Your story on Alexandria student Anne Gilman's perfect SAT scores {Metro, Dec. 9} flunks both sections:

Math: You say "Virginia students this year had mean scores of 434 in the verbal exam and 473 in the math exam . . . (half the scores fell above those numbers, and half were below)." You're defining the median. The mean, by contrast, is midway between the high score and the low. To complicate things, mean has also a secondary meaning: the average -- that is, the sum of the scores divided by the number of scores.

Verbal: You say "SAT tests." That means "Scholastic Aptitude Test tests."

Hank Wallace

Home Delivery, Sort of

All right! You win! We have accepted the fact that the daily and Sunday papers are not delivered to our home. Rather, they are thrown at our house. Sometimes they even land in the vicinity of our driveway. For this we thank our throw person.

When it rains or snows, however, is it possible to tie the end of the plastic envelope on the paper so that the paper doesn't become saturated? By the time we dry the paper, the news is old. Who wants to read old-wet-dry news?

Thank you.

Arlene Hoebel

A Lion Will What With a Lamb?

Is there no one at The Post who knows the difference between "lie" and "lay" and knows the correct forms of the two verbs?

The lead article by Henry Allen in Style on Nov. 30 about the American public's current attitude toward Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev contained in a single paragraph two errors involving these verbs. Allen writes, "Few things inspire Americans as much as the vision of the peaceable kingdom where the lion lays down with the lamb . . ." In the very next sentence, he writes, "It is worth noting Woody Allen's Corollary here: The lion will lay down with the lamb, but the lamb won't get much sleep."

In the first sentence, "lays" should be "lies," and in the second, "lay" should be "lie." "Lie" is the intransitive one of the pair, meaning "to recline," and cannot have a direct object; "lay" is the transitive one, meaning "to put down," and must have a direct object.

The seventh graders whom I teach master this relatively easy matter. Why can't the writers and editors at The Post also master it?

Thomas W. Dixon Dec. 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor

For the second consecutive year, The Post has failed to take note of the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

Important as coverage of the summit is, some space, I think, could have been found in the Dec. 6 or Dec. 7 editions for a report on the 1941 unprovoked attack. I seem to recall that The Post usually has stories on the anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which would have not been necessary had there not been a Pearl Harbor.

James D. Lyman

The Senate Doesn't Ratify Treaties

When -- oh, when -- will The Post and other news media accept the fact that the Senate does not ratify treaties?

The Senate gives its "advice and consent" to ratification by the president, who in turn then ratifies a treaty by signing the instrument of ratification. Not until that final presidential signature can a treaty go into force. Indeed, even after senatorial approval, the president is not required to ratify and promulgate a treaty, and there have been instances when the chief executive did not do so.

"Ratify" is a nice short word, suitable for headlines. But so is "approve." And "approval" is shorter than "ratification." Also, when applied to Senate action on treaties, "approve" is correct and "ratify" is not.

Stanley L. Falk 30 Miles From London

I refer to the article on page B7 of the Dec. 2 issue under the name of Mark Jenkins and the title "That Teutonic Tempos."

I am not qualified to comment on the topic discussed, but since I grew up in the area referred to in the first paragraph I must point out that Chelmsford is the County Town of the County of Essex and is by no means a suburb of London, lying as it does some 30 miles east.

Basildon, where I worked in the authority that developed a new town on a green field site, is somewhat nearer to London but is also in the County of Essex and is by no means a suburb of London.

The question of drabness is a matter of opinion, but it is certainly not the first or even the second choice of words that I would choose in the case of either town.

As to the alleged Chelmsford accent, it is not very far removed from "BBC English" and is one of the least pronounced of English regional accents, if it exists at all.

One must wonder about the main content with such inaccuracies as listed above.

Alan D. Crowhurst