Ponder this:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Yet another grammar rant

The Girl's Like Spaghetti: Why, You Can't Manage without Apostrophes!
Image from Amazon.com

The only time an apostrophe should be anywhere near "it" is when it replaces letters and creates a contraction. It's is one of two combinations of words: it is or it has.
Its, without an apostrophe, is possessive. 

People have become afraid to use an s on the end of a word without throwing in an apostrophe. Last week I saw a license plate frame on a vehicle. On the frame there was written "The Hart's." I wonder which one of the Hart family owns that car, assuming it is not owned by a male of the red deer especially when over five years old. (Where would he fit his antlers while driving?)  If the meaning were that the Hart family owns the vehicle, it would have read "The Harts'".

I think, however, that those license plate frames are greetings rather than messages of ownership. The entire concept of announcing one's existence via license plate frames or little signposts in the front yard goes against my grain.

There appears to be great fear of me abroad in the land.
My grandparents took my brother and me camping gets twisted into My grandparents took my brother and I camping because the writer or speaker fears using me. It's just as painfully incorrect as Hi, me am home. 
Please, please: My brother and I go camping with my grandparents.

Words for groups of things, people, etc., are, in essence, singular words.  Family is a singular word. I use the word family so I don't have to say, "My mother, my father, my sisters Beulah, Drusilla, Eustachia, and my brothers Billy Bob, Joe Bob, and Dan Bob..."
My family has its own car, not My family has our own car or, Heaven forfend, My family has their own car (What, are you suddenly not one of them?).

Oh, I could go on and on, but I'm beginning to twitch, and it's making me spill my ice water.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Lightening the load

It's a trifle over two solid weeks that I've been walking a two-mile route. Once a day, morning or evening. Sometimes, if my Achilles tendons are tight and sore, it isn't even the two-mile route, but rather the half-mile driveway loop. I weighed myself a week ago and had lost nothing. I kept at it, thinking that with the eating habits changing and the moving-instead-of-sitting-for-the-equivalent-length-of-time, something would have to give.

Empty chairs on a cruise ship deck Stock Photo - 7477324

This morning: five pounds lighter!
It's like throwing a deck chair off the Queen Mary.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Thanks to Hilary for naming this a Post Of The Week.

I'm home until the sixteenth of the month, using up the last of my annually awarded three weeks of paid vacation. I had a respectable list of Chores That Take Time to accomplish during this time. I have done almost nothing that is on the list. I have, however, walked every morning, usually before dawn. The sun rises just before I reach the driveway on the trip home, when my ankles are weakening and twinging and my lower back is all nice and loose, and I have finally relaxed enough to stop holding my breath and I'm panting deeply. I come inside and take off sneakers and socks and I sweat for a little while before I shower just so I can pretend to be an athlete for a few minutes. A shower and then it's fresh shorts and tank top and my book on the porch until all my muscles relax and I get hungry. It's a wonderfully satisfying routine, and I would like to retire so I could make it my routine all year. My go to work mornings don't allow enough time for all that leisurely sweating, showering, sitting.

I thought that during my morning walks I would see wildlife everywhere, but I don't. No doubt I make so much noise that the animals are all long hidden before I am close enough to spy on them. I have seen one deer leaping across the road. The road is narrow and the deer was agile. It was one bound and gone. Rabbits stay immobile at the side of the road, trying for invisibility. Their nerve usually fails them at fifty feet, though, and they leap into the greenery. This morning one waited until I was nearly upon him, and hadn't seen him, before he bustled through the low-growing leaves. The sudden scuffling provided a shot of adrenalin to my heart. I keep forgetting to look for the snake Husband says is nearby. He says the snake must have just caught a frog and both are dead, run over by a vehicle, their corpses drying in the dirt road. The sight as I envision it offers a philosophical question: Is it preferable to have Death come just at that moment when a goal has been achieved, or is it even more of a loss to die without enjoying the satisfaction of the achievement? 

Along the seasonal road signs are posted: ROAD NOT MAINTAINED BETWEEN DECEMBER 1 AND APRIL 15 so that people won't plunge their vehicles into the midwinter snowdrifts. People still do that; Husband did a few years ago. But the town has discharged its responsibility and those who do get buried are on their own, stumbling back to the farmer at the end of the road to beg help via a tractor and a chain. Maybe because no snowplows go through there, debris has accumulated. This summer's additions include a navy blue tee shirt with a Ford emblem on the chest that hangs on the branches of a wild shrub, as if somebody got too hot and hung out his laundry to dry without benefit of washing first. Farther along, a thick blue tarp with lots and lots of white block printing on it. Warnings, printed in four languages, to avoid this and that. It appears to me that such tarps, intended for tying over haybales, have been used at one time or another as trampolines, causing the manufacturer's insurer to require a warning of "NO JUMPING." It is repeated in Spanish and French, and in German: "NICHT SPRINGEN." That makes me smile. Springen sounds like something elves might do, and so much more fun than jumping. And Nicht Springen! sounds like a kindly old Santa Clause-y figure admonishing apple-cheeked children to go straight to sleep and nicht springen on their quilt-covered featherbeds.