6 FEBRUARY 1942, Page 14

Stit,—Mr. Harold Nicolson writes: "The French, and to some extent

the Italians, being logical and insular . . ." Is it not the height of insularity to describe a Continental nation as " insular "? At the same time, it is difficult to suggest a suitable alternative—another case for consultation in the S.P.C.E. corner.

Mr. Nicolson discusses the pronunciation of various place-names— what about the spelling? Why does he write " Vladivostock " with

a " c " before the "k "? There is no justification for it, and it. makes the name look German. If the Germans choose to put the "c " into "Rostock," a good old Slav name, that is their own affair, but " yostolc," which means "East " in Russian, has nothing to do with the Germanic root of " stock." The Encyclopaedia Britannia