Letters: Lost In Translation And Holiday Travel

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NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous show topics, including an example of how meaning gets lost in translation, the challenges of raising a terminally ill child, and advice on how to travel with kids this Thanksgiving.

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday, and time to read from your comments. Our discussion with Princeton University Professor David Bellos about his latest book "Is That a Fish in Your Ear?" generated this story about being lost in translation. Malik Emir El(ph) wrote from Chicago: In Moorish culture, we don't use the word black to describe a person's color. We use the word olive hue. For example, we would say: He or she is a dark, olive hue. It's offensive to call a Moor a black, Negro or colored person. Olives come in all hues. Also, you may hear a Moor say so-called black people, depending on the environment he or she may be in.

Many of you also responded to our conversation last week with author and English Professor Emily Rapp, who discussed her experience as the parent of a terminally-ill child. Laurel Brooks(ph) emailed: The two things that got me through parenting my gravely-ill child was accepting her condition and being present with her - in other words, staying in the moment and not projecting into the future. I will never like that she's gone, but I do accept that her short Earth life was her path, and I am not suffering.

When we spoke with New York Times columnist Michelle Higgins about her recent column, "Are We There Yet? When Families Fly," many of you wrote to share your advice for traveling with kids. Whitney Schwartz(ph) wrote: My most recent travel experience was flying solo with my two-year-old and my infant. During takeoff, my two-year-old panicked and wriggled out from her seatbelt and took off screaming down the aisle. Again, during takeoff, I had to turn to the stranger next to me and asked him to hold my small baby while I chased down my terrified toddler. My advice: Don't afraid to ask for help.

And Lori Gordon Auffhammer(ph) offered this advice: Pull out the baby wipes for the X-ray machine. We traveled from San Francisco to Germany, and they suspected the wipes were a bomb. We were forced to go through the X-ray scanner twice and almost missed our flight.

If you have a correction, comment or questions for us, the best way to reach us is by email. The address is talk@npr.org. Please let us know where you're writing from and give us some help on how to pronounce your name. If you're on Twitter, you can follow us there @totn, or you can follow me @nealconan, all one word.

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