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From the Outeasy mailbag, comes this…

10 March, 2007

Dear Mr. Easy:

Whilst I am a fan and greatly enjoy your writings in The Easy Way Out, I would be remiss in failing to direct attention to your total ignorance of how to use an apostrophe.

There are two, and only two, reasons to use an apostrophe, and yours are neither. Now, either you are the first person to find a crazy third use for an apostrophe which will seamlessly assimilate itself into the English language over the next few years causing you to be hailed as some sort of pioneer, or, as is infinitely more likely, you just don’t know, or care, how to use apostrophes.

The first reason for use is to indicate the absence of letters, such as in don’t, (do not). The second is to indicate possession by a noun or proper noun, as in “Easy’s blog.” I only caution your attention as to avoid the like fate of Sheridan’s Mrs. Malaprop.

Please note this. You constantly and incorrectly associate apostrophes in the words “pol’ and pole at’ewe.” You seem intelligent, and to the former it should be obvious there are no missing letters in “pol.” To the latter, whilst “at” is generally a noun, you, and correctly so, are using “at” as a preposition. You see, an “at” cannot own a ewe.

Thanking you for your consideration, and with kindest wishes for continued success, I am,

Cordially,

Brian Sylvester

Well, holy dangling participle and comma-splice, Brian. “Mea Culpa,” and many thanks. I am corrected. 😉

“Everybody Is Up To Something.” sm

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