Getting a charge on a road trip

I’m planning a road trip across the country to visit friends. I’ll be driving my partially electric car, so will need to plug it in as I go. I don’t want my hosts to be charged for this cost, but have no idea what the cost to them is or how to broach this subject. Any ideas?

 There is a lot of math involved in the answer to your question, based on how much your hosts pay for electricity and how much “juice” it takes to charge your car. For example, the national average cost for electricity is 12 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). If your car needs to charge for 10 hours, the cost to your hosts, if they pay 12 cents per kWh, is $1.20 for that “fill up.” If you are visiting for a week and charging your car every day for 7 days, the cost would be $8.40. Do check your manual concerning the use of properly grounded outlets and the risks of using extension cords to be sure that you aren’t causing a dangerous situation for your hosts. It’s complicated, and there is no single answer, but the best way to handle it is to ask your hosts ahead of time if you can plan on charging your car at their houses, and that you want to reimburse them for the cost of doing this. If they insist that this isn’t necessary, you can insist back that they wouldn’t be paying you the cost of gasoline for your trip, and therefore shouldn’t be paying the cost of the electricity you use to “fuel” your car. Have a great trip!

What is the correct way to write the title and name of a minister who has a doctorate?

You would write The Reverend Doctor (or Dr.) John J. Jones. If the addressee is ordinarily The Right Reverend, The Most Reverend or The Very Reverend, you would use that terminology before the word Doctor (or Dr.).

There’s a lot in the news about it being politically incorrect to wish people a Merry Christmas. What are we supposed to do about this so as not to offend anyone?

It is never incorrect to wish people who celebrate Christmas a Merry Christmas. The thought is that everyone doesn’t celebrate Christmas, so you are thoughtful in your wishes. You would wish Jewish friends a Happy Hanukkah, this year Dec. 6 through Dec. 14, and give good wishes to Muslim friends who celebrate Milad un-Nabi, which commemorates the Prophet Muhammad's birthday, this year celebrated in many Muslim countries on Dec. 24. You might wish African American friends a Happy Kwanzaa, this year celebrated Dec. 26 through Jan. 1. The push to tone down general Merry Christmas wishes is to respect the belief systems and celebrations of others, not to quash celebrating Christmas. You can wish people a general “Happy Holidays” which includes the New Year, if you aren’t sure what to say.

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