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Your Letters

15:10 UK time, Friday, 2 October 2009

Paul Murdock asked (Thursday letters) if you buy a stamp off a colleague at work, does anyone know what the going rate is?
We do.
Julia Lee, Assistant Editor, Stamp Magazine, UK

Mary is correct (Thursday letters): WTF is not an acronym but an initialism. FBI and SWAT are two good examples of these.
Tony, Bracknell

Mary, last time I checked, 'wac', 'opec' and 'loran' weren't words either. But on the subject, aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. So in fact, changing the order of the letters may sometimes be a fruitless exercise - fcuk being the prime example of this being used for shock factor to get publicity. And David (also Thursday letters), my chosen method for checking to see if this letter gets published is to scan all the way down for my name before I read the letters, so I can enjoy the others without suspense.
Louise, Surrey

Re acronyms, I note that news sources quickly stopped referring to The War Against Terror, instead using other terms with less embarrassing acronyms.

The New Zealand Immigration Serivce (NZIS) recently rebranded itself to Immigration NZ (INZ). This is because the letters NZIS when spellchecked come out as NAZIS. Apparently too many letters were being sent out asking foreigners to send their passports to the NAZIS for processing.
Al, Wellington NZ

Martin in Luxembourg (Thursday letters), no you didn't. I attended said university in the early 90s when it was the University of Northumbria. The "Central/City University of..." abbreviation is an urban myth.
Miss Susan, Strathaven, UK

Depending on the exact date in the "early 90s", Martin might have applied to Newcastle Polytechnic, or to Northumbria University - but not to the "City University" of anything. And Jim (immediately below Martin, also Thursday letters is just being awkward.
Violet (no sense of humour today), Leicester

Re video's (Letters, Thurs) - the correct full name would be video tapes, so the apostrophe is also correct and is indicating two words joined together with missing letters - as in don't, haven't etc.
Chookgate, Milton Keynes

BM, who suggested that if Shakespeare had a sex shop he too would sell video's (Thursday letters), got me thinking. He might have stocked titles such as Any Way You Like It, Love's Labours Watched, Julius Sleazer, King Leer, Othellohhhh!, Readers' Wives of Windsor, Pleasure for Pleasure, Two Gentlemen and a Moaner, Coriolanus, Titus...
Sue, London

Across the nation, parents of teenagers raise their eyebrows in mutual salute. Thanks to Paddy of Liverpool (Thursday letters) we all now have a word for what our teenage children did all summer.
Jaye, Rutland, England

The main reason kids spend so much time in their bedrooms nowadays can be directly attributed to the existence of central heating. If my dad had asked me in the 70s if I wanted a TV in my bedroom I'd have responded "Please, no, for the love of all that is hot and cosy!"
Rachel, Minnetonka

I thought a tango was a style of skimpy mens' briefs, which makes the headline even more disturbing (Thursday letters).
Fi, Gloucestershire, UK

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