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The Use of Terminology to Revise History

June 09, 2004

I found James Davis' June 6 commentary ("Germany Was Beaten, Not Liberated") on the defeat of Germany especially interesting because it begs comparisons to our "liberation" of Iraq. I would be curious to see his opinions on that.

My mother was a German in her mid-20s when the war ended. She had lost her first husband and one of her two brothers in the war. Yet by the war's end, her family, like many other Germans, welcomed the defeat of Hitler's regime probably almost as much as the Allies. Yet I doubt that even she would use the term "liberation" for that defeat.

Ron Adamus

Alpharetta, Ga.

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Thank you, Mr. Davis, for your commentary on Germany, so appropriate for the D-day celebration. Germany was beaten, not liberated. As one over 90, I recall as a child that Germany was beaten once before, in the first world war; that is why we refer to the second world war as WWII.

This devastating practice of trying to change the meaning of words is spreading: As UC Regent Ward Connerly says, "Native Americans" refers to anyone born in America, and most English speakers assume that marriage means a union between a man and a woman.

Smart people should think of new terms. The English language will expand once more.

Irene Langton

Studio City

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