Readers write: Language and science, readers’ recommendations, and generalizations

Why We Wrote This

Letters to the editor for the Oct. 7, 2019 weekly magazine.

Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff

Language and science

We will once again return to the glorious Norway fjords and isersarneq will be on my tongue, thanks to the Aug. 19 & 26 “From the Editor” column. That issue’s cover story, “The Noah’s Ark of languages,” reminds me that schools in the Washington, D.C., area have skillfully educated children from around the world for years. My second grade classroom in the Maryland suburban public schools had more than 10 languages represented in the 1990s. In my experience, children learned English quickly and, hopefully, retained their first language within their families and communities.

And Andrea Wulf wrote a stunner of a history with “The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World” a few years ago. Thanks to Anna Tarnow for her concise review of “The Adventures of Alexander Von Humboldt” by both Wulf and artist Lillian Melcher, also in the Aug. 19 & 26 issue. What a magnificent book. It speaks to the possible extinction of nature if we do not stop and notice the wonder of our environment and preserve it.

Art and science and spoken languages of every sort are preserved within the pages of this valuable weekly magazine. Thank you.

Martha F. Barkley
Belgrade Lakes, Maine

Readers’ recommendations

In the Aug. 12 Monitor Weekly, a reader wrote about how much she liked “Abide With Me” by Elizabeth Strout. I’d missed it when it was published in 2006, but I checked it out at our library. What a wonderful book! It’s located in a small town in Maine and follows a minister as he struggles to recover his calling, his family, and his happiness after a profound loss.

I appreciate the quality of the Monitor, many of the articles, the crossword, and the easy sudoku puzzles.

Janet L. Honecker
Wheeling, West Virginia


Regarding the article “Nebraskans talk extreme weather. Just don’t call it climate change.” in the April 16 Monitor Daily: 

I read with dismay the statement that rural dwellers reject the idea of climate change. I live in a rural area where climate change is accepted and understood for the threat it is. There are plenty of exceptions to that blanket statement about rural dwellers.

Jake Williams
Eureka, California

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