Aghast at Agassi Error

The Post reported [Sports, Sept. 9] that Andre Agassi, in the early parts of his memorable match with James Blake, "wailed wildly on his strokes."

It is hard to imagine Agassi, who has long been known for his good sportsmanship, complaining loudly or even weeping, let alone "wailing." The cries must have been heard all over the vast stadium. Perhaps the writer meant "whaled" (to lash, to strike or hit vigorously).

-- Edward K. Kimmel

Arlington

Stop Patronizing Women

When will legislators and other officials who happen to be female be taken seriously by your paper? I can't believe Dana Milbank's editor let this description of the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee pass -- especially as the start of a Sept. 7 column:

"Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) wore a burgundy suit, dangling earrings and a demure smile when she appeared in the Senate television studio yesterday. But the questions she asked were sharp and unnerving."

This is the sort of commentary that diminishes all women. When are we going to see articles starting "John Roberts adjusted his silk, Jerry Garcia tie, carefully chosen to intensify his bright-blue-eyed gaze, and flashed his dazzling smile as he answered the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman's questions with wit and aplomb."

See how ridiculous and patronizing that sounds?

-- Mary E. Butler

Ellicott City

Ungrammatical Plunge

On top of being disappointed that the number of affordable housing units in Washington has fallen dramatically, I was dismayed at the headline on the Sept. 12 Metro story: "Number of D.C. Affordable Housing Units Plunge." Because "number" is the subject of the sentence, the headline should have read "Number of D.C. Affordable Housing Units Plunges."

Although more and more Americans make the mistake of having the object of the prepositional phrase nearest the verb agree with the verb, The Post should not abdicate its responsibility to use grammatically correct English.

-- Maida Tryon

Silver Spring

Kitchen Confidential

Courtland Milloy [Metro, Sept. 12] owes an apology to DC Central Kitchen. I have volunteered at DC Central Kitchen for years, and I know the quality of food prepared and served. The residents of DC Village are receiving the same food as the people at the D.C. Armory. The opinions expressed by the residents are not commensurate with the quality delivered. Is it four-star cuisine? No, but it is hearty and healthy.

I agree that we don't do enough for the homeless in our city. But disparaging the only people providing food is incomprehensible. Milloy needs to go to the kitchen and prepare and serve food at DC Village before he passes judgment.

-- Catherine Sheeran

McLean

Seeing Red Over Orange

Your Sept. 13 news story on the riots in Belfast described the Orange Order as a "Protestant fraternal group." That's about as accurate as describing the Ku Klux Klan as an American group that likes to dress in white.

The Orange Order, founded in 1795, is historically a virulently anti-Catholic organization -- secret and oath-bound -- dedicated to keeping Catholics in their place.

"Anti-Catholicism" in Northern Ireland is not about legitimate differences in faith and theology. Rather, anti-Catholicism is a socioeconomic and political system for the oppression of Catholics. In the past 30 years, so many things have changed for the better in Northern Ireland, but, unfortunately, not that profound anti-Catholic sectarianism that goes by the euphemism of the "Northern heritage."

-- Sean McManus

Washington

The writer is president of the Irish National Caucus.