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'Latino, Si--Hispanic, No'

November 24, 1985

Now that Del Olmo has enlightened the general public about the imprecise use of the word "Hispanic" instead of "Latino," I wonder if he wouldn't mind going a step further by doing some in-house cleaning.

Most of his colleagues at The Times persist in referring to a woman of Latin-American extraction as a "Latino woman." Time after time I find this description used in articles that appear in yours as well as other publications. It would be more concise and correct to merely refer to such a person as a "Latina"--period.

Incidentally, census officials did not select the word "Hispanic" for the 1980 census. They're too cautious to make a decision about a group they know so little about. The selection was made by a hastily assembled group then known as the Spanish Origin Advisory Committee to the U.S. Census Bureau at its last meeting in 1979. Does the term "Spanish origin" open up a new can of worms for Del Olmo?

JOHN O. HERNANDEZ

Pico Rivera

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