US millionaire who learned the value of punctuation the hard way | Brief letters | Science

Punctuation is indeed important (Letters, 17 July). The story goes that an American millionaire’s wife, travelling through Europe, came across a beautiful diamond ring for sale for $1,000. She sent a telegram: “Can I buy?” “No price too high” came the reply. So she purchased the ring and her husband was furious. He had meant “No; price too high” – and it is said that after that incident the telegram companies introduced the convention of inserting the word “stop” at the necessary places.
Fr Alec Mitchell
Denton, Greater Manchester

Almost everyone in the world already owns a solar-powered vehicle (Letters, 15 July). Our legs run (or walk) on the products of photosynthesis at a rate of one small banana, or the calorie equivalent in other foods, per mile. To double this fuel economy, attach a bicycle.
Jo Gibson

Re the excellent work of the spaniel community in litter picking (Letters, 17 July), our elderly dog, of no specific breed, barks ferociously at any passerby who litters. All we have to do now is to train her not to bark at the passersby who haven’t.
Ian Grieve
Gordon Bennett, Shropshire Union canal

Good to see the crossword on Saturday (15 July) with its Incredible String Band-themed clues. They were a remarkably talented, entertaining and thoughtful group from the late 60s/early 70s and it’s heartening to know that Puck, the crossword-compiler, remembers them too. Incidentally I was listening to The 5000 Spirits or The Layers of The Onion only last week. Still couldn’t finish the crossword though.
John Richardson

After a full week of Codeword puzzles with three letters given as clues, I can contain myself no longer. Why the change? Did anyone complain that it was too hard with just two? Revert please!
Steven Burkeman

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