14 FEBRUARY 1970, Page 25

Table talk

Sir: I should like to differ 'with' Sir Denis Brogan (31 January)—and his informant— on a point of midwestern sociology. As a native Minnesotan of impeccable Scandin- avian lineage (amongst friends I admit to a German grandmother), I noted with interest his connecting the lagging study of Scandin- avian languages with their being servants' languages.

People of my grandparents' generation were, no doubt, well aware of their social inferiority to the 'Yankees'. This probably had some effect on my parents' generation, which grew up speaking Swedish, Norwegian, etc. On the other hand, I can hardly imagine it's played a role since the last war. Rather, I should think the lack of sufficient teaching posts in secondary schools for these languages is a far more important reason.

An English sidelight. My wife, who is Ice- landic and, therefore, sentimentally egali- tarian, decided to earn pocket-money while studying in London by working as a char- -woman. Her employers, swishy Hampstead non-weds, persisted in calling her 'Ulla' in spite of her often repeating her correct name. You know, if you've seen one ...

Finally, I was a bit alarmed by a letter (same isue) in support of Mr Powell which kept referring to the English as the indi-

genous population'. When I return to Eng- land (Britain?) this spring, I do hope I won't be greeted by Hid Customs' officers in loin- cloths.

Carl I. Hammer, Jr.

Belgradstr. 66/5, 8 Munich 23, W. Germany Sir: I think Sir Denis Brogan (7 February) should be called upon to explain why he excludes the Methodist Recorder from his weekly reading. Chaim Raphael 30 The Course, Lewes, Sussex