22 NOVEMBER 1963, Page 18


SIR,—Alan Brien had a legjtimate point to make against Dr. C. S. Lewis. It is a pity he had his after- thought in which he goes for Dr. Lewis for his use of the word Aeptophilia. If we need a word of Greek derivation for voyeurism let that be it. Skopto- philia, which he prefers, is an absurdity which would convey nothing whatever to a Hellenist. Skopophilia, a proper formation, by a quirk of the Greek language might suggest a CCF gone very queer indeed 'with a passion for targets.' Skotophilia could only mean 'love of the dark.' We have a perfect analogy; kleptomania might better have been klopomania. Without any ambiguity, but it is a sufficiently well established English wor,d to serve as a model.

If there are too few left to worry about. the maltreatment of Greek, there should surely be sufficient with a very elementary knowledge of Latin to wonder what Mr. Brien meant by the sentence, `But he is also obliged as a propagandist of the status quo to praise the Queen.' If he was in search of an overworked clich6 to save himself thought, he might have paid his own language the compliment by using 'establishment' instead; it would have at, least have had the advantage of trying to mean what he probably wished to say.