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I know you don't like to trample on people's prose, and I appreciate that you accept articles from no-names, but sometimes you need to spill the editor's ink. Or, I've known that you don't like to trample on people's prose, and I've appreciated that you accept articles from no-names, but sometimes you'll need to spill the editor's ink.

There you have two ways of saying the same thing, though one incorporates useless tense. The front-page article "Which Side Are They On?" [April 16] began: "I'd realized." And in the first column alone continues: "Mary had passed"... "we'd been warned"..."She'd opted"..."I'd been offered". And in between this sensless, snaggling use of the past perfect (where "I realized" or "we were warned" is adequate), the author whimsically jumps in and out of various stages of the past. Then, starting at the second part of the story, he throws it all away. It was like reading a fifth-grader's story about time travel.

Finally, after skimming for a while, I stopped on page 22 because an ironic ad for the Feltre School, which read "Enroll in our intensive English grammar review today," completely stole my attention.

Additionally (on a more subjective note), the storyteller's smugness throughout the beginning leaks his inevitable resolution and precludes any satisfaction it might have given.

Otherwise, good work.

Jonathon Simpson

Wicker Park

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