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It’s Not Easy Being Me.

Updated on July 6, 2017

I love the English language.

I love the English language as much as, or maybe more than, the next man or woman. Show me a word that should contain an apostrophe, and if that apostrophe is missing, I go to pieces. “Womans work is never done” would drive me into a darkened room with a neatly folded handkerchief on my forehead; with perhaps a splash of 4711 Eau de Cologne to help.

Show me a “Greengrocer’s Apostrophe”, however, and I am in need of instant medical care and attention. A scribbled card bearing the legend “Apple’s and Pear’s only £1.00 a Kilo” has been known to make me clutch at my heart and stagger, white faced, to the next passing Policeman for succour and moral support.

I have only recently had the courage to send a text message to a friend with the word “phone” written thus. I know and you know that “’phone” is the correct spelling. “‘Phone” is the abbreviated form of “telephone”.

But I draw the line at writing “flu”. The abbreviation of “influenza” is, was, and always has been “‘flu’”. One has, or may not have ‘flu’, and there the matter rests... unless it develops into double influenza. I had a maiden aunt who contracted influenza, and it almost killed her. But she survived.

However, I am sure she would have met her Maker even more quickly if the Doctor had written on his little chit that she had had flu. (Sans apostrophe; sans compassion... What could be worse?).

I can be a Wild Child

Don’t call me a pedant or a stick in the mud. I have a very wild side to my nature that would make Lynn Truss (the Goddess of Punctuation) raise a worried eyebrow or two.

I have been known to start a sentence with a conjunction as easily and brutally as a footpad can slit the throats of any amount of evening strollers.

I can throw caution to the winds (on occasion) and insert a colloquialism into a sentence or judiciously lightly garnish my spoken speech with a phrase or word from a local argot.

Many a friend has been bemused, if not nonplussed, when I have written “Innit” at the end of a text message or, somewhat daringly, if I have done so in conversation. But they all are aware, even if I haven’t had to tell them so, that this is an attempt on my behalf to insert a little judicious humour into the telling of an anecdote or the recounting of an event.

We all like to live dangerously at times... BUT

I have a friend who once maintained that it didn’t matter whether one used “its” or “it’s” in written work. Obviously I thought he was indulging in a rather bizarre joke at my expense - and at the expense of our beloved English Language, but he maintained that whether one were looking for the Possessive or the Abbreviation, either one would do.

Would do? WOULD DO?

When I realised he meant every misspelled word of his statement, it had a really disastrous effect on me and I was poorly for several days. I was just beginning to recuperate, and was considering travelling to a warmer, and drier climate to convalesce, when he compounded the matter by sending me a “Get well” card in which he asked, solicitously, about my well being. Unfortunately I read to the end of the letter to find that he had closed by writing, “Your’s sincerely”.

Instant relapse!

Apart from being well brought up, I am also extremely helpful.

I have an acquaintance whose grammar wobbles a little... especially when he is annoyed.

You might find it difficult to believe it, that I, being basically, a very compassionate and warm hearted individual, can sometimes become embroiled in slight differences of opinion and, let me say it: at times, I have had arguments with this person.

On several occasions, we have had slight differences of opinion on certain matters, but through it all I have shown my calm and empathetic nature, and have attempted, naturally, to help him with his grammatical and pronunciation inadequacies.

More years ago than I could care to mention, we were having a slight disagreement concerning a matter that slips my mind at the present, and he said something akin to:

He (to me, vehemently): “With all your education and upbringing, you think you talk so good...”

Of course, seeing his grammatical error, I interjected in as helpful a manner as I could (as is my wont) and pointed out that he had used an incorrect word.

Me (to him, helpfully): “You can’t use “good” there. “Good” is an Adjective. You are referring to the word “talk”. “Talk” is a Verb. You should have used the Adverb “well”... not the Adjective “good”. You should have said... “With all your education and upbringing, you think you talk so well.”

Can you see by this illustration what a kind, helpful sort of person I am?

However, the other chap’s face took on a rather unattractive shade of puce. He shouted, and walked away, calling me one or two inappropriate names (Which, out of deference to your sensitivity, I will refrain from repeating.)

Back to Good Manners

I was encouraged as a child to have good manners.

My parents persuaded me, from the cradle, to neither let them down and also neither to let myself down, by an exhibition of a lack of good manners.

Both negatively and positively, they would encourage me to hold most dear that:

“Manners maketh man.”

“Don’t speak unless spoken to.”

“Don’t stand like a cab horse.” (Whatever that might mean) “No gentleman stands like a cab horse.”

“Children should be seen and not heard.”

“Never forget to say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’”.

And all the other admonishments and rules concerning the right cutlery and flatware to use; how to address a Bishop or a Duchess; what wines should be drunk with meat, fish or fowl... How one should never say “toilet” but always the correct “lavatory”; the social horrors of hearing another say “serviette” instead of “napkin”.

“Punctuality; the Pride of Princes.” One of my favourites, although I would have cheerfully substituted or added “Punctuation” as I thought, even from an early age, that “Punctuation and Punctuality would make the Perfect Prince” and what child is not fascinated by alliteration?

And through everything there ran the warp and weft

And through everything there ran the warp and weft of “One never asks anybody about what something costs, or what that person is worth, financially. In fact, never ever discuss money. It is so vulgar to do so.

Neither does one listen in on any other’s conversations. It is not only an extremely bad mannered thing to do, but one might hear something about oneself that one wouldn’t wish to hear.

Good Manners and Good Grammar collide... HORRENDOUSLY.

Then, on one fateful day, my whole world imploded.

I was at home one afternoon, reading in my room. It was a lovely day, and I thought I was alone in the flat. I was incorrect. Another person was also in the flat, in another room, and happened to be talking on the phone (Oh dear. Phone without the apostrophe. It still makes me shudder.) It was in the Olden Times when one could pick up the phone and get a line and not be given the “line engaged” tone.

Thinking that I might like to talk to my mother, I picked up the receiver, and was about to dial her number when I heard a voice through the apparatus. It was the voice of the other person who was in the flat.

I should have put the phone down immediately as I had been brought up to do. But as I was about to replace the receiver in its cradle, I heard the other person mention my name.

I should have put the phone down immediately, but too late.

N.B. See above:

“Neither does one listen in on any other’s conversations. It is not only an extremely bad mannered thing to do, but one might hear something about oneself that one wouldn’t wish to hear.”

I heard but the briefest snatch of conversation between the two participants. But I heard something that has haunted me until this very day.

One of the people, referring to me, said:

“Ian! He’s the most rudest person I have ever met in my life.”

Heavens! What was I to do?

I was torn... inexorably torn, as I have seldom been in my life, before or since.

I had two options:

  • I could have broken into their conversation and informed the person who had made the statement that it is incorrect to use the word “most” when qualifying “rudest” as “rudest” is already the Superlative. I could have told them both that he could have said, “Ian! He’s the rudest person I have ever met in my life.” or he could have said, “Ian! He’s the most rude person I have ever met in my life.”

But to do so would have meant admitting that, although inadvertently, I had listened to part of their conversation. And although I had done so, I couldn’t face the shame of being exposed at having indulged in such a bad mannered act.

  • I could have put down the telephone receiver (I’m sorry. I can’t stand not using the apostrophe.) and not have had the chance to improve their joint understanding of the beauty of the English language. But to do so, I would have needed to look them in the faces and let them know how I had fallen.

I took the ignoble course. I put down the receiver carefully in its cradle.

To this day, I lie awake at night; sometimes for hours, and wonder if I made the right choice.

Please Note:

Some people in this world are faced with monumental obstacles that confront them so pitilessly.

Mine, I feel, is up there with the most tragic. Hannibal with his elephants. Gandhi with his Civil Disobedience.

“Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.”

What distresses me most, gentle reader, is not that I sinned in listening in on others’ conversations, but that I panicked and lost the opportunity to help them linguistically. It could have been yet another selfless act of mine, for which they would most probably have thanked me.


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    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      15 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Snakeslane, my dear friend (and I know I can call you that) it has been Yonks since we last "spoke" but, just seeing your name come up, gave me great pleasure.

      I, usually, only look at my inbox, but for a few days, I have had some very pleasant comments on antediluvian hubs. So I feel that perhaps I may still be alive. I'll check that, and if I have evidence to prove the contrary, I feel someone will let you know.

      Fond regards,


    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      15 months ago from Canada

      Dear Hilda, I am still trying to catch up with Christmas, however, I must congratulate you on your uncanny ability to connect with us your humble writers and company. We are most fortunate to have you.

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      15 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Kenneth, my friend. Thank you so much for returning and also leaving those very satisfying remarks. I appreciate it and them.

      But I must admit to picture plagiarism - if such a crime is registered on the ancient books of common law.

      I take my pictures, somewhat outrageously, I have to admit, from where and whence they present themselves, oblivious to the copyrights entailed.

      Mea culpa!



    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      15 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Shyron, my hub really gave you a chuckle here and there?

      Oh no ! I wanted sympathy all the way. Where did I go wrong?

      Thank you for visiting, and I assure you that the next time you do, I will have doubled my output.

      Or maybe not.

      Until then, take care.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      15 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Twilight Lawns,

      I read this again and found (your hub) all the more amazing.

      Top notch work. Loved it.

      And your graphics, where did you score such poignant choices? Would you care to share?

      At any rate, keep up the great work.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      15 months ago from Texas

      Ian, your hub really gave me a chuckle here and there.

      I heard all those saying when I was a child, “Children should be seen and not heard.” Or for fear that a child would repeat what they heard, one adult would say to the other “Little pitchers’ have big ears” but this little jug never spilled the beans.

      Never listen in on any other’s conversations: “Eavesdroppers never hear any good of themselves.” I am glad you did not let-on that you heard part of their conversation. Had it been me listening in, I think I would have been extra courteous to the person and make him feel bad that he called me rude.

      I hope that you read this and that you will write more hubs.

      Blessings my friend.

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      3 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      The person that my latest trilogy (Eek!) of hubs is directed at doesn't understand what I mean, either.

      "A common language and yet we blah-de-blah-de-blah" is the title, sort of.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image


      3 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      Ian, that is a truly funny image -- you gave me a good laugh. Thanks. Actually she was a clueless skinny kid. I'm not sure she ever did understand what I meant.

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      3 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Maria, thank you so much for your visit.

      I have a picture of you approaching the woman in the “scallops” shop and asking her that question, explaining the unnecessary use of quotation marks in a helpful manner. Then, in my mind’s eye, I saw her rolling up her sleeves to expose huge forearms, which she then folded across her ample bosom. Thrusting her head towards you, somewhat belligerently, I saw, and heard, her snarl from between clenched teeth, “So, waddymean, lady? Aint dese scallops goodenuff for you? Juss pay for ‘em or push off wiv your quotation marks an’ give someone else a chanst to shop aroun’ here”.

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      3 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Elsie, thank you for that lovely comment.

      I am glad that my hubs have given you pleasure, but let me tell you that I have no "great knowledge of the English language", but I do love the language we share, and get annoyed when people either deliberately misuse it, or worse, maintain that it doesn’t matter if they break the rules.

      I have much to learn, and at times, I will write something, and then go back and have to edit it for punctuation or typos... but it’s a learning curve, and that’s what matters.

      When I was studying for a Diploma in Teaching Mathematics, many, many years ago, I had to write an essay on “Mistakes in Mathematics”. I found a brilliant quotation which I will share with you now:

      (Please excuse it being gender specific)

      “The man who made no mistakes, never made anything else.”

      This applies all the way through life... I should have written a hub on this, shouldn’t I?

      Ha Ha Ha!

    • MariaMontgomery profile image


      3 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      I love, love, love this hub! I once asked a grocer if the "scallops" were imitation scallops or, maybe, shark meat. She seemed surprised and offended at the question. I told her quotation marks implied this. She had no idea, but did not change the sign.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      3 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for your time replying to my question about "not welcomed" or "unwelcomed", after looking at the articles you have written, I can see you have great knowledge about the english language, I respect what you say, as my schooling wasn't that good, now as a writer I want to learn the right words, so I appreciate your input very much.

      Nice to have meet you.

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      4 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Kenneth, thank you for the visit.

      And thank you for the very kind words.

      I'm going over to your profile page right now.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, TwilightLawns,

      I truly enjoyed this hub. I think it is a great piece of work and creativity. Voted up and away. I am going now to follow you, and I invite you to check out my works and be one of my followers. That would make my day.



      from a small rural town in northwest Alabama

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Shil, I was thrilled to see you here. I have always had a great respect for you and your writing, and you always turn up when I least expect it.

      Thank you for those very kind words.


    • Shil1978 profile image


      5 years ago

      Brilliant, Ian. Well done! You never cease to amaze me with your effortless writing. Things seem to be getting from bad to worse in the world of Internet writing but then there is you and your excellent use of the English language. Reading your work more than makes up for all the mental anguish caused :) Thanks, Ian!

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Wow! Look at me.

      I'm not usually so scribacious.

      Sorry about the typos smite (read smile) and pleanse.

      That is one of the "It's not easy being me" things.... Typos.

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Your "brief note" above (Ha ha), makes me smile. The smite of a man who see a chance that his words have not fallen on stony ground.

      I love the anecdote concerning you father and mother, and especially like the stream (Pleanse excuse the analogy before it has been written) that runs through it.

      Water! Your father's well and his expertise. A new and amazing landscape brought to life by water... WATER. I am obsessed by water and have always loved playing in it, swimming, being beside it and even now, I love to drench plants and gardens and flowers in the wonderful stuff. bread may be the staff f life, but without water we would not even exist.

      I don't even throw a plastic bottle away into the recycling bin with the lid on because there might be a precious drop of the wonderful liquid trapped in there and not able to escape and go back and around and up and down as mist or vapour or steam or rain, snow, dew, sleet.

      In my mind, I can see your parents' live and then of course, yours as a continuation and analogy (There goes that word again) of those wells, that water, those streams.

      Your novel would be so Steinbeckian (!)... and it would work.

      Big hugs from an adoring fan.


    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      5 years ago from TEXAS

      My dearest Ian. I'm in trouble now. I'm not sure I can squeeze my inflated head through the door! Seriously, I'm sure I've never heard such eloquent praise! Whether or not it's justified (or live-uppable) is another matter! Thank you, thank you.

      I'm much more pleased that you consider the meanings and intentions of my work meritorious than whether or not I remember to dot my i's and cross my t's. (I never like to use apostrophes to pluralize, but what else can one do to pluralize single alpha characters without making 'is' and 'ts' out of them? ;-)

      I KNOW I've made many more grievous errors than one typo during our exchanges! But thank you for the chivalrous memory lapses! Hugs.

      It's not lack of sitting down to write my story which stops it. I sit down and write it constantly, in hubs, on comments and in e-mails and in other correspondence. Well, sir, I've begun to save excerpts of these peeks into 'me' in folders, perhaps, to be sorted out and woven into a story sometime. What a marvel this computer is! It would be impossible to do that by hand.

      I guess I could sit down & do nothing but write my story. It would be so confining, though; and I'm sure it would lack the spontaneity these writings which just pop up in other contexts have.

      It may turn out to be a nightmare, unscrambling these excerpts, though! Too much like gathering up the receipts and documents for preparing taxes, which, by the way, faces me at this very moment - with two returns to prepare! Such tiresome details of living (TDLs, as Mother called such mundane chores).

      Perhaps my biographer will be able to face the chore of unscrambling my autobiographical notes! :-) It won't be able to be said that I left no tracks!!

      There's still plenty of time, but my experience these 81 years is that it flies by and gets filled with more immediate things! Oh, well. . . .

      Mwhaa back at you!

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      My dear Nellieanna, you and I have exchanged thousands of written and spoken words, many privately and many, many on HP and I can only remember you having made one mistakes, and that was at the end of a very long evening of chat and written natter... and if I remember correctly, you had been so tired that you pressed SEND before you had scanned your work. AND IT WAS ONLY A TYPO!

      There are few (if any) on HubPages or elsewhere who have produced such an astoundingly rich and copious treasury of words as you, and yet manage to create such wonderful imagery, pure sense and astounding personal philosophy; so beautifully written and stunningly well set out.

      My only gripe with you, my friend, is that you never sat down and wrote a novel about yourself, and your wonderful family... but I'm sure there's still time.


    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      drbj, I think the Grammar Gods may be on sabbatical... some sort of s refresher course.

      All I can hope is that they come back refreshed and rarin' to go and ready to learn everyone to talk more better, like what I do.

      Thanks for the visit, my friend.


    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      5 years ago from TEXAS

      I'd never heard of 'oik' till now! Now I know. :-) Don't see myself adding it to my vocabulary, but at least I'll recognize it if it arises again!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      5 years ago from TEXAS

      It's very rarely that I 'step in' when I see the deluge of grammatical burned bacon! Only with someone with whom I share senses of understanding and even fun about it, would I so presume. I'd also welcome a saved bacon in my stuff in return. I type with all 10, but some of them are little mavericks, so I suffer many typos, too, plus being half-blind. In fact I'm wondering if my fingers & eyes are becoming dyslexic lately! I edit and edit and still find those little rascals' handiwork!

      I also know I have some pet errors, such as starting sentences with conjunctions, which I hope to balance with avoiding ending them with prepositions, except whenever it looks especially 'smart-alecky' in its context to do so.

      I use dashes in place of punctuation like a wild Emily Dickinson (who was doing that long before I was born!) Sometimes I try to make it better by using both, which surely only worsens the offense!

      Some 'errors' are part of creativity. We juggle sentence order and omit essential words for effect and for fun. We're artists of words, and like artists of paints or stone, part of the 'art' of it is that it's not 'by the book' and a rubber stamp of the book, but exercises its poetic license & freedom, as deliberately chosen by the artist. It claims originality and innovation and must deliver at least some of 'em!

      But like any artist or craftsperson, we must respect and know how to use our tools. Language is our tool. If we're working from a warped toolbox, our work will lack both authenticity and ability to communicate to others who carry appropriate toolboxes!

      I'm always refreshed to read your work, my dear Ian. DrBJ's is also a reliable and unending treat to read, along with many others of whom I can think. Some who are unselfconsciously amiss with their grammar still shine forth as beautiful writers, though I always just wish I had a few minutes to tidy them up! haha.

      I am so very glad you're back, my dear Ian! More, more! Where's that oddball bunch from the architectural Twilight Lawns? Come on!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      Like you, Ian, I abhor misspelled words and incorrect punctuation but I seem to be finding both more often when reading Internet writing. And it turns me off. As for so-called Grammar Gods, I think they must be on vacation.

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Silent Reed. What a charming and happily received comment from you.

      Thank you, my friend,

      If you look through most of my stuff you will find that I have made mistakes and even with the SpellCheck facility on my PC there are glaring errors.

      It's not that I can't spell, but my typographical skills are deplorable. I use two or three fingers, and that is my limit.

      But thank God, Nellieanna is there to pick up the pieces. You will note, looking above, that she stepped in on this Hub and saved my she frequently does.

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I love the term "Oik". I think it's as old as Methuselah. He most probably had some Oik neighbours.

      Don't we all?

    • SilentReed profile image


      5 years ago from Philippines

      Grammar ain't and still isn't my strong suit. Reading this article of your's, I have come to realize the travesty I have inflicted on your beloved English language. Images of my former English teacher in fits of apoplectic seizure comes to my mind. I am thankful for computer's applications like spell-checks and desktop dictionaries. This comment was carefully written with their aid. I do not wish to be the cause of another long hiatus from hubpages by one of hubpages' better writers. Please feel free to correct my grammar and any improper disposition or positioning of the S's :)

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      5 years ago from TEXAS

      Calling people Oiks seems rather rude . . . . ;-)

      ps - I never heard the term before but looked it up. At first I thought you were trying to refer to Oklahomans (sometimes called Okies by rude folks), but learned it's a more general and all-inclusive insult. hehehe

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      5 years ago from TEXAS

      Your case always rests gently and well upon my fields of vision and of hearing! (Does hearing have a 'field'? I could think of no other word. I hate it when that happens!!

      Love you!

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I was wondering about the Israeli reference, but you people on the other side of The Pond seem to have embraced so many Yiddish expressions, so I thought I would go with the flow.

      I am becoming so daring in my choices of words of late that I almost feel like throwing caution to the wind and saying in the most Cavalier manner that I can muster that I don't care of it’s a mantelpiece or an overmantle... but the ghost of Nancy Mitford is leaning over my shoulder in a position that was once occupied by Erato, my favourite Muse, and I don't think I would be brave enough.

      Ha ha.

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Nellieanna, my dearest, dearest, sainted, wonderful, exquisite saviour... (Enough hyperbole?)

      I was just having a quick look over what I had written and changed the past tense into another past tense (I can't remember if I ever know the name of it) and a friend rang while I was tinkering (also known as editing inefficiently) and I tried to carry on a conversation with him at the same time and made that mistake.

      The original sentence started with "I could break into their conversation..." but I had decided on the Past Continuous (?) and was distracted.

      Thank goodness you rescued me.

      I've changed it already. Thank you.

      By the way; in relation to serviette and toilet, read Nancy Mitford regarding U and Non-U .

      And finally. If one mixes with Oiks and whatnot who insist on saying toilet and serviette, one can only expect to hear worse... or worser!

      I rest my case.

      Big hugs,


    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      5 years ago from TEXAS

      Ooops - typo. Meant kibitz, not kibbutz! Kibitz may not even be right, but is closer to intended meaning than kibbutz! Talk about overreaching my knowledge!! :-) I'd better not try to edit my many errors now!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      5 years ago from TEXAS

      My dearest Ian! I'm so pleased that you've come back to the fold and hope that my exhortations may have partially prompted it. This hub is so "YOU"! Delightful, as always.

      We've discovered some basic differences in proper spelling from each side of the pond. If I use "u" in words such as color or rumor, my spellchecker highlights them in red. I've defied the thing and gone ahead and done it but have felt too contrived. It's not the accepted spelling here and makes me look supercilious here, which I'm not. :)

      OK - I do have a couple of comments - - and/or questions about assertions you've set forth, however. You'll forgive me, I just know. And if I'm in error I expect to be corrected!

      1. A confession of my own in which manners could be involved but in the reality it was unavoidable. One must not be too judgmental if someone overhears others' conversations, is the point; nor, I guess, of the message overheard for reasons not necessarily involving grammar errors. I appreciate your regret that you withheld a valuable grammar lesson to protect your etiquette violation, by the way!

      But here is what I overheard just now and how it happened that I did.:

      On this balmy Dallas day I've my patio door open to enjoy the fresh air (not to kibbutz on any conversations). But across the alley people were out on their patio and voices carry. I overheard the man say to his very young son, "Sometimes I hate you." This is the same man and young boy about whom I wrote a hub awhile back praising something I'd observed from my closed kitchen window (nothing audible) as they were on the driveway where he was showing the boy how to do something which the boy obviously wanted to learn. Good parenting, unlike telling the kid he hates him! sigh. I'd have been happier not to have heard that! But then, this guy left their cat outside all night and all day in freezing weather without food and water! ugh.

      2. serviette

      nounBrit. & Canadian

      a table napkin.

      ORIGIN late 15th cent.: from Old French, from servir ‘to serve.’

      3. ". . . . could have broke into their conversation. . . ."? The past participle of 'break' is 'broken', isn't it?

      4. I feel like hope has returned with your presence back and writing, dear Ian! More, more!!

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Dear, dear Becky. How nice for you arrive so quickly. The last time I surfaced after a long period of inactivity, there you were... and here you are again.

      Great to see you.

      And let me thank you once again for all the amusing and amazing links and pictures and things you have been sending.

      Love you too, Innit.


    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      Oh my, I thought my daughter had written the whole thing, until I got to the part about you listening on the 'phone. I am afraid that I am just as obsessed about spelling.

      The apostrophe in a contraction is so confusing for those who do not know what a contraction is. If it is meant to be two words, it is a contraction and needs an apostrophe. If not two words, it does not need the apostrophe. That should clear all of this up for those who do not know.

      A comma is used when there is a pause in a sentence.

      By the way, I had to Google innit, I had no idea what it meant. Good to see you on here again and hope we see you more. Love ya, ya old coot.

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Snakeslane, it's great to see you again and to hear your comment.

      See? Hear? I know we're in cyberspace, but you know what I mean.

      I wish a few more on HP would remember that the Grammar Gods see all.

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Thanks for the kind comment, Mark.

      I have sometimes done the same and Google searched something I thought was mine, and original, only to find it there by Charles Shakespeare or Edgar Allan Ewbie or one of those great writers of all time.

      By the way, was that you at Barnes Bridge with all the other Hooray Henrys, watching the boat race... or were you the one breast-stroking (Don't laugh) up the Thames past Putney Tow Path today.

    • nemanjaboskov profile image

      Nemanja Boškov 

      5 years ago from Serbia

      You are welcome, Ian! It is always a pleasure to be able to read something hot off the press!

    • Twilight Lawns profile imageAUTHOR

      Twilight Lawns 

      5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Nemanja. How great to hear from you. Thank you for being my first reader. I haven't written anything for over six months and yesterday, for some reason I wrote about 2,300 words, which a great amount for me at any time.

      I hope yo are well also.

      Take care,


    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      5 years ago from Canada

      Ian, It's good to see you're well... and back in the saddle! I enjoyed this grim reminder not to mess with the grammar Gods. Regards, snakeslane

    • Mark Ewbie profile image

      Mark Ewbie 

      5 years ago from UK

      Wowser! Great page Twilight. I have a real problem with "it's". Now, when I remember, I Google the phrase I have so wittily created, safe in the knowledge that it will have been used before. Mostly, I got it wrong.

      Nice to see you on top form Ian.

    • nemanjaboskov profile image

      Nemanja Boškov 

      5 years ago from Serbia

      Dear Ian,

      I am glad to see you writing again, my friend. I enjoyed this confession of yours, as I am also very particular about grammar rules :D

      I hope you are well, Ian!

      All the best,



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