Mother of All Misspellings

Part of your paper's Nov. 3 corrections box read: "In some Nov. 2 editions, Courtland Milloy's column in the Metro section mispelled the names of two Howard University faculty members. They are Wiley A. Branton and Roland Scott." It is very sad that your editors, in correcting the misspellings, misspelled the word "misspelled." Someone is asleep at the spelling (and editing) switch!

-- Sheryl F. Price


A Disgrace to Spirit Lake

Liz Clarke's Nov. 6 Sports article described my Spirit Lake reservation as:

* "Little to see."

* "Even less to block the howling wind."

* "A smattering of . . . weather-beaten siding and scruffy patches of weeds."

* "Families of 10 cram in two-bedroom houses, but the reservation feels lifeless, with only a few dogs roaming about."

Here is what's missing from that picture:

* Not just a few dogs, but also the buffalo roam at Spirit Lake.

* Not just weeds, but also yellow canola fields wave in the wind.

* The heartbeat of our nation is the drum. We dance to the sun. And rocks are our grandfathers.

Next time, don't send an apparatchik to describe our sweet home. Send an American who understands how beloved such a harrowing place can be.

-- John Peacock

Fort Totten, N.D.

Stick to the Subject

Darragh Johnson's Oct. 27 Style article about Claire Danes violates an important rule in journalism: Don't write yourself into the story. Instead of fully scoping out Danes's personality, Johnson lazily plugs in a meta-story recounting her impression of the interview: "Danes spent two years at Yale. Where's the conversational brio? Where's the analytical discourse that even half of an Ivy League education would seem to confer? Do we really have 35 minutes left of this?" Johnson has a great job interviewing celebrities, so glamorous to the point that she can admit to being bored when one of them isn't up to snuff. Next time she should keep that to herself.

-- Rich Danker

Middleburg, Va.

Wrong Job, Pilgrim

As much as I enjoy and admire Stephen Hunter's movie reviews, there is a problem with his depiction of John Wayne as a Marine drill instructor in "Sands of Iwo Jima" [Style, Nov. 6]. Wayne's Sgt. John Stryker was not a drill instructor, as were Jack Webb and Lee Ermey in their movies. Wayne was an infantry squad leader in the Marine unit that took Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima and raised the flag there. His training scenes were tactical exercises in the Pacific to prepare his troops for their historic assault. They had already been through the Marines' meat-grinder basic training in the boot camps of Parris Island, S.C., or San Diego.

-- Jim Dickenson


Nothing Good About Riots

At the risk of disturbing David Ignatius's hippy-dippy reveries ["Why France Is Burning," op-ed, Nov. 9], it was not the "fire" of the 1968 race riots that led to the dismantling of discrimination in the United States. Rather, it was the dedicated courage of true American heroes such as John Lewis and Fannie Lou Hamer that brought us the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Watts riots -- like the racist assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. -- took us backward, not forward. There is no silver lining to mass violence, looting and wanton destruction.

-- Dan Overton

St. Paul, Minn.

Maligning Marion Wheeler

I was disappointed in "Yankee in Pr. William Tries for Last Laugh; Will Stipulates Coveted Willow Green Mansion Be Torn Down" [front page, Nov. 6]. Despite what could be termed her "New England distance," Marion Caesar Wheeler indeed had positive traits. She and her husband, William, were both very generous and contributed to numerous people and charitable organizations. Was it necessary to malign a deceased person to write about Willow Green? Perhaps we can all work together to save Willow Green in a more positive manner.

-- Katharine Ayres


Claire Danes.