Letters to the editor

Globe Magazine readers respond to articles on saying hello and computer-aided dating and give a grammar lesson.


As David Roach writes, the simple custom of greeting people in everyday life is fading fast in today’s world (Connections, January 13). Many times during my walks in Sturbridge or on the beach in Maine, I have experienced the same reluctance of people to greet one another. I hope others heed Roach’s advice. Life is short. Let’s smile and greet one another when we can.

Mitchell Bell / Sturbridge

I was raised in the South, where everyone was friendly. When I moved to New England, I had to learn to pull back because people were not used to it. My upbringing still compels me to smile and offer a hi. Some are surprised but all smile back.


Virginia Sharp / Quincy

Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
The day's top stories delivered every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Reaching out with a small gesture of greeting is a way to establish or maintain the interconnectedness of our community. And it slows you down to a more human pace. Thank you for the essay; it will encourage me to keep saying hello and good morning.

Linda Jo Stern / Roslindale

I once made a New Year’s resolution to say hello to a perfect stranger every day. I almost always get a hello in return — most often with a smile. I don’t know what this exchange does for them, but it certainly improves my day.

May Youngclaus / Exeter, New Hampshire


As a freshman at Bowdoin College in the fall of 1968, I remember the official student handbook we received recommended that we say hello to all those we passed on campus. That Bowdoin “hi” was a wonderful gesture that contributed to our sense of community. I have continued this tradition and I cannot tell you all the rewards it has bestowed upon me.

Tom Wourgiotis / Lowell

I used to say hello and wave to others, but no more. Unfortunately, others do not see it as a courtesy, but as a sign of weakness. I think the computer and the disintegration of the family are responsible for the destruction of civility in America today.

Scott Wolfe / Worcester


The computer dating topic of Dan Slater’s “The Love Machines” (January 13) caught my eye, and then when I saw the date, 1965, I was drawn into reading the article. Why? In 1966, I found myself with an Operation Match questionnaire, and I filled it out and sent it in. That December, I received some matches, but before I had a chance to call anyone, I received a call from someone who had been given my name. I agreed to meet him. We dated for a few months, got engaged in March 1967, married in August, and 45-plus years later, we are still happily married and have two grown children (both of whom have wonderful spouses) and six terrific grandchildren.


Jane Kamer / Hopkinton


As a longtime teacher of high school English, I rely on the Globe as a standard-bearer for the language. Imagine my dismay as I revealed a key element of the January 6 crossword solution to read “ . . . introducing someone because you have forgotten their name.” If there is one usage error students are most unable to recognize these days, it is that of pronoun-antecedent agreement, especially with indefinite pronouns. I hate to sound like a grammar geek, but I’ve been fighting the good fight for a long time, and this one tops the charts in issues with student writing.

Kathleen O’Brien Collins / Dover, New Hampshire

COMMENTS? Write to or The Boston Globe Magazine/Letters, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. Letters are subject to editing.