Ms. De Rooy's petulant attempt to own the phrase, "Gang of Four" displayed her ignorance of history. The phrase was first used in 1976 to describe Mao's wife and three associates who were held responsible for the excesses of the Cultural Revolution, and were tried, convicted, and jailed by the Chinese authorities shortly after Mao's death.
Greg Movsesyan, McKinleyville
Sylvia De Rooy, get over it! You jump on Heidi Walters' use of the term "Gang of Four" in your letter to the editor in the July 24 issue ("Took the Words out of My Mao") as if you are the owner of that expression. First, you complain that Heidi ripped "off someone else's words." But then you said, "The phrase turned up in a number of letters to local papers." Those words then became part of the public discussion.
As for the Gang of Four, that original name for four officials of the Chinese Communist Party came into general use during the Cultural Revolution, 1966-76. Not very original, Sylvia. Then starting in 1977, there was the British post-punk group called, you got it, Gang of Four. And then there are the four authors of the software engineering book, Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software, often referred to as, yep, the Gang of Four. The 2012 National Football League season became known as the Gang of Four because of four quarterbacks: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick. Finally, the number one card game in Asia by Days of Wonder is called Gang of Four. Sylvia, I don't think you own that expression.
Dave Rosso, Eureka