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Living English

Re: "Bad language blues", (PostBag, Oct 11) and "Laughing at Lotus's", (Postbag, Oct 9).

As the author of "Laughing at Lotus's", I might be seemingly at odds when I take issue with Ye Olde Pedant and his belief that the English language is on a "long slide into anarchy, chaos, and despair".

Just look at his moniker: "Ye Olde Pedant". Does he believe that the use of "the" instead of "ye", and "old" instead of "olde" is a corruption of the purity of the English of Milton and Shakespeare?

And what English language are we talking about? English as it is spoken by the Queen, or English as is spoken in Liverpool or Newcastle, or in Scotland, Wales, or Ireland. Or English as she is spoken further afield in the United States, Australia, South Africa, India, the Cameroons, and countless other places around the world to which the original English has been exported and adapted.'

The fact is that English is a living language and will continue to develop both its vocabulary, its diversity, it nuances, and its strength to communicate new ideas and concepts, and will continue to readily adopt neologisms and words and abbreviations created by an internet literate youth on their social networks.

At school so many years ago I was forced to study Latin, and along with my fellow students we used to chant, "Latin is a language, as dead as dead can be, it killed the ancient Romans and now it's killing me".

Ye Olde Pendant, please do not kill the English language!

DAVID BROWN


Extend tourist visas

Don't slug the tourists. Just lengthen the tourist visa to three months like Malaysia. That will bring much more money in!

DON NICOL


Blood compromise

Re: "Bigoted over blood", (PostBag, Oct 9).

While Tarquin Chufflebottom may be correct in saying that homosexual men should not be banned from donating blood to others, as Eric Bahrt insists, nonetheless, there still can be no denying of the fact that they remain the group which is most at risk from getting HIV.

So perhaps, it would be better for hospitals and blood donation organisations to add a caveat, and state that homosexual men and other high risk groups are not encouraged to donate blood to others.

PAUL


Life is sacred

Re: "Foetal position", (PostBag, Oct 12) and "Life is previous", (PostBag, Oct 10).

Felix Qui misses the point of my letter -- "Life is precious". In opposing abortion, it was not the termination of an actual life I was objecting to. It was the termination of a potential life.

The sacredness of life, or of anything, is not a fact, but an opinion. It is an extreme version of the idea that life is valuable.

And although human life, and the potential for it, may not be valuable in any absolute sense, it certainly ought to be valuable to those of us who enjoy its benefits, and without which we would not exist.

To Mr Qui I ask a question I posed earlier: Would he want to have been aborted when he was a foetus in the womb? If not, it would be wise for him to apply Confucius's version of the Golden Rule (Analects 12:2): "What you do not desire for yourself, do not inflict upon others."

YE OLDE THEOLOGIAN

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