Language changes, but God is constant | Brief letters

News that the Chagos Islands are to go on the green travel list (Report, 25 June) should allow Chagossians to visit the homeland they were exiled from nearly 50 years ago. This would be a first step towards an overall settlement with Mauritius, bringing the UK into line with the requirements of international law.

David Snoxell

Former British high commissioner to Mauritius

Thank you, Nesrine Malik, for reminding us that no version of spoken English is “pure” (My English will never be ‘perfect’ – and that’s what keeps a language alive, 28 June). This would have not cut much ice with a former parishioner who refused to use any modern translation of the Lord’s Prayer on the grounds that “if the old version was good enough for Jesus then it’s good enough for me”.

Fr Alec Mitchell

Anglesey, Wales

The tenterhooks discussion (Letters, 27 June) must not overlook the kipper industry. Tenterhooks were used to hang herrings to be smoked and thereby “done up like a kipper”.

Prof William Wardle


Ira Gershwin’s A Foggy Day in the 1937 film A Damsel In Distress sums it up – “I viewed the morning with alarm. The British Museum had lost its charm” (George Osborne appointed chair of British Museum, 24 June).

Ken MacIntyre

Leatherhead, Surrey

How I envy the navy-blue knicker wearers of the 1950s and 60s (Letters, 27 June). At my school they were brown, and to this day it is a colour I will never wear.

Andrea Stow

Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire

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