Mailbag: Messing up language is all too common

In his column, Joseph Bell explained the word game "Literati" (The Bell Curve: Enjoying some Christmas Day word play," Dec. 30). He admires the use of this game to remind ourselves of how "solid English words with exact definitions" are being commonly replaced with others with elastic uses and definitions.

I share his concern about the constant erosion of the language in the common usage. What a pity, then, that later in his column he bungles a French phrase long taken into English usage: instead of what must have been meant "coup de grace" (literally a finishing stroke) he writes "coup de gras," a nonsensical phrase that might be translated as "stroke of the obese."

Brian Taylor

Newport Beach


Presidents misunderstood the situation

According to Article 239 of the Honduran Constitution, it is unconstitutional for any sitting Honduran president to do anything to encourage changing the constitution to allow for a second presidential term, under penalty of immediate removal from office … Zelaya ignored this and pushed for a referendum (he already had the ballots printed up — by Chavez, no less) ("Rep. defends trip to Honduras," Dec. 22).

The Supreme Court of Honduras voted unanimously that he had to step down, as did the unicameral Honduran National Assembly by an overwhelming margin, even his own party voted that he had violated the Constitution and had to step down.

It was after he refused to step down that the military was asked by the judicial and legislative branches to remove Zelaya. This was not a "military coup" by any serious definition.

Neither Obama nor Clinton appear to possess the slightest understanding of the concept of "constitutional government."




Lobdell's column showed ignorance

Very poorly written article ("Lobdell: When did pets become more important that humans?," Dec. 21). The lack of judgment by the "supposed writer" is very evident, when comparing several different cases of abuse. Firstly, it is well known that NFL players make considerably more than the average citizen, (i.e. Wal-Mart consumer), and hence, could afford a better lawyer. No surprise there, indeed!

"Maybe if Galiher had tied a puppy to his bumper, prosecutors would have gone for a state prison sentence."

Thank you for providing that tactless example, of which, only proves your inadequacy as a writer; ergo, the inability of the writer to get the point across, thereby making an extremely ignorant comment.

Seriously, Daily Pilot, step your game up! ….



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