INTRIGUED BY YOUR “MOST Hated Man in Washington” poll (“Jack Attack: Who Is the Most Hated Person in Washington?,” The District Line, 10/22). Being a pilgrim and new to these parts, I need some help, syntactically:

1.) “Most hated man by Washingtonians”?

2.) “Man in Washington most hated by Washingtonians”?

3.) “Man in Washington most hated (by anyone in the world)”?

Once the meaning of “most hated man in Washington” is clarified to Subdivision 1, 2, or 3, the answer, unequivocally, respectively, and respectfully is (are, do be):

1.) Bob Short

2.) Not Jack Kent Cooke, ’cause he’s not a Washingtonian in Washington

3.) The president of the U.S., who probably has the most people hating him, added up all over the world: Muslims, Moslems, Serbs, Albanians, Vietnamese, Somalians, Sudanese, Russians, Germans,British, French, Anzacs, Republicans. He’s the guy we love to hate. Hands down, he is the “most hated man in Washington,” as the pope is “most hated man in Rome.”

But I’ll stick to choice No. 1. Hating Cooke is biting the hand that feeds. I hate D.C. government for giving him kid-glove treatment, but it’s not his fault they’re a bunch of suck-ups.

Silver Spring, Md.