We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, February 28. 2007
In a stunning turnaround, The Right Reverend Al Gore announced today that he has abandoned his "Crusade to End Exhalation and Bovine Flatulence," and has turned his attention to a more pressing concern: The apostrophe.
"I was jetting all over the world, Davos, Vail, Rhiyad to pick up my check, and I got a good long look at all the people who have been masturbating furiously in the front row of An Inconvenient Truth and screaming at evil republicans on my beloved invention, the internet. It hit me like a metric tonne of greenhouse gases, I'm telling you. I saw my one, true calling. We must ration apostrophes! The use of apostrophe's ... oh, damn... See? They've got me doing it now. We're going to run out of apostrophes if we don't act globally now!"
"I'd read my supporter's...that one belongs there, right? That's possessive, isn't it? Or does it go on the end? Damn, I've lost track...at any rate, I've read their fevered comments on the usual Republitards webpages, and weep for the clear-cutting of the apostrophe forests necessary to form just one paragraph. I mean, it's like I'm reading Klingon or Arabic or something. Can't they just photoshop a Hitler moustache on a previously photoshopped picture of Bush eating a kitten, like normal people do, instead of this unsustainable use of precious apostrophe's... Damn! See? I did it again."
"Look at this," Reverend Al ushered me over to the hand cranked laptop he had installed in his indoor riding ring/jetpark, to lower his carbon footprint. "Look at this! Look at this and weep for the coming world. A world without apostrophes!"
I could barely see him in the reflected glow of the crummy screen, and the compact fluorescents he used in the stable were barely enough for me to tell what I had just stepped in, but he was right. I looked in horror at sentence after sentence sprinkled with apostrophes without regard to possession or contraction. The "its" alone were enough to empty a New York Public Library's worth of books of precious, life-giving apostrophes. It was if I was looking at the apostrophe universe winking out before my eyes.
We read comment string after comment string of well-deserved abuse heaped on ChimpyMcflightsuitHitlerburton by all-knowing and wise academics and cubicle dwellers, and the legions of the Reality Based Community weighing in from their mother's basement. All-wise, of course; but with one, horrible, terrible exception. Well, two if you count appending "Sad" to the nether end of every comment. Al Gore looked up at the spot where he thought I was, a tear glistened in his eye, and he said: "I must save the apostrophe. I only have a few decades left, but maybe through strict rationing, along with re-education camps based on fourth grade curriculum from the 1950s for the wayward, I can do it."
"If there's any time left for me on this mortal coil after that," he intoned quietly,"I'll use it to get them to stop spelling it: "arguement."
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Hahaha. I think I am going to start stockpiling incandescent light bulbs. There will undoubtedly be money to be made on the incandescent light bulb black market. I know women prefer them!
They will have to pry that incandescent bulb from my cold dead hands.
Anticipating such a development, I went long apostrophes'''' a couple of years''''' ago, and now I have apostrophes'''' to burn''''.
Cases of them from the sale at Home Depot.''''
Burning them generates CO2, of course....
I know what you mean. two years ago I made a vigourous move toward cornering the comma maket, only to find them to common. Nothing worse than being long in common comma's.
Quicky pivoting I made a move toward colons and semi-colons only to find out what a messy business that can be. I mean one never knows which end of the colon is the clean end, so I washed my hands of that deal. try unloading a round lot of colons and semi colons. I got Mayor Nagin to handle the colons for me since he had experience. The semi colons went to Mississippi, where I believe they were turned into emoticons.
I finally got my big break when I discovered that parentheses in Iraq among those who speak Domari were in short supply after the liberation of Baghdad. I convinced a political appointee in the DOD that it was imperative for the Domari speakers to get resupplied or they might cause trouble and it would be his fault ..bingo, it was the $800 toilet seat of my career.
Currently I'm looking into Q's, and ohs, O, seeing if maybe there's an arbitrage play there.
So far Oman and Qatar have shown some interest in stockpiling a few for roadsigns that get sandblasted in sandstorms. That's a real problem over there. I mean you could be driving along in Oman and soon be in the Qatar.
Anyway I'm slowly learing the ways of the Mideast and will soon know which end of a camel dropping is the clean end. It's definitely a tough neighborhood.
Very wise to drop the colon: a shitty investment despite being a useful piece of punctuation.
If I were in your income bracket, I would take 5% of my investment funds and go long dangling participles and I don't think you could go wrong.
None of you know how to dangle. Try:
"Being in your income bracket, my portfolio will be redone to apply 5% of investment funds toward going long on dangling participles. "
Caveat: DPs are sometimes tricky to identify and profit by.
There’s money to be made in pointing out phrase-ending preps, though “by which to profit” is a little starchy. So, pick your poison.
I thought "and I dont think you could go wrong" was a member of that bad species.
Oh yes, there was a fine career in grammar 50 years ago. It was called "teacher."
To be fair, BD, I foisted a cliché and mixed metaphor on you and your viewing audience (at the end), (and that is parenthetical 'cause not sure where to put it), and you were kind enough not to mention it. Thanks!
I may be mistaken but believe your "and I don't think you could go wrong" is simply a compound addition to your sentence. It should be set off with a comma, since it's a complete sentence phrase.
My mom was an English major. Made for a traumatically correct childhood which I've learned to outgrow as a proud lazy writer. (And if commas were required somewhere in the preceding, i don't care. Daring, huh)
If your Mom was an English major you must find my offers painful to read.
My father, although a US Marine aviator was an absolute stickler on everything. One of his squadrons gave him a plaque with a pocket dictionary on it embellished by crossed nut picks. It's brass plate was to "The Nitpicker"
I find providing the reader with the cornicopia of punctuation on their keyboards much easier.
I've also discovered that if you develop a dialect to ruin you can do anythang wit it. So be said.
This is the sort of English up with which I will not put.
Good stuff. Insider tips on punctuation trading! I am not sure this will show up on your screens but here is some rare, exotic and very valuable punctuation I have been saving. Now seems like as good a time as any for a special punctuation treat.
¿ Como Estas ?
¡ Muy bien !
¿ Y tú ?
¡ ¢ £ ¤ ¥ ¦ § ¨ © ª « ¬ ® ¯ ° ± ² ³ ´ µ ¶ · ¸ ¹ º » ¼ ½ ¾ ¿ À Á Â Ã Ä Å Æ Š š Ž ž
Ç È É Ê Ë Ì Í Î Ï Ð Ñ Ò Ó Ô Õ Ö × Ø Ù Ú Û Ü Ý Þ ß à á â ã ä å æ ç è é ê ë ì
í î ï ð ñ ò ó ô õ ö ÷ ø ù ú û ü ý þ ÿ
And, Habu, I would never EVER correct or denigrate another's writing, except when I had to edit school newspapers or husband's theses/ monographs. Tried to do it with tact and rewrite without losing the writers' personalities. That's a tough exercise. But, honestly, I've forgotten everything I ever knew (brain-dump upon childbirth and no sleep for three years) and don't really don't care, anymore.
Well, OK. Had to get after grown child tonight for using "lay" instead of "lie", and she's an amazing writer. So what does that tell us about the state of our country?
Your dialects may be our only hope.