To the editors:
I am curious to know why, in your "beach boys" article ["The Boys at the Beach," August 28], you not only changed the names of the boys, but never mentioned the name changes. Is it that "Mark" is ashamed that his last girlfriend punched him? I am his last girlfriend. I should have hit him harder.
The editors reply:
The introduction to the interviews made it clear that the names had been changed: "I went to the beach and spoke with three boys I'll call Mark, Roberto, and Sean." We concealed the boys' identities (and yours too) to guard against the possibility that we could be sued for having violated their privacy or that of their families. It seems farfetched, we agree, but privacy law is complicated where minors are involved, and newspapers and magazines have been losing a lot of farfetched lawsuits lately.