Tag Archives: apostrophe

1734. A misplaced apostrophe

(The other day someone pointed out that I had a misplaced apostrophe. This story is to express my gratitude.)

A change is as good as a holiday said Arnie. He was a hitman and was sick to death of poisoning people. This new assignment should provide a bit of variety. Not that he wasn’t good at poisoning; it was his speciality. It was why he received most of his jobs. He had a reputation for poisoning.

But this new assignment not only paid well, but provided a welcome change.

Extremely rich parents of a spoilt teen – in this case a boy – had sent him to an exclusive private school. The boy – whose name was Constantine – was a star sportsman. He was the brightest baseball hope the school had had in years. He was headed for professionalism and the Baseball Hall of Fame. How proud could parents be?

The trouble was that Constantine’s English teacher was a crabby old bag. She was a stickler for correct punctuation no matter what. Misplaced apostrophes were her greatest hate. The over use of the exclamation mark was another error to be condemned. (Not that Constantine, being a sportsman, bothered to use the exclamation mark!) A dash was not a comma; a semicolon was not the same as a colon. Constantine would mess up his punctuation just to annoy the living daylights out of her. It worked too well.

When Constantine was due to attend a Baseball Summer Camp, Ms Virginia Funk – for that was the teacher’s name – wrote to the Summer Camp and said, “Constantine’s outstanding contribution to schoolboy baseball is in inverse proportion to his application to his studies. I would recommend he not be accepted into the Summer Baseball Camp.”

The Baseball Summer Camp, having too many applicants, denied Constantine’s application. And that is why Arnie was hired as a hitman. Ms Virginia Funk was dead meat. She would have no reason to prepare classes for the following academic year. Arnie’s problem was that – Ms Virginia Funk being an English teacher – he wanted to get rid of her in creative a fashion as possible; for variety is the spice of life.

First, he would make her stew a bit. He sent her a handwritten note that said “Its you’re last day.” Virginia was outraged. There should be an apostrophe in “It’s”, she declared. That’s when Arnie saw red. His creativity could wait for another day. He took his bag of poisonous chemicals, knocked on her door, changed his mind, and shot her point blank.

He was well paid. And although some might think that Constantine’s parents and Arnie were a bit over the top, at least Ms Virginia Funk didn’t suffer needlessly.