Saturday, September 10, 2005

Spelling mistakes & life in general

From: Laura

Hey, Myrt -- I love your e-mail columns, but you surely should know that the possessive "its" does not have an apostrophe! (In your announcement about FamilySearch.) That's become a common error lately, and it drives me nuts! (That and putting the apostrophe in "y'all" in the wrong place!!) Anyway, I'm a pretty new subscriber, and I really do appreciate and enjoy your e-mail. Thanks for all you do.

Hopefully you will become accustomed to my human foibles, or at least kindly overlook them. (For instance, I pressed CTRL+Enter that sent the previous posting prematurely, instead of typing SHIFT+" to place a quotation mark around something I was going to type.) Another reader reminded me to check the date on my computer. I had inadvertently changed it when I used the calendar to discover the day of the week for Halloween in 2005. I'm planning something for my grandchildren.

We all try our best, but perfection isn't always possible.

But I know what you mean about going nuts. The one thing that bothers me is how people use a possessive apostrophe when they are really "talking plural."

"My ancestors came over some time in the 1880's"

" priced in the $300,000's"

I once was surprised to see a billboard for a hospital which stated something marvelous about their physicians like: "board certified MD's."

So as humans, I guess we each make grammar and spelling mistakes from time to time.

By the way, the new typing rule is to put only 1 space after punctuation. YES, I know that seems weird, when our typing teachers drilled us with the requirement for 2 spaces. However, you should have seen how useful MS Word's "Find & Replace" option became as I worked through the final draft of my book. I thought my editor was nuts, but have since learned about this new "norm."

Do you remember the days when "ain't" wasn't acceptable? It is now appearing in the newly published dictionaries.

Right now, I am awake because I got one of those middle-of-the-night calls.

We continue praying for my brother-in-law who underwent surgery 8 days ago for liver cancer. He has gone steadily downhill, including requiring a ventilator, a second surgery, among several other indicators. So the dreaded call just came from my daughter who says the doctors have called his immediate family to his side. He and my sister have 2 beautiful children, 1 in college and one just 16 years old.

I believe that the stresses of our day often interfere with our abilities to see the mistakes we are making. Hopefully, our family and friends love us even though we might make these little faux pas.

Consider our ancestors who didn't have benefit of e-mail programs with spell-check. Spelling and grammar for them were anything but perfect. Being careful to take note of actual spelling, punctuation and grammar when transcribing original documents from bygone centuries is imperative. We don't want to "over-interpret" what is said in a document. We don't want to lose the "flavor" of prevailing colloquialisms.

Hopefully the mistakes we make are not of lasting consequence.

I appreciate your feedback, and understand that you didn't mean this "meanly." It just is interesting what drives us each nuts.

Ol' Myrt here knows that each of my readers has had more than his or her share of faith-challenging experiences of late. You know from personal experience what our dear family is going through. No man is an island. We experience life as an individual, a family unit, a neighborhood, and extended family, a country and a global community. May I extend my "hugs" to each faithful reader and a little prayer for a brighter tomorrow.

There was the second phone call. I need to quit typing. The next call will be the telling one.

PS - THANKS to the night owls who provide positive feedback via IM and email. We all have our moments, I guess.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207

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