Letter: In Brief

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Now that "phwoah" is officially part of the English language (Terence Blacker, 21 August), can anyone say why it is not spelt with an "f" (or even "ff" if to be uttered fortissimo ) instead of "ph", which suggests a derivation from ancient Greek? Paris may well have said this when first he cast eyes on Helen, but it ain't in Homer.

MICHAEL J J DAY

Settle, North Yorkshire

Sir: Philip Hensher (Comment, 21 August) starts by stating that it is apparent that "nobody at all believes in a God". How does he know what I believe? He goes on to attack the "derr-brained bishops from Africa" and those who attended the Lambeth Conference as "these awful scum". Articles putting forward a humanist viewpoint have a rightful place in print. However, if The Independent is going to carry articles advocating such sweepingly racialist and offensively prejudiced views on a regular basis then my readership will go elsewhere.

Professor BRIAN BROWN

Sheffield

Sir: Paul Perrin takes you to task for not reporting on the religion of those killed and injured in the Omagh bombing (Letter, 21 August). I thought that this was an admirable approach; they were people first and foremost; their religion was, at most, a minor point.

JOHN HALL

Telford, Shropshire

Sir: "If you honk too much you get the bonk." Few present-day cyclists would, I suspect, recognise this charming phrase, which was everyday parlance among "roadmen" more recently that the inter-war years to which Ani Harris refers (letter, 18 August). To honk meant to stand on the pedals, thus inducing the state of over-exertion or "bonk" which your correspondent describes and which could also manifest itself as sudden inanition, or "hunger-knock".

MATTHEW THOMAS

Bristol

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