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Casting Stones 


Before Mr. Crlenjak goes correcting others' corrections, he should put his own house in order. I found no fewer than six errors in his pompous and irrelevant letter ("Mailbox, March 17).

First, he used the word "loathe" (a verb) where he meant ‘loath' (an adjective). This is a common mistake but a mistake nonetheless. Next was his phrase, "wordy-by-word." Sure, typos happen, but one would think someone who's ripping up someone else's letter would purge them from his attack. Further, should there really be hyphens there? I think not.

In his third paragraph, Mr. Crlenjak used "like" where he should have used ‘such as'. "Like" compares one thing with another; "such as" sets up an example. Following that were several examples of inconsistent usage of quotation marks.

Finally, his last paragraph began with the present tense of a verb with no subject, fine in a casual context but not exactly appropriate in a letter touting grammatical correctitude.

As I am all too aware from personal experience, those who are critical of others often find themselves in hot water. Clearly, I'm as much a grammatical purist as anyone, but even I can see that critiquing the grammar of a letter correcting a scientific inaccuracy (after the author of that letter has acknowledged his own "error," no less) is pointless. The title of Mr. Crlenjak's letter (‘Pedantic, Facetious?') is a bit cryptic, but I hope it indicates your recognition of the letter's absurdity.

"Let him who is without sin ... "

Ken Burton, Arcata


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