Letter: All depends

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Sir: The headline "Blair vows to end culture of dependency" (2 June) is a striking example of the onward march of a word which, having noticed that its imperial shelf life (dependency: a colony without self- government) was coming to an end, has adopted in an almost Darwinian way to usurp the previously dominant position occupied by "dependence". Will we soon find ourselves talking about your distinguished newspaper's having asserted its independency?

Professor DAVID HEAD

Department of Modern Languages

University of Northumbria at Newcastle