Besides being not funny, Tony Kornheiser's Aug. 27 Sports column, "Skip the Hamm, Dig Into the Hogs," was offensive. Your paper should not publish an article mocking gold medal winner Paul Hamm's voice and calling gymnasts "hideous munchkins."
-- Susan Fusi
Arrogant Anthem Article
The Aug. 26 Style article "Changing Our Tune," about Peter Breiner's "genteel, romanticized orchestration" of "The Star-Spangled Banner" for the 2004 Olympics, was a new low from the supercilious snobs of your newspaper. I hope that most Americans still consider the national anthem to be heroic. Thankfully New York Times writer Maureen Dowd didn't compose the anthem, with her love for "peaceful, soothing strings." I'm sure this article was a real keeper for the French.
-- Anthony Neglia
Mixing Oil and Water
Jim Hoagland [op-ed, Aug. 29] writes of "pouring oil on the fire and drawing U.S. forces deeper into confrontation." Sadly, he confusingly and erroneously combined two metaphors, and his editors failed him (and us). I assume he intended "adding gasoline to the fire" (or flames), rather than "pouring oil on the troubled waters."
-- Claude Kacser
Martial Arts Misjudgment
Please tell Stephen Hunter that many Asian Americans, most of whom try not to be too politically correct, do take offense to the term "chopsocky" [Style, Aug. 27]. Such a term, coined by ignorant critics during the 1970s influx of martial arts film imports, is about as sensitive a term as Shaquille O'Neal's "ching chong yang wah ah so" comment last year or Calgon's "Ancient Chinese secret" catchphrase of the late '70s. Hunter should use a thesaurus if he doesn't want to use the term "martial arts" too often in a single review.
-- Kenneth Cho
Evict This Tenant
Sally Jenkins [Sports, Aug. 28] says that an Iranian athlete's refusal to wrestle an Israeli violated "every rule and tenant of the IOC charter." Well, at least no one upset the landlords! "Tenet," not "tenant," is what Jenkins surely meant.
-- Jon Siegel
Who Kneads Grammar?
I read Peter Brodie's Aug. 21 Free for All letter, "The Best Grammarian." Me is going to write Brodie personally. Him has the right idea. We don't need no snooty grammar know-it-alls telling us how to write or speak.
I got together with five of my buddies and between us we agreed that grammar is a lot of junk. That their is the kind of stuff we don't need. The same goes for spelling.
Can you imagine, their's three ways of spelling one word! There, their and they're. We need more perfect communication, not more rules. And don't tell me the word perfect can't be modified. "More perfect" was good enough for Thomas Jefferson when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. If from what I'm inferring, you're implying that I agree with Brodie, you may be off the mark.
-- Albert Diaz
The 'Real' Chevy Chase
I found your description of where Joyce Hadl, the murdered 71-year-old social worker, lived both odd and inaccurate [Metro, Aug. 27]. How is it that she lived "near Chevy Chase"? That makes it sound like a mysterious unincorporated area of Montgomery County, where residents receive mail addressed, presumably, to "Near Chevy Chase, MD 20815."
People who live in the tonier parts of Chevy Chase, such as Chevy Chase Village or Martin's Addition, no doubt do not consider Hadl's Rock Creek Forest neighborhood "real" Chevy Chase. (After all, houses there sell for a mere $600,000 or so -- a positive slum!) But the fact remains that Hadl's mailing address is Chevy Chase. Maps show that the border of Chevy Chase extends to Grubb Road, two or three blocks east of Hadl's house.
Like it or not, where she lived is part of Chevy Chase.
-- Jenna Greene