Letters to the Editor

Readers write about gender and race in election '08, antiwar campaign and media coverage, and the use of poor grammar.

Gender and race matter less in '08 than ever before

Regarding the Oct. 26 article, "Clinton's gender poses challenge in Iowa": Voting based on gender is nothing new in this country. We've been doing it since 1788, when George Washington was elected.

At that time, the idea of electing someone who wasn't a white male landowner would have been ludicrous.

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Since women and minorities have gained the right to vote, voting outside the "white male ticket" has been considered so preposterous that only white male married (or widowed) Protestants could be elected.

The glaringly few exceptions only reinforce this rule.

Until now, the idea that our president has to be a white male has been so ingrained in the country's psyche that those from other groups that dared challenge it weren't taken seriously.

The fact that we have both a woman and an African-American making a serious bid for the White House is actually a sign that race and gender are less and less of a consideration for the voting public, not more.

Karen Rippberger
Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

Antiwar camp needs more coverage

In response to Kaveh Afrasiabi's Oct. 30 Opinion piece, "The cost of American bellicosity toward Iran," and Jerry Lanson's Oct. 30 Opinion piece, "War protests: Why no coverage?": I want to commend the Monitor on publishing two articles on subjects that do not make mainstream media enough.

Mr. Afrasiabi's piece was an excellent and informative piece, which made points about the subject that needs to be publicized to get the public informed about this situation in Iran.

It's only when this information is out there that we in the public can respond in an informed manner.

Mr. Lanson's piece was about the lack of coverage on the antiwar protests that were nationwide over this past weekend.

He points out the absolute hypocrisy of the mainstream media when it comes to broadcasting the public's point of view about this illegal war.

Most of the media has been on the side of this administration in forwarding this delusional war on terror. We in the antiwar movement say to mainstream media: Do your job!

Nancy Keiler
San Francisco

In response to Kaveh Afrasiabi's Oct. 30 Opinion piece, "The cost of American bellicosity toward Iran": Thanks for reminding us of Iran's embrace of Jews within its society. The narrow views we tend to hold of one another are too often a result of the loudest and most persistent media voices holding sway.

It is gratifying to be reminded that popular opinion can't always be presumed to support political agendas.

Allan Marquardt
St. Louis

Why we lose proper grammar

Regarding the Oct. 25 commentary, "Verbal evolution: The more you say a word, the less likely it will change": It is true that the most frequently used irregular verbs regularize more quickly.

There is a simple explanation: The more frequently used verbs are more likely to belong to the vocabulary of the less literate, and it is from the less literate that the change comes.

Most remaining irregular verbs could be regularized without loss, but this is certainly not the case for all linguistic "simplification."

I regret the loss of the distinction between "uninterested" and "disinterested."

Paul Perry
Melbourne, Australia

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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