What a pity you did not consult Miss Manners. I am sure she would have told you that in the photograph of Fred Astaire {Style, June 23} he is not wearing "tails," as the caption stated. He is, in fact, wearing a morning coat. (Sometimes referred to, though not in the best circles, as a "cutaway.") This is an appropriate costume for formal daytime occasions such as a royal garden party, a society wedding or a high-level reception. My grandfather used to wear a morning coat for Sunday morning attendance at church, up until his death in 1920.

The spats and striped trousers shown in the photograph would be right with a morning coat, but unthinkable with tails. In any case, the coat (jacket) in the picture appears to be buttoned at the waist, which is impossible with a tail coat, as it does not have a fastening at the waistline.

-- Margot Higgins A Death 'Trivialized' I, too, am mourning the departure of Garrison Keillor from "A Prairie Home Companion." However, I do not think it is more tragic than the death of an area resident. In an article in the Metro section June 14, writers Eve Zibart and Carlos Sanchez blurred two events, successfully trivializing one more devastating than the other.

"Lightning Kills Man as Storms Hit" is an example of insensitive journalism, certainly not to be expected from The Post. The family of the unidentified man should be appalled that the death of their relative is belittled by a false statement.

"A blinding scrim of thunderstorms . . . killed one man, and brought a premature conclusion to the final broadcast of 'A Prairie Home Companion'." In fact, the broadcast continued across the country. One has to read all the way to the end of the article to understand that the area's transmitter that brings us the broadcast was struck by lightning.

-- Jennifer Horne Sen. Simon's Earlobes? Outrageous! I am referring to Paul Taylor's article "Pitch for Labor Vote Finds Tough Critics" {front page, June 18}.

I have been following the presidential candidates very closely and, while it is too early to determine who the winner is going to be, I have found most of them intelligent, articulate men with very creditable and accomplished careers. That's why I found it insulting to have a Post reporter, in the first paragraph of his piece, home in on Sen. Simon's earlobes and former governor Babbitt's voice. While Taylor did later discuss the video in a substantive manner, it seems to me that the lead paragraph should have had an analysis of the candidates' presentations, rather than a demeaning description of a particular candidate's physical appearance. It is this kind of media analysis that encourages cynicism among the voting public and contributes to their lack of interest.

-- Diane C. Gould 'Firefighters' Is the Word Regarding your June 21 editorial, "Courage in Centreville":

Firefighters, not firemen, "moved into this huge vapor-filled area where even one small spark could have set off an explosion." Women make up an increasingly larger portion of the Fire and Rescue Department and are playing a key role in every area. Our profession has been traditionally a male-dominated one. As we move to a more inclusive position, we like to be called firefighters because it is more accurate: men and women, fighting fires and saving lives. -- Eric S. Lamar The writer is president of Fairfax County Professional Fire Fighters. Stop Picking on Garry Trudeau It seems a Saturday cannot go by without someone's complaining about Garry Trudeau. The most recent attack was Judy Griesse's {Free for All, June 20} in which she expresses her displeasure with the "counterproductive effect of this cartoon."

Trudeau holds a mirror up to life and reflects on what he observes, poking a little fun as he goes goes along. Rather than writing to complain about a cartoonist, Griesse should write her company president or local politician urging action on this problem. Trudeau should be commended for helping to bring the child-care crisis to the fore. -- Jeffrey A. Watson For Those Who Missed the Latin William F. Buckley's interesting article "For Those Who Miss the Latin Mass" {op-ed, June 16}, surprisingly enough, had the wrong translation of the Latin "Corpus Christi custodiat animam tuam," quoted from the Latin Mass. It does not mean, "May the body of the Lord look after your soul," but rather, "May the body of Christ look after your soul."

Although Christ (Christus) is also Lord, the Latin word for Lord in the Latin Vulgate is Dominus, and there is not a single instance in the Vulgate of the New Testament where it is translated as "Lord." The two words occur together several times. For example, in Luke 2:11, an angel of the Lord (God) tells the shepherds that a savior was born, "who is Christus Dominus": "Christ the Lord," not "Lord Lord." The apostle Peter, in Acts 2:36, enforces the distinction: ". . . Let the entire house of Israel know for certain that God made him (Jesus) both Dominum and Christum," "Lord" and "Christ."

-- John Francis Latimer The Disappearing AQI You used to report the air-quality index in the upper- left-hand box on the front page along with the short version of the weather report. Then it was moved to the more complete report in the Metro section. Now I find the relevant number missing from that page.

On relatively cool, breezy noncommuter days, the AQI remains alarmingly high. The public needs this information. Please reinstate this information and support efforts to keep the number low. -- Lila Snow