This is my daughter in London last spring.
Katie (actually, Kaylin) never wanted to be an English major. I would mention the prospect to her in high school, and she would say, "No way, I ain't gonna be no English major." No, she didn't say that exactly, but it was more like, "NO." "No, Mom, NO." "No."
I got the message.
But I knew superhuman verbal powers were in her blood and that eventually, words would win the the day. And that is some fancy consonance there ("words would win") which just goes to show how being an English major helps you recognize and share critical information like assonance and consonance throughout your life. I mean, not a day goes by that I don't have to clear up "iambic pentameter" for the postman or a Walmart associate.
She's in the spring semester of her senior year. That means an exciting future awaits her as she wields the degree only slightly more ignominious than the nebulous psychology degree.
I'm just kidding. She's going to make a great editor. She is so sharp she can cut chunks of cheddar from across the room with her laser-like wit and punctuation capabilities. She has been known to tote a slingshot to church just in case errors occur within the worship lyrics on the screens, which, by the way, often do. And may I just say here: That's my girl.
And if there's one thing Katie hates, it's the misuse of apostrophes.
(Here she is at the Globe Theatre. I'm so proud and happy that she saw something I only dreamed about.)
So the other day, Melanie of This Ain't New York forwarded a Yahoo news article about Birmingham's proposal to ban the apostrophe. And since my daughter is not just an English major but also an anglophile, I forwarded said article on to her.
Here is a small excerpt:
LONDON – On the streets of Birmingham, the queen's English is now the queens English. [Edit: Shouldn't "queen's" be capitalized?]
England's second-largest city has decided to drop apostrophes from all its street signs, saying they're confusing and old-fashioned.
One of my favorite quotes from the article is this: British grammarians have railed for decades against storekeepers' signs advertising the sale of "apple's and pear's," or pubs offering "chip's and pea's."
Cut to: But some purists are downright possessive about the punctuation mark ...
"They are such sweet-looking things that play a crucial role in the English language," said Marie Clair of the Plain English Society, which campaigns for the use of simple English. "It's always worth taking the effort to understand them, instead of ignoring them."
Marie, I would add men to the category of "sweet-looking things worth taking the effort to understand instead of ignoring." Or as my aunt said yesterday, "Men aren't cooked until they're 40."
So in reply to the forward, I get this message from my daughter:
I am deeply saddened by this turn of event's.
Did I mention, thats my girl?
So what about you--are there are any spelling or punctuation oddities that irritate you like nails scratching a chalkboard?
Here she is in Mexico a couple of years ago.
This spring? Egypt!