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Here's what we've learned

June 22, 2008

SO I'M reading the June 15 Calendar, you know, the letters part, and there's this awesome letter from Grant Nemirow, and he says The Times should wise up and, like, stop with the big words, because nobody under 40 knows what they mean. To which I say, dude, you are so right on!

But The Times should do more, like tossing that "sentence" and "paragraph" stuff. Nobody writes like that anymore. Just put everything in text message format, then you'll have a newspaper that's relevant -- uh, scratch that, I mean hot.


Bonnie Sloane

Los Angeles

AS A 26-year-old reader born and bred in Los Angeles, I would like to respond to Grant Nemirow's letter in which he accuses readers like me of not knowing a host of useful words.

Anyone who graduated from an English-speaking high school without knowing such basic words as "aesthetic" and "diminution" ("diminutive," anyone?) ought to be ashamed of him or herself. The situation is easily remedied, even without recourse to a hard-bound dictionary: online dictionaries abound. One need only spend a moment at "> , and no one need know he or she was ever so ignorant as Mr. Nemirow assumes we all are.

Abigail Kessler

Newbury Park

I FIND it interesting that Nemirow "loved" Rachel Abramowitz's profile of M. Night Shyamalan but is concerned about the economic future of newspapers that continue to employ writers who foist such two-dollar words as "bucolic," "vicissitudes" and "contretemps" upon unsuspecting readers.

It brought to mind a post-run-through network "notes" session, where the writers were asked to change a three-syllable word to "something more accessible" to the viewing public.

Our producer defended the intelligence of our audience, but the network stood firm in its underestimation. In exasperation, the producer blurted: "Would it kill anybody if someone actually looked it up?" He decided it was better to be part of the solution than exacerbate the problem.

I was so impressed with his courage, I actually helped him pack his office half an hour later.

Nemirow's concerns, as semi-noble as they may seem, are woefully misplaced.

Ron A. Burla

Woodland Hills

Burla is a television writer, editor and producer with such shows as "ALF," "Brothers," "The Powers That Be" and "Boomtown" in his credits.

As A simple woman of simple words, I have essayed, oh, dear, I mean tried to edit Abramowitz's piece for us common folk:

"Shyamalan's new movie, 'The Happening,' a totally trippy rush of paranoia . . . ." "His business offices and editing suite are set in a colonial stone home on this Beverly Hillbillies spread of Pennsylvania land." "Everything about Shyamalan the person appears pristine, precise, totally nerd." "He's been through a complete cycle of media glorification and trashin' . . . ." "Being all like 'cool!' because someone else screwed up careened around the studios like the metal ball in a pinball machine." "The media dis was stressful and upsetting, but he tries to be stoic about the bummers of Hollywood fame."

As if!

Mary Sojourner

Yucca Valley

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