Tuesday 23 July 2013

Fowler’s Modern Usage

Astonished by the tidal wave of S & M novels spilling out from the shelves of nearly every bookshop he visits these days, Algernon decides to write one of his own.  He calls it:

The House of Correction

and describes in its pages an establishment where young women are brought to have their spelling corrected, along with their punctuation and grammar.  Here a variety of unsavoury pedants monitor the young women, paying particular attention to 

                   their ampersands,
                   their etceteras 
                   their ellipses, 
while grimly muttering phrases such as 

“You will soon grow accustomed to such usage, madam!”

Algernon, however, forgets to include any sex scenes: to his mind a series of vignettes about prim young women being sternly reminded that  

‘the word “accommodate” is spelt with 2 m’s!’

is excitement enough -- (not to mention the story of a grocer’s daughter who leaves her apostrophes everywhere) 

– and the book fails to become a bestseller.


Hawker's Pot said...

Algernon's book obviously owes something of a debt to e. e. cummings' poem "my sweet old etcetera"

Tilly said...

I bought a pack of your cards outside "Tart" cafe in Bristol on Saturday - seems appropriate given the subject matter of this post! Your cards are brilliant, and did exactly what the doctor ordered .. brought a smile, and even a loud laugh or two, to the face! Thanks!! The heavens opened soon after, and we worried that your stock would be ruined... Hope it survived.

Hawker's Pot said...

Hello Tilly,
Thank you very much! And how nice of you to get in touch! I’m really glad you liked the cards, and that they did what was required!
As for the stock -- I was well prepared with plastic bags and had everything wrapped up (just) by the time the rain started– and then spent a pleasant half an hour sheltering under a tree in Redland until the worst passed – but thank you for your concern!
Best wishes and thanks again!