Charles Krauthammer's July 2 op-ed defense of linguistic artistry does not quite succeed in making Dick Cheney the Rosa Parks of the F-word. While Krauthammer ridicules those who believe that its use is the new low bar in political civility (and worse things have certainly happened in the U.S. Capitol), it's hard to imagine that the vice president of the United States telling a senator, on the Senate floor, to go F-word himself represents a peak in bipartisan sharing-and-caring.

The F-word has its place in our language, along with all the other vulgar words, but there are simply times and places at which the expression of some sentiments is off-limits. One would never tolerate a teacher using such a phrase in the classroom -- outside a liberal arts college, at least.

Krauthammer is right that the three-worder F-expression is a cherished part of the pageantry on the baseball field and on our nation's highways, but it should not enjoy such sanction in the Senate chamber.

-- Theodore Littleton

Millburn, N.J.


Charles Krauthammer's loyalty to Republicans in high office is consistent and his right. But there are some things in this crude and crazy world in which we live that are just plain indefensible. One of them is the public use of the F-word. That Dick Cheney felt better after uttering it is no excuse.

I hope that, at least occasionally, Krauthammer will admit that a high-ranking Republican did something he shouldn't have done. It would improve his credibility and expand his readership.

-- Anne M. Jacoby