Letters to the Editor, January 7, 2022 | Letters to the Editor



Why do we say kilometer rather than kilometer

Mr. Editor:

We must learn to pronounce the word “kilometer” correctly. The correct English pronunciation is “KILometer”, the underlined syllable is capitalized.

Americans say “kilometer”, and many Canadians say it that way.

Without going into etymology, there is no doubt that this word means: 1000 meters.

It should also be obvious from comparison to other words. A “speedOMeter” is a meter that measures speed. A “therMOMeter” is a meter that measures temperature. A “kilOMetre” is a meter that measures kils, whatever they are.

A “MILimeter” is one thousandth of a meter. A “KILometer” is 1,000 meters.

Peter Basham, Kelowna

Neighbors save a young lady on a scooter

Mr. Editor:

Once the freezing temperatures dropped, I couldn’t wait to get back on the road astride my ready scooter. What I had forgotten is that the small machine was not able to navigate on roads with little snow.

Keeping it in top gear kept the tires from spinning. Tig’ger and I walked a mile away before the battery-powered beast died out. It was dead like a doorknob and as the rigor mortis set in some neighbors stopped to help. I couldn’t remember how to put him in manual mode to push him, so when the senior leaned down to watch, Tig’ger barked at him.

I reminded Tig’ger that he was a good guy, but she was skeptical. We rotated the vehicle by hand and then he tried the key again and the power bar lit up like the Christmas lights I had adorned the scooter with.

Adrenaline pumped, we ran home, but unbeknownst to me the poor dog had scoops of ice cream stuck in his paws and struggled to keep up even at three km / h. Rushing through the sleet we were heading uphill on the last stretch when old Betsy calved again. This time my neighbor next door offered to park it in her driveway until my husband could retrieve the slightly weathered machine.

Meanwhile, another elderly couple arrived and the woman tended to the dog while her partner and I hoeed it up from the middle of the road onto the cement slab. I walked Tig’ger home, then dug the snow between her toes and let the Australian Shepherd warm up by the fireplace. Grabbing the shovel, I cleared a narrow path to our house. Other neighbors watched the show from their balconies and offered to lend a hand.

To my surprise, the engine restarted and I spun the picky doorbell trap, doing a 180 on the slippery surface. I threw it on the road and walked about two yards and quickly got stuck. A Good Samaritan pushed my car as I drove around the bend, safely home.

It wasn’t my first rodeo of the season, weeks earlier I had placed the cart high in the center of a snowy sidewalk that I was trying to jump. A young couple stopped in their car to rescue me.

I am grateful for all who have come together; it was a powerful neighbor of you!

Doreen Zyderveld-Hagel, Kelowna

Religious freedom does not include imposing it on others

Mr. Editor:

In a December 29 letter, Garry Rayner denounced “the destruction of religious freedom”. His letter convinces me that we need limits on religious freedoms. While religious beliefs, like all ideas, are subject to criticism and mockery, all people should be treated with respect. Period.

Many people freely express their faith in public spaces. Those who do not want to hear them are despised or ordered to leave this public space. Free public religious expression currently prevails over other rights.

He wants believers to be free from “… retaliation for expressing beliefs … dear to their hearts.” I suspect that her beliefs match those of many religious people who frequently, freely, publicly and without government reprisal, express their beliefs on “gender or birth issues.”

Throughout history, different religious groups have labeled different target groups of people as sinners, immoral, depraved, unnatural, imperfect, mentally disturbed, perverse, guilty of evil deeds, condemned to “hell” and other similar epithets. This kind of free expression hurts and kills people.

Often, in addition to the convictions listed above, there are claims of discrimination against the target population. Deny them equal rights in housing, employment and business relations. Exclude them from pension and benefit plans. Not allowed to adopt. How far should he go? Imprisonment? Execution? These occur, based on religious beliefs, in other parts of the world and have been proposed in our part of the world.

There is a “doctrine” that he does not want to teach in public schools. I suspect that being healthy and fully human includes a broad spectrum of gender identity, expression and sexual attraction, and that all people are equally worthy of respect.

He’s free to teach his kids whatever he wants in their house, but apparently he doesn’t want other people’s kids to hear about acceptance and respect from people of a certain type.

He declares that secular politicians “destroy religious freedom”. For centuries, societies around the world have accepted the evil that comes from religious education. Politicians have enshrined this evil in law. Colonialism, racism, misogyny, sexism, environmental degradation, persecution of minorities and many other evils have been and still are preached by religious groups who wield far too much political power.

I hope to see a time when people understand that their right to religious belief does not include the imposition of that belief on others, and this is commonly known, practiced and supported by law.

Marie Sorge, Penticton

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