Pedant’s Corner

Searching for a  suitably witty ditty to write in my friend’s birthday card yesterday I came across this delightful little poem.

It really only works if you are American and only then if you are they kind of American who pronounces the word mirror as ‘meer’ not the other kind of American who pronounces the word mirror as ‘mirrow’. Of course, me not being either type of American, or indeed American at all, neither pronunciation works for me so the poem failed dismally, although it did make me laugh.  Try as I might I couldn’t make ‘year’ and ‘mirror ‘rhyme, not even an eye rhyme.  And while we’re on the subject of pronunciation – if I hear any one of you say proNOUNciation I’ll be round your house to give you a good slapping!

Birthdays are delicious,

But they come just once a year.

The happy part is chocolate cake.

The tough part is the mirror.

You might be getting wrinkled,

But the best part – this is true,

You may be getting older,

But your friends are older too!

by Denise Rodgers Copyright© Denise Rodgers

Suffice to say, I didn’t use it in the card. I settled for this one instead, one of my favourites:

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other peoples’ gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickles for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

by Jenny Joseph © Jenny Joseph

Apt for an image consultant, I thought.

Still on the subject of pedantry  I have an onions and roses award. We haven’t had one of those for ages.

First, lovely big fragrant roses to Costa Coffee. I almost fell to my knees and praised God when i saw this sign in Bigtown the other day. I thought that might make me look a bit mad so I decided to drop to my knees and get my camera out instead.  THANK YOU COSTA for using the correct grammar.

In contrast to this I’m awarded big stinky onions to Fiat for once again getting the  grammar wrong in an advert. Tsk.  It’s not rocket science! Fire the copywriters! In fact, fire everyone!!



This isn’t  the first time you’ve got this wrong. It makes you look like fools to any reasonably literate person – is that really what you want to portray in your adverts?


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