Apostrophic Lapses

Good morning everyone!
I have been reading in Lynne Truss’s book, Eats, Shoots
and Leaves and came across her lament about misused and AWOL apostrophes.
Ms Truss tells of how she wrote an article for The Daily Telegraph about incorrect or missing punctuation and got an avalanche of letters from readers sharing and ticked off over violations they’d seen.

A lack of apostrophic know-how & know-where leads to signs like:

Lemon’s – 2 for $1
(or even) Lemon,s – 2 for $1
Trouser’s shortened
Summer cottages’ for rent
Member’s Only
Mikes’ Garage
The Smiths’s Silver Anniversary
Cyclist’s only on this path
The guest speakers talk will be about…
XMA’S trees
Jamison Antique,s

Her account, coupled with various writing prompts yesterday and today, has led me to write this verse:

THE OVER-WORKED EDITOR

Apostrophe confusion
gives Editor such grief:
he finds them wandering randomly
or employed beyond belief.

For Thompson’s prone to muff it
typesetting the word beaux’s
and covering the Jone’s affair
his know-where hits new lows.

An ad reads “Naval orange’s”
and Molly’s ship is sinking,
while it’s and its and their and they’re
confuse that fellow Pinking.

Restrained the Editor may be
but don’t you know he’ll rage
should “Sports Marts’ Sale on Bycycle’s”
appear on his printed page.

He caught “the citys’ bylaw”
before it got to press,
but a write-up about the Queens’ speech
led to a royal mess.

So he begs them to get serious:
“Study punctuation rules!
We need to shake this errancy
so we don’t look like fools.”

“But I was sure I had it right,”
dumbfounded Molly wails.
Editor sighs and insists again
on accurate details.

“Our readers are nit-picking,”
young Thompson quickly states.
Editor growls. “Get it right or else
your job here terminates.”

“From now on I’ll be checking
on every bit of copy;
your pages will be cremated
if you hand in anything sloppy.”

“No apostrophic laxity
permissible henceforth
or there will be pecuniary
punishment in store.”

Ragtag Daily Prompt: SERIOUS
Fandango’s FOWC: STUDY and DUMBFOUNDED
Word of the Day: CREMATE
M-W’s Word of the Day: PECUNIARY

Dog’s Delight

Image by Dave Francis — Pixabay
Oh wow! Is that a cat?
That clump of fur over there -- 
that long tail I see twitching?
Can I chase it? Huh, Master?
Just for a minute? Oh, heaven!
Please say I can, Master.

Cats are so much fun to chase –
better yet if they go up a tree.
I keep them up there ever so long
glaring and squabbling,
but terrified to come down.
Oh joy! Do I ever love that!
Bark, bark, bark – nya nya nya.
Disgusting, hissy things!

Say yes, Master, let me go!
I'll chase that cat clear into
the next valley. Or if it leaps
on the fence I'll hurl myself at it
with my most ferocious growls.
Oh, wow! Will that ever be fun!
Can I, huh? Can I?
Master, please let me chase it!

Awww… It disappeared.

Ragtag Daily Prompt: WOW!
Word of the Day: SQUABBLE
Your Daily Word Prompt: FEROCIOUS

The Drought

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is PELT.

This short scene yesterday was my Write Practice exercise: we were to tell about some activity during the day and add some kind of conflict to the account. My basic activity will be filling the dishes I’ve set in the back yard for the birds, and I’ve used the elements — the drought — as my conflict. Here’s that scene, embellished somewhat, as my RDP prompt response.

Watering the Birds

Looking out the window this morning I see half a dozen small birds clustered around the plates I’ve been putting out. The plates must be empty again. Full of dust, more likely. I’d better refill them – don’t want the poor birds dying of thirst.

There’s no other moisture for miles. Pot holes and sloughs disappeared back in June and the steady winds keep shifting dust along the ground, coating whatever plants may have a bit of juice in their leaves. The nearest place for the birds to drink would be the river twelve miles away. Even that’s just a trickle by now. Surely the fall rains will start soon?

I smiled as I filled the water jug and lugged it out to the garden. Many trips I’ve made already this fall, but I’m thankful Tom allows me this bit of “wasting.” He knows how I love to watch the birds and want to keep these last few with us just a little longer. We pray every day that the well will keep flowing. The birds aren’t the only ones needing water in this brutal country.

As I walk through what was once my garden, trying not to stir up too much dust, a relentless wind pelts me with falling maple leaves. The trees have suffered, too, this summer — but the fall rains will start any day now. Surely?

Verbalizing English

As often happens, an article on another blog has fired my mental cylinders and — coupled together with some peeves I’ve already petted — has generated enough sparks to inspire a story.

The culpritical article in this case, is Merriam-Webster’s Great Big List of List of Words You Love to Hate. All your favorite pet peeves in one location.

This has touched a nerve. My past musings, after seeing the word HEROIZE in an article, were about how some writers have such a love of making nouns into verbs, and/or mangling both. Heroize is actually an old word that’s never caught on well, but M-W’s article has given me a few new words to grind my teeth on: CONVERSATE, COMMENTATE, and INCENTIVIZE. Shriek!

Biff has done another Whatnot Wednesday prompt post again; since this post definitely fits in the “Whatnot” class, I’ll give him a nod for that inspiration.
The Ragtag Daily Prompt word for today is ZEPHYR. I think I can work a few of those into my tale.

A Page from Mrs Ditz’s Longsuffering Diary…

My car was running rough, so at 10 am I took it to the mechanic to see if he could figure out what was wrong. And since I didn’t want to loiter at the shop while he was mechanizing it, I decided to go for a walk. The morning was warm and sunny with zephyrs swirling around, I felt inspirated to meanderate through the park and enjoy the flowers.

I wonder if my daughter is finding the prom dress fabric she’s looking for. I left her at the mall where she planned to materialize at Fabric Haven. This girl is definitely an accomplished seamstress. You should have seen the gorgeous fitted blazer she seamed for herself last month. A perfect fit!

I’d thought of going back to the mall myself and grabbing a coffee in the food court, but you know how it is when everybody’s cacophoning on their cells. You can’t hear yourself think! So I’ll just stroll along and appreciate these morning breezes zephyrating the flowers and shrubs. I just encounted a nice old lady taking her young grandson for a walk and she commentated, too, on the lovely weather.

This morning my son is engaged in an important work. He’s together with several other scientists who want to scientize a report on our local environment. They’ve got a lot of data to analyze and categorize, then they’ll compilate their findings and present their report to some committee that wants to improvate air quality in our city.

I hope it doesn’t take that fellow long to mechanize my car. My dog’s having pups and the vet tells me Drowsy could be litterating any moment now. Drowsy’s a purebred English Terrier and I was hoping to sell the pups, but I suspicion that the mongrel down the street may have illegitimatized this batch.

I think I’d best rotate and head back in the direction of the garage. I don’t want to incentivize him to bill me for any more time than what’s strictly necessary.

The Constant Sea

Image by K Moser — Pixabay

The salt smell of the sea, the foamy breakers, the incessant screaming of the gulls in their wild play. These familiar sights and sounds soothe old Matt as he walks along the beach. When life is out of kilter he wanders down to the beach again to watch that constant rolling reminder that life goes on. There’s something solid about the sea. The thought makes him smile. It’ll be here ’til the end of time.

He delights in recalling the days of long ago when he worked with his uncles on the Doughty Daisy before a vicious storm tossed her on the rocks. He sees again the line of fishing boats heading out to sea, imagines the wind, the spray, the thrill of it all when, as a young deck hand, he was part of the crew harvesting the sea.

He thinks of the wild storms that held them in port for several days – or worse, swept down on them while they were filling their nets. All hands on deck back then, fighting to ride the waves and keep the equipment – and each other – from washing overboard. Those were the days when you worked, boy!

The fishing isn’t good now, the new crews tell him. Too many fish harvested by the factory ships; stocks haven’t had a chance to replenish like they should. Cod are about gone, they say, and rarely do you find the big tuna anymore.

He turns to watch the gulls wheeling, ever on the lookout for some tasty gift from the sea, and squabbling over it when they find it. Ah, now they’ve spotted something further up the beach. A couple of gulls have landed beside it, one’s carefully inspecting it while the other argues “finders-keepers” with his mates in the air.

“Now what do you suppose those birds have found?” Matt slowly makes his way over to the spot. By the time he gets there the gulls have flown away. He looks down and laughs. A tube of Paradise Suntan Lotion – Economy size. Just what he needs. He sticks it in his pocket; there’s a trash can up along the walkway.

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: INCESSANT
Your Daily Word Prompt: SUPPOSE