Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off concerns people who leave messages but mumble or can’t be understood.

“Dear Heloise: I got a message on my answering machine this morning, and I can’t understand a word of what’s being said. The girl on the other end was mumbling, so I have no idea who called or why. Last week, I got a message with the words ‘and stuff’ ending every sentence. Doesn’t anyone teach people the correct way to answer a phone or leave a message? It’s as though correct English and enunciation have been thrown out the window.”

Antonia H., Lexington, Mass.

Dear Readers: Here are some new uses for an old computer:

● Convert it to a home server.

● Donate it to a school or a training center.

● Recycle it. Computers use valuable chemicals and components.

● Use as a backup computer.

Dear Heloise: I use my computer to watch movies, order items and other things. Lately, I've noticed that a number of sites that claim to be free want me to register and provide credit card information. If it's "free," there should be no need to hand out such information, and yet they won't let me use their so-called free services without supplying this information. So I no longer will use their site. Why do they want this financial info?

Stephan B. in Dallas

Stephan B. in Dallas: You’re correct: They don’t need it, and you should not be supplying that kind of information to them. They might not charge on your credit card, but they could still sell that information. If enough people refuse to give this information, they’ll have to reconsider their policy.

Dear Heloise: Is MSG dangerous in foods?

Linda W., Marblehead, Mass.

Linda W.: According to the Food and Drug Administration, monosodium glutamate (MSG) is present in our bodies naturally. It’s also in many of the foods we eat every day. The FDA believes that MSG is, on the whole, safe to ingest. Although some people may have an allergy to MSG, to know for certain if it’s MSG or something else in a certain food, they should consult with a doctor.

Dear Heloise: I've been hearing all sorts of things about CBD oil. Since it can be made from marijuana, will I get high if I take it?

Taylor V., Bozeman, Mont.

Taylor V.: Some CBD oil comes from marijuana, but you will not get high from using it. Nor will CBD oil derived from hemp give you a buzz. At this time, there are many studies that have been published on the health benefits of CBD, and new information comes out every day. Do your research to see if it might benefit you to try it, and also check your state’s laws related to the allowed usage of CBD.

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to

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