In his column, Joseph Bell explained the word game "Literati" (The Bell Curve: Enjoying some Christmas Day word play," Dec. 30). He admires the use of this game to remind ourselves of how "solid English words with exact definitions" are being commonly replaced with others with elastic uses and definitions.
I share his concern about the constant erosion of the language in the common usage. What a pity, then, that later in his column he bungles a French phrase long taken into English usage: instead of what must have been meant "coup de grace" (literally a finishing stroke) he writes "coup de gras," a nonsensical phrase that might be translated as "stroke of the obese."
Presidents misunderstood the situation
According to Article 239 of the Honduran Constitution, it is unconstitutional for any sitting Honduran president to do anything to encourage changing the constitution to allow for a second presidential term, under penalty of immediate removal from office … Zelaya ignored this and pushed for a referendum (he already had the ballots printed up — by Chavez, no less) ("Rep. defends trip to Honduras," Dec. 22).