Letters

Memories of Earhart Still Inspire

The editorial "To Soar Like Earhart" (April 7) reminds me of an event during the summer of 1933, the bottom of the Depression.

Students from various colleges were invited to an all-day meeting in Newark, N.J. We were to listen to and be challenged by 12 to 15 leaders in commerce and industry. They reflected the American success story.

On that platform was one woman, Amelia Earhart. When it was her turn to speak, Amelia turned and looked at everyone of those potentates and asked, "How come, if you have been so successful, why is this country in such a mess?" They were very pointed words, and some of those "leaders" cringed a bit.

We students, who had been rather sullen in our responses, lit up for Amelia. We stood and clapped!

Edward W. Clark

Kennett Square, Pa.

'Radical Son' and responsibility

The book review of "Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey" (April 7) is, unfortunately, more a criticism of author David Horowitz than of his ideas.

As a faculty member and administrator at Penn State University during the years of campus unrest, I wish to confirm the value of many of Horowitz's ideas.

First, Horowitz writes that "the massive antiwar movement on America's campuses had been little more than a way to avoid the military draft." Right on! Second, he describes the failure of the left to accept moral responsibility - individually and collectively - for behavior that tacitly sanctioned the death and disappearance of their own, much like those in Stalin's Russia.

Objective analysis of these two ideas alone could shed light on why an inordinate number of college students from the '60s and '70s failed to obtain academic degrees for which they claimed to be enrolled. The enormous potential of most of these students had yet to be realized.

Robert C. Baughman

Winter Haven, Fla.

Virtues - and a high salary

Devoting three pages to extolling the virtues of Bobby Bowden ("Conversations With Outstanding Americans," April 14) clearly indicates his symbolic importance to the editors of the Monitor. But nowhere is it mentioned that he is the highest-paid employee of the state of Florida, nor that his salary is higher than that of his boss, the president of Florida State University.

Leonard Plotnicov

Pittsburgh

Bagel speech

The article "The Timeless Secret of Slow and Easy" (April 3) on "fast English" reminds me of something I heard at a bagel shop: "yavanitvitcrimchiz?"

Rod Savoye

Stamford, Conn.

Authorial arrogance

When I ran across the word "lulciticated" in "How Walter and I Nearly Revolutionized Oatmeal" on the Home Forum page (Feb. 28), I was intrigued. I checked unabridged dictionaries, had research librarians checking the Oxford English Dictionary and other arcane sources, had students searching the Internet, all for a hint of the meaning and/or derivation of this term.

I found out that "lulciticated" is a creature of the author and that it has no meaning nor derivation. I am appalled at the writer's cavalier arrogance and the nonchalance of the Monitor toward the English language and the intelligence of the Monitor's readership.

English is possibly the most flexible of languages, allowing itself to be bent, folded, and stapled into many forms and constructions - but always to some end and to convey some meaning. That the editorial staff of a newspaper as prestigious as the Monitor is so indifferent to their duty as disseminators of language to allow nonsense syllables to be used as language can only amount to a lowering of standards.

Jeanne Wells

Mobile, Ala.

Instructor

St. Paul's Episcopal School

Letters for publication must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published and none acknowledged. Letters should be mailed to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, faxed to 617-450-2317, or e-mailed (200 words maximum) to oped@csps.com

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