No Friend of Fonda's

The Jan. 5 Style story about the separation of Ted Turner and Jane Fonda should have been labeled "Opinion." Clearly it was written by someone who doesn't like Fonda. It was disrespectful, with gratuitous gossip thrown in for good measure.

--Richard Hall

A Pothead for a Parent

Fern Shen's article "Marijuana, Teen's Anger Tear Md. Family Apart" [Metro, Dec. 31] left me nonplused.

The article offers a sympathetic view of the excuses of a mother who has exposed her child to the mother's growing and smoking marijuana in the family home in complete violation of the law. The actions of the mother were clearly irresponsible and would seem a form of child abuse or reckless endangerment.

Shen appears unable to explain the daughter's behavior in turning in her mother and being apparently reluctant to rejoin the family, offering only the mother's view that her child was driven by anger over some trivial event. The daughter was correct and most courageous.

I was left wondering how this article deserved any space in your newspaper. Where is the news value? By the way, the headline should read: "Marijuana, Mother's Irresponsibility Tear Md. Family Apart."

--Robert M. Webb

Attacked for Being Right

I shall remember the 1990s as the time when hype overcame journalism. It is especially disappointing that your newspaper--which once required verification of a fact before publishing it--not only jumped on the millennium bandwagon but also allowed your reporters to attack those who correctly point out that the new millennium does not start until Jan. 1, 2001.

Do those who speak accurately really deserve to be called "calendar vigilantes" [front page, Dec. 28] or "anal-retentive" [Style, Jan. 2]?

I was just as excited as the next person to see the calendar roll over to 2000. It was a good excuse to party big. But please stop attacking people who are stating a plain and clear-cut fact about the millennium. Or will your reporters soon be calling for our burning at the stake?

--Mimi Veis

Scots Spoken Here

An article in your Dec. 31 Style section mistakenly claims that the phrase "auld lang syne" is Scottish Gaelic. Rather it is Scots, a dialect of the English language spoken to this day in Lowland Scotland. Scots is not even a distant cousin to Gaelic.

--Thomas Coyle

Last of the Belles

"The Last Belle of 'GWTW' "--the headline on Charles Trueheart's Dec. 28 Style article on Olivia de Havilland--is not correct.

There are two "last belles." Evelyn Keyes, who played Scarlett O'Hara's sister Sue Ellen, is very much alive and has been at several celebrations of "Gone With the Wind."

--Marilyn Kirk