Please put The Red Pencil [Style, Monday-Saturday] out of its misery. It's totally worthless, answering rhetorical questions no one would ask.
The only "lesson" it imparts is that none of the rules of grammar, syntax, etc., that you learned in school still apply.
Blank space would be more welcome. Please.
-- Neil Shawer
For Art's Sake
The article entitled "Leonardo da Vinci; The Latest Celebrity Chef" [Food, Aug. 25] might make Leonardo turn in his grave.
Leonardo da Vinci was an ethical vegetarian. He was deeply disturbed about the killing of animals for "the benefit of your gullet, which you have tried to make of yourself a grave for all animals." He also condemned the consumption of eggs, cheese and honey.
-- Michael W. Fox
No `Polish' Camps
A Sept. 11 obituary mentioning concentration camps in Poland used the term "Polish camps."
For the record: There were no "Polish" concentration camps. These were Nazi camps in Occupied Poland. I trust this was poor sentence structure and not historical revisionism.
-- Jozef A. Topolski
The `New' Math
Mathematics is not my long suit (bridge is). Therefore please explain to me how Bridge columnist Frank Stewart [Style, Sept. 5] comes up with "five" as the answer to his question: "How much is two times two minus two divided by two plus two"?
Stewart says "the rules of arithmetic compel you to perform the multiplication and division first, then addition and subtraction. The correct answer, according to him, is five."
I get 2 times 2 equals 4, divided by 2 equals 2, plus 2 equals 4, minus 2 equals 2.
If five is the right answer, I'll stick to bridge in the future. If it's not, Stewart should forget math.
-- Brian Bell
Correction Etiquette Lapse
Your (our?) ombudsman had a curious column in Outlook on Sept. 5.
While seeming to apologize for some "not funny" . . . "recent lapses" in Post stories, she proceeds to repeat five of them. They're still not funny.
Formal "corrections" in your paper are careful not to repeat the mistakes they correct. It's a policy that your columnists also should follow.
Or is E. R. Shipp trying to tell us something else in that lame attempt at gangsta rap slang at the end of her piece? It'll be easier to "fuhgeddaboudit" when you stop writing about it.
-- Bill Moulden
Equal Opportunity Fed Bashing
"Steve Forbes, Populist" [editorial, Sept. 2] characterizes Fed-bashing as ". . . a sport traditionally practiced by the populist left." Your editorialist might have looked at your own Aug. 30 paper, which carries a column by Robert Novak titled "The Imperial Federal Reserve." Novak, hardly a partisan of the populist left, has been a consistent Fed-basher for years, while touting the supply-side views of his buddy Jack Kemp and sidekick Jude Wanniski.
-- Francis G. Hass
As I read the Sept. 9 update on the earthquake in Athens in the World News section, I was struck by a noticeable infelicity. Somehow, by the power of the gods, the Temple of Zeus had been transported from Olympia and placed at the top of the Acropolis.
I have visited both sites and can assure you that the Temple of Zeus and the Parthenon are two very different temples. The Parthenon, whose name is derived from the Greek "parthena," or virgin, is the temple of the virgin goddess Athena. On the other hand, the Temple of Zeus in Olympia is dedicated to the god who is least likely to be a virgin!
-- Alex Harisiadis
In reading your Sept. 10 editorial on "Puerto Rican Clemency," I was amused. Not by the subject matter, certainly. But by the words that begin the second paragraph: "It is perhaps inevitable . . . "
To me that represents a strange, if not erroneous, juxtaposition. Inevitabilities allow no room for "perhapses."
-- Vance Garnett