Don't Be Mean to Dean

I protest the negatively slanted coverage that The Post gives to Howard Dean, as evidenced in "Dean Accuses Bush of Not Protecting Pensions" [news story, June 3]. Republican National Committee press secretary Tracey Schmitt's criticism of Dean is printed without comment, but the account of Dean's speech is full of editorializing: Dean "whipped up" the liberal audience with a "throwaway line," which caused nameless party leaders to "cringe." Dean's sensible suggestion that pensions be made portable was discounted as his "only" solution. The accompanying photograph made Dean look wild-eyed and maniacal. Can't The Post just cover what Dean says rather than push a negative caricature?

-- Doug Muder

Nashua, N.H.

'Soldier' Spat (Cont'd)

Regarding Arthur G. Sapper's June 4 Free for All letter on whether a Marine is a "soldier": In September of 1962 I became a Marine when I graduated from boot camp at Paris Island, S.C. I left active duty in October 1966 as a Marine. To this day I remain a Marine. All armies have soldiers. There is a distinct difference; just ask any Marine who has served or is currently serving. I'm pretty sure they have never heard the term "Once a soldier, always a soldier."

-- Charles L. Hook Jr.

Germantown

Fight This Mistake

I enjoyed Stephen Hunter's review [Style, June 3] of "Cinderella Man," but he doesn't seem to know the meaning of the word "craven." Craven means cowardly. That's it. He says "some biographers will even invent a nice juicy secret life for craven gain." This is the second time in one week that I've noticed this word incorrectly used in a similar fashion in The Post ["Personal Loss Changes Business as Usual," Business, May 30]. Words are important: Ask your writers to use them correctly.

-- Mary Pedersen

Fairfax

Huffy About Hoofs

Regarding "For Army Farrier, It's the Day of the Last Hoof" [Style, June 3]: I winced every time I came across the word "shoed" in the article. The word to use is shod, according to my dictionary.

-- Paula Truchot

Gaithersburg

Which Lear Is That?

Lear and his family "are destroyed when his youngest daughter refuses to keep her true feelings to herself" ["It's All Relative," Outlook, June 5]?

Which Lear is that? Shakespeare's Lear and his family are destroyed when Cordelia keeps her true feelings to herself. When asked by her father how much she loves him, Cordelia (unlike her "frank" sisters) refuses to answer, saying only, "Nothing, my lord." Indeed, she is deeply unhappy that she cannot heave her heart into her mouth. It turns out, of course, that Cordelia is the daughter who truly loves Lear, but I won't say any more about that -- just in case your author would like to read the play himself.

-- Jeffrey Shulman

Frederick

A Scrambled Depiction

I was sure that I had attended the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on May 20 until I read The Post's description of it as "a packed hotel ballroom where waiters in black tie served scrambled eggs to activists who wore sweat shirts that read 'You can't be Catholic and pro-abortion' " [news story, May 21]. I didn't see a sweat shirt all morning, but rather a ballroom filled with Catholics in business suits or their Sunday best gathered to hear the president and other distinguished speakers. I have since learned that there was indeed one table of sweat-shirted people near the press area, but to characterize the crowd of 1,600 by describing 10 is wrong.

-- Cathy Cleaver Ruse

Washington

The writer is former director of planning and information secretariat for pro-life activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.