Alternate reality

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Nick Perry, writing from Wellington (your report, 11 October) on the subject of the official naming of New Zealand’s islands, said that equal status would be given to the “alternate [sic] Maori names”.

Unless the English titles are to alternate on a daily, weekly or monthly basis with the Maori, then the correct word is “alternative”.

Such distinctions every schoolchild used to know.

Donald Murray

Insch, Aberdeenshire