NORTHWEST COPY FLIES RIGHT

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Regarding Diane L. Schirf's letter (AA, Sept. 19): The Northwest Airlines ad is in fact grammatically correct. The reason it looks and sounds so awkward is that the copywriter omitted the verb in each line.

Read it aloud, except this time include each verb:

We fly better than they (fly)

and they cook better than

we (cook)

Since time was taken to write a letter questioning the ad's correctness, chances are it was read more than once. Kudos to the copywriter for getting the reader's attention!

Long live proper English usage!

W. Keran Farrell

Milwaukee

Re Ms. Schirf's question ("Is there anyone else out there who thinks it should read: `We fly better than them, and they cook better than us'?"):

I hope not.

Edward W. Cheatham

Racal Corp.

New York

I applaud the copywriter for the Northwest Airlines ad. All too often I see poor grammar in ads just because it "sounds better" to someone's ear. How refreshing to see that there still is a writer who cares enough to get it right.

Doris A. Mitchell

Entex

Houston

Ms. Schirf may want to visit Chicago's excellent library, where she will find a grammar text. In that text she will read about verbs that are "understood." The Northwest Airlines copy is correct. "They" and "we" are the subjects of independent clauses with the understood verbs "fly" and "cook."

William F. Blinn

Proficient Computing

Solutions Corp.

Columbus, Ohio

A better correction would read:

"We fly better than they do,

and they cook better than

we do."

What's sad is that no one seems to care much about such grammatical niceties these days-except for Ms. Schirf and me.

Or should that be "I"?

Mark Aronson

Marklyn Enterprises

Chicago

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