Kids are impressed by titles. Constantly calling drug thugs and drug criminals "lords," "kingpins" and "barons" says to our young people that drug dealers are royalty {"Colombian Drug Lords Offer to Surrender," news story, Nov. 24}. Do your bit. Stop the phony media titles and call these people what they are -- criminals. -- Irmie Bellman Polls Apart

In his story on Paul Wellstone's upset win in the Minnesota Senate race {Style, Nov. 14}, Charles Trueheart claimed that Rudy Boschwitz was "so comfortably ahead in the early soundings that the Democrats' best hope, Walter Mondale, declined to take him on ... ."

Boschwitz actually was behind in the polls, not ahead, and apparently never led Mondale in any major published poll in the 1990 election cycle. As far back as Sept. 6, 1987, you reported that Mondale led Boschwitz 52 percent to 37 percent in a poll published by a Minnesota paper. On March 5, 1989, in a story about another Minnesota newspaper poll (Mondale 49, Boschwitz 40), you reported that Mondale had led Boschwitz "in every published poll in the last 18 months."

And on May 27, 1989, in a story on Mondale's decision not to run, you noted the release of a Mondale poll showing Mondale leading Boschwitz 51 percent to 40 percent.

Mondale may have had many reasons for not running, but being behind in the polls was not one of them.

-- Richard C. Bell Guilty as Charged

In her review of the Ethel Rosenberg "autobiography" {Book World, Nov. 26}, Doris Grumbach left out one itty-bitty, teensy-weeny fact: Ethel and hubby Julius were spies for the Soviets. Heart tuggers like "convenient scapegoats" aside, the Rosenbergs were guilty. Who says so? The Soviet Union, within the last month. -- Alex Fraser Same Old Song

One paragraph of your Nov. 24 Metro story on the rising number of homicides in the District said, "this surge in violent crime is partly driven by the availability of guns." How remarkable. Your reporters ask us to believe that something that has not changed -- the legal availability of firearms -- suddenly has become the cause of a change -- a rise in the homicide rate. Were this type of causality accepted in the physical sciences, we would still be indulging in magical rites. Of course, the paragraph is ambiguous. What does "partly driven" mean? Could your reporters, in writing of the "availability" of firearms, be referring to some recent and unexplained increase in the availability of illegal firearms?

Those of us who read your paper are aware of your incredible prejudice on the issue of firearms control. But wouldn't a little more honesty in the reporting of the news be more seemly?

-- Jonathan B. Howard Huzzah, Huzzah, Hokies

When one football team trounces another as soundly as Virginia Tech did the University of Virginia, why not give credit where credit is due {Sports, Nov. 25}? Instead, your paper has been making excuses for U-Va.'s loss, which makes the Sugar Bowl less sweet.

Virginia Tech played a far tougher schedule than U-Va., which, other than defeating a couple of good teams, ran up high scores against a bunch of patsies. When the University of Maryland beat Virginia, your paper provided excellent coverage. Virginia Tech beat U-Va. much more convincingly and deserved better recognition. Hail to the Hokies. -- Paul Reece More Suds for the Soaps

When is Nancy M. Reichardt going to get with it and include a weekly synopsis of "Twin Peaks" in her "Soaps" column in the Style section? -- Karl J. Irving Tunnel Vision

Why is it that when I read about an American company being bought by a foreign company in your paper, it's a Japanese takeover {"Matsushita to Acquire MCA for $7.5 Billion," front page, Nov. 27}. Certainly companies of other nations buy American companies.

In your article, you considerately added that 20th Century-Fox is Australian owned and that MGA-UA is Italian owned, so why don't you do a story about these takeovers? In fact, why not do stories on the British-owned Baskin-Robbins, Irish-owned Hamilton Beach, British-owned Carolina Builders Corp. or the many other American companies owned by European corporations? -- Leland Kiang