In "Giving Weapons a Good Name" {Outlook, Oct. 11}, Lewis Diuguid seems to have shown himself more of a "nattering nomenclaturist" than the NATO namers who seem to amuse him. Webster's Unabridged Dictionary says that "natter" means to "nag or find fault peevishly," which is what Mr. Diuguid does without showing that he has any understanding for the rationale behind the selection of the NATO names, such as "Silkworm," "Backfire" and "Foxbat," which must be commonly used among and be useful to all NATO armed forces. Would Mr. Diuguid have NATO clear these names with the Chinese or the Russians first?

In another area he is dead wrong. He refers to the Navy's name selection for three "amphibious-warfare ships": Aggressive, Anchorage and Misspillion (sic). First of all, Aggressive is a mine-warfare ship, not an amphibious ship. Anchorage may sound "less aggressive" to Mr. Diuguid, but the good folk of Anchorage, Alaska, would probably share my objection to the writer's tone. Finally, Mispillion, the correct spelling, is a fleet oiler named after a North American river, as are other fleet oilers of that era such as Platte, Cimarron and Chikaskia.

With respect to U.S. Navy ship names, I think Mr. Diuguid did not do so good. On the other hand, maybe the Navy is lucky that Mr. Diuguid never found such names as Ardent, Guardian and Hermitage to tickle his funny bone.

VICTOR DELANO Bethesda