I was intrigued by Dan Sullivan's article about whether the term actress should be dropped and replaced with actor in Times' theatrIcal reviews (" 'Actress' and 'Actor' in a Play on Words," March 9).
The issue strikes me as the suggested tempest in a teacup. An actor is one who acts, whether male or female--as in writer, teacher, lawyer. An actress is a female actor--as in sculptress, hostess, seamstress--all legitimate words and above reproach.
If the reader has difficulty with these distinctions he can be guided by good writers who do not cave in to trendy hypersensitivity.
Sexism is a state of mind. It has little to do with English usage.
WILLIAM E. HAWKES