but space is at a premium. We aren’t allowed to alter or add anything in the apartment, but here are some hints my leasing company suggested to maximize storage:
• A second bar in the closet can double storage space. Retractable closet rods are easy to find online or in big-box stores.
• Stacking a table on top of a table adds storage. (This can look cluttered, though.)
• A hanging shoe rack on the back of the door or in the closet makes for an easy place to stow rolled T-shirts, and cosmetics and other beauty items that otherwise take up counter space.
— Janet in Florida
LETTER OF LAUGHTER
Dear Heloise: What’s with these micro mini bags that are popular now? They barely hold a lipstick or a debit card, and certainly not a phone! — Mary H. in Ohio
Mary, it’s a trend. These micro bags (also called “nanosized”) go with the current trend of downsizing to a simpler, less fussy lifestyle.
Some of these bags can cost a pretty penny; perhaps saving this style for a romantic dinner is best! — Heloise
Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or fax it to 210-HELOISE, or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. She can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in her column.
© 2019 by King Features Syndicate Inc.