Readers write: Copacetic colloquialisms, and profit over lives

Letters to the editor for the Feb. 22, 2021 weekly magazine. Readers discuss flapper slang and the cost of mismanaged healthcare systems.


Copacetic colloquialisms

Regarding “Flappers said ‘baloney!’ to idea that slang was for men” in the Dec. 14, 2020, Monitor Weekly: Oh, what fun memories Melissa Mohr’s column stirred up for me. I was born in the late 1920s, so I grew up hearing my folks and their friends use “flapper slang.” I figured it was just normal English. 

I’m now living in a large retirement building and will occasionally use “the cat’s pajamas” or “the bee’s knees” or “the cat’s meow” – which always makes someone say with delight, “Oh, I haven’t heard that for years!” 

In 1922, there was even “A Flapper’s Dictionary,” and that’s not “baloney!” Flapper slang is fun and refreshingly different from today’s colloquialisms. Right? Right.

Carolyn Hill
Portland, Oregon

Profit over lives

The article “Romanian documentary chases Oscar, and the truth” by Kit Gillet in the Dec. 14, 2020, Monitor Weekly keeps flashing through my mind as I read about ambulances lined up – sometimes for hours – outside Los Angeles hospitals. 

The failings of the Romanian health care system become painfully clear in “Collective,” which focused on the aftermath of a nightclub fire that killed 64 people in October 2015.

In another Romanian film, “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu” (reviewed by Peter Rainer in the Monitor in 2006), an elderly man near death is taken from hospital to hospital as he searches for one that will admit him. The story illustrates that people in power are callously unwilling to improve health care systems.

That these two films were made more than a decade apart reinforces what Romanian health minister and “Collective” subject Vlad Voiculescu avers in his interview with the Monitor: How “so little has changed” and that “every minute spent to change this is a minute well spent, an investment in the things that really matter.”

It is a cautionary tale not only for Romania, but also the United States and any other countries that would prioritize profit and politics above the health of their population. 

Colleen McGovern
Englewood, Colorado

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