Language changes, but God is constant | Brief letters

Chagos Islands | Perfect English | British Museum | Tenterhooks | Knickers

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

Have an opinion on anything you’ve read in the Guardian today? Please email us your letter and it will be considered for publication.

• The letter from Ken MacIntyre was amended on 29 June 2021. Due to an editing error, an earlier version misquoted the line from Ira Gershwin’s A Foggy Day as: “I viewed the morning with much alarm …”.


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