Mayor Emily Larson can please stop being so overly influenced by the perpetually offended and single-issue people. The word “chief” does not have its roots with indigenous people (“Duluth moves to scrub ‘chief’ from job titles,” June 18). It is, in fact, an old French word that means “leader” or “one in charge.” It is not a derogatory term.

Can it be used in a negative way? Yes, of course it can. While living in the South, we learned that “yankee” and “liberal” were also used with a negative connotation. (Remember the furor over the perfectly good word “niggardly?”) English is a wonderfully descriptive and flexible language. Embrace it, learn it, and use it — don't fight it. Be leery of George Orwell's Newspeak in his novel, “1984.”

The face-mask issue is also a single-issue matter. Other mayors of much larger cities have required the wearing of masks in public places. Why should Duluth have to be different? Is it the “right” of someone not to wear a mask and possibly infect hundreds of other people? I wear a mask to protect other folks as well as in an attempt to protect myself.

In these terrible times, we need to unite and not divide. Duluth may be starting to show its small-town characteristics.

Sam Marks

Duluth