Sir, – It is remarkable how persistent some examples of
dottiness are. They lie dormant for a while and then reappear from time to
“What about an international anthem out of Israel?” (Letter from
Australia, October 8) is a case in point. It proposes that Israel be the first
to change its national anthem to a more universalist one, thereby encouraging
other nations to do the same.
This is one enterprise in which Israel
should definitely not seek to be the world leader. The honor should be left to
the three Western nations that are permanent members of the UN Security
God save the Queen should no longer refer to a victorious, happy
and glorious monarch, nor to her enemy’s “knavish tricks.” The Star Spangled
Banner should expunge all references to the brave defeat of the nation that is
now, and has been for a very long time, its closest ally. As for La
Marseillaise, no more impure blood soaking the furrows of French
By contrast, Hatikva refers to the aspiration of a great people
to return to its original homeland.
No talk of superiority or conquest.
It could hardly be more peaceful.
One can imagine the reaction of the
inhabitants of the UK, US and France to the suggestion that the words of their
beloved anthems be tinkered with.OSCAR DAVIES
Sir, – Now I’ve
heard everything! Hatikva, the hope, the prayers, the yearning of the Jewish
people for thousands of years, our national anthem says it all. I, as I’m sure
all my fellow citizens, stand with pride and an almost tearful reverence
whenever I hear the heartfelt words.
I suggest that Stan Marks take away
some other country’s selfpride or just make a Mother Earth international anthem.
But for God’s sake, don’t touch Hatikva! NAOMI FEINSTEIN
Nordiya Hitting a nerve
Sir, – Two nations – the US and the UK – are divided by a common language, with
Israel, or at least The Jerusalem Post, sitting uneasily in the middle. That is
the essence of reader Neville C.
Goldrein’s complaint (“Common tongue,”
Letters, October 8).
Goldrein has a point, although I would distinguish
between Americanized spelling and Americanization.
As an op-ed columnist
in the Post, I am quite content to see my manoeuvres sub-edited into maneuvers.
But I remember my hackles rise when, for another publication, my English “the
devil is in the detail” was transformed to the American “the devil is in the
details,” as if I had got it wrong. Even more irritating for the native English
reader are Goldrein’s examples of pure American slang.
moderation of some of the racier examples of transatlantic usage would indeed be
Sir, – I have the same attitude,
but Mr. Goldrein must understand that American English (a misnomer) is more
important because most other countries prefer American. They enjoy words such as
“gotten.” I find that an awful word. I cringe when I hear and see
Where I used to work I was asked to write “centre” as
Oh, woe was me.JUDY GOLDIN
Sir, – I wish to
give Neville C. Goldrein a piece of advice: Try the quick crossword
puzzle and you will use the King’s English to your heart’s content.
puzzling for hours over extra letters in words I know are correct, I have
finally internalized that the answer for “work” is spelled labour and not labor,
and color is colour. But I am still having a hard time with those English
counties and the towns in them, let alone knowing the word for “crisp
On the other hand, something has changed in my (limited)
cognitive powers because this week’s hint “okay” elicited an immediate “righto,”
which was the correct answer. That, by the way, is not the way they say okay in
the Big Apple, where I was born.ROCHEL SYLVETSKY
Sir, – I am
an avid crossword puzzler and I find your daily crosswords full of clues such as
“a river in southwest England” or “a county in northeast Wales.”
those of us who grew up in the US (or elsewhere), the chances that we will be
able to complete these puzzles are very slim. It’s like asking a South African
or Irish person to name a mountain range or delta in the southeast
Can the puzzles be presented in a more neutral manner, such as clues
that pertain more to general knowledge than to knowledge of a particular
country’s geography? DEBORAH POZNANSKY
Sir, – In spite of being
constantly exposed to American- English, I, too, have never really become
accustomed to it (especially the ever-widening use of “gotten”). However, as a
translator I have been obliged to overcome this difficulty and keep reminding
myself that the takeover of American has come about, alas, because Britannia no
longer rule(s) the waves.LINDA STERN
Sir, – Here is a very short
list of American and British examples of words and spelling: dual carriageway
(2-lane road), pram/carriage (buggy), flat (apartment), lift (elevator), kerb
(curb), boot (trunk), programme (program), centre (center) and humour
Regarding the definitions of “downer” and “pooper,” any
native-tongued Englishman easily could deduce their meanings.
have come very far from the European and even Hebrew-rooted languages of our
forefathers, and it is fair to believe that British English tops the lower-level
American version.ESTER ZEITLIN
Sir, – I beg to differ with
Neville C. Goldrein.
Depending on the writer, there are still articles
written in British English and, as an Israeli of American origin, I often have
trouble understanding the meanings.
Despite the differences, though,
there are more similarities and if one reads the whole article the meaning will
become clear from the context.
No one is going to be completely satisfied
with either language, and I think the Post should allow each reporter/writer to
write in the “language” he/she is comfortable with.
My daughter-in-law is
of British origin and we joke that our grandchildren will be “tri-lingual” –
British, American and Hebrew.
Ma’aleh Adumim Replacement
Sir, – Ardie Geldman (“Some Christians get it” Comment & Features,
October 7) writes: “Many liberal Protestant denominations minimize, if not deny,
the connection between the Hebrew Bible and their [New] Testament. They
subscribe to a ‘replacement theology’ that posits that the Christian church has
replaced national Israel with respect to the plan, purpose and promises of
While this is an accurate depiction of doctrine and dogma over
the centuries, it does not take account of some quite remarkable changes that
took place in the closing decades of the 20th century, when several major
mainline Protestant Churches publicly renounced replacement theology. Similar
reforms have been promulgated by the Lutheran, Methodist and others.
fact that the writer encounters among Protestant pilgrims he meets in Israel
today people who still speak in terms of the traditional replacement doctrines
merely attests to the fact that their churches have been remiss in bringing the
message of the new thinking to their memberships. Indeed, much remains to be
done in this respect.MOSHE AUMANN
Jerusalem The writer served from 1987
to 1990 as minister-counselor for relations with the Christian churches at
Israel’s US Embassy.