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Kai Ryssdal: We're going to start letters today with some definitions. First, astronomy. From Merriam Webster's, it's the study of objects and matter outside the earth's atmosphere. Astrology: the supposed influences of the stars and planets on human affairs. And, humor: something that is or is designed to be amusing. See also on occasion, Marketplace. Our mailbox has been overflowing with comments about a story we aired last week connecting astrology and this country's economic fate. While cyber-debates about Pluto in Capricorn and why that story ran at all raged on, Tracey Bushman of Salt Lake City, Utah wrote to say she thought most people missed the point entirely.
Tracy Bushman: What's more "appalling" or "disappointing," astrological predictions about a hopeful future for our country, or the rampant corruption and greed that drove some of us to need hope like this?
Commentator Tim Eavenson raised blood pressures, too. Tim said that at 28 years old, he's thinking retirement's not really a possibility for him. So he's pretty much ready to work 'til he drops. Tom Morford of Peru, Ill. and a whole bunch of others said such a young'un has no idea what he's talking about.
Tom Morford: You seem to think that your body and mind are going to stay the same and that you will have the choices you have now. As you pass through the decades ahead think back to when you wrote this and I am certain you will just have to shake your head and admit I had no clue.
This was clearly a generational thing, though. Here's 30-year-old Devin Martin of Oakland, Calif.
Devin Martin: I too am fine with the concept social security probably won't be there for me. It's there for my mom, who's just entered retirement, and that's good enough. I'm far more concerned with access to health care and, of course, keeping the dollar and our overall economy solvent for my grand kids.
Speaking of grand kids, commentator Robert Reich has one now. On New Year's Eve he mentioned how the birth of little Ella -- during the worst economic downturn of his life and hopefully hers -- has made him realize what's really important. Kitty Bennett of Saint Pete Beach, Fla. said right on.
Kitty Bennett: We've lost 40 percent of our savings, and yes, it is a bummer, but his point about how having grand kids changes your outlook is one I really need to keep reminding myself of!
And finally, from the Marketplace desk of you learn something new every single day, last week we brought you a story about the acronyms of 2008. We talked about TARP and ARMs, and FDIC -- which some of you pointed is where we went wrong. It seems FDIC is an initialism, not an acronym. Initials are just that, we say the initials. Acronyms apparently spell a word, like SCUBA or RADAR. If you've got a correction for us, a complement or a FYI about our coverage, go ahead and tell us. Go to our website, it's Marketplace.org. Click on that link that says "contact."