Those Titles Are Taken

I am trying to decide whether the fin de siecle will be defined by laziness or a lack of imagination.

For more than a little time I have been amused by your paper and so many others referring to the interchange of Interstates 95, 395 and 495 in Springfield as the "Mixing Bowl." Memory tells me we called the interchange of Shirley Highway, Washington Boulevard, Ridge Road and heaven knows what else next to the Pentagon the "Mixing Bowl" back in the '60s. You and others have stolen the name.

The headline on your Dec. 9 "Century in the Post" [Style] declares the murder of John Lennon on Dec. 8, 1980, as "The Day the Music Died." A tragedy, to be sure, but the phrase "The Day the Music Died" properly describes the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens back in 1959. The phrase was immortalized in Don McLean's "American Pie."

The irony of your recounting of your self-referential "the first rough draft of history'" by stealing from yet another historical event was neither missed nor lost.

In the future I prefer to see creativity, rather than the extant plagiarism.

--T. Paul Imse Jr.

'Crime in Two Counties'

The Dec. 9 op-ed column "Crime in Two Counties" left out a significant factor: geography and proximity to high-crime areas.

Montgomery County directly borders and has scores of roads linking it to the two local jurisdictions with by far the highest crime rates in the area: the District and Prince George's County. Fairfax County borders neither the District nor Prince George's County, and only one highway--the Capital Beltway--directly links it to these other jurisdictions.

Also, I'm not sure why the authors of the column brought up racial statistics. But since they did, let me point out that 15.3 percent is not "slightly higher" than 8.3 percent: The higher percentage represents an 84 percent higher frequency, nearly a doubling. I wish that my income would increase so "slightly."

--Tom Moore

Bench Presser

Thomas Boswell was so busy slamming Pete Rose [Sports, Dec. 12] that he didn't get his facts straight on Carlton Fisk. He was a great catcher, mostly because of his longevity. But how could Boswell bring up that infamous 1975 World Series and not recall an even greater catcher who was also in that game.

Johnny Bench was actually the all-time home-run leader among catchers with 389. He led the major leagues in home runs for two seasons.

--Jeanne Nardolillo

Bordering on the West Bank

A Dec. 6 article datelined Jerusalem refers to "the Green Line demarcating Israel's international border." Your reporter should be aware that Israel has no international border to the east.

The Green Line referred to was an armistice line agreed to between Israel and the Jordanian forces that had occupied the West Bank after the Arab inhabitants of Mandatory Palestine repudiated the lines established by the United Nations in its November 1947 Partition Plan.

Israeli and Palestinian claims to the West Bank are precisely what the current peace negotiations are about. But there is no border between them, and many international legal scholars argue that Israel's claims to this territory are superior to those of the Palestinians, who never had sovereignty or exercised control over the areas in dispute.

--Morris J. Amitay

How Low Can You Go?

Your Dec. 10 edition carried an Associated Press article datelined Fort Campbell, Ky., concerning an army private convicted of bludgeoning a fellow soldier to death. The convicted soldier was identified as Pvt. Calvin N. Glover, and it was said that he would "receive a reduction in rank and a dishonorable discharge."

I suppose I must be a very old fogy, but in my day there was no rank to which a private could be further reduced. Still, I would be the first to acknowledge that nothing is beyond the military mind, and some lower rank may recently have been invented.

--Anthony Hecht