The teacher graded it and the child took it home.
The child returned to school the next day with the following note:
Dear Ms. Davis,
I want to be perfectly clear on my child’s homework illustration.
It is NOT of me on a dance pole on a stage in a strip joint surrounded by male customers with money.
I work at Home Depot and had commented to my daughter how much money we made in the recent snowstorm.
This drawing is of me selling a shovel.
I Am Not a Senior Citizen
$5.37! That’s what the kid behind the counter at Tim Horton’s said to me. I dug into my pocket and pulled out some lint and two dimes and something that used to be a Lifesaver. Having already handed the kid a five-spot, I started to head back out to the truck to grab some change when the kid with the Elmo hairdo said the worst thing anyone has ever said to me. He said, “It’s OK. I’ll just give you the senior citizen discount.”
I turned to see who he was talking to and then heard the sound of change hitting the counter in front of me. “Only $4.68” he said cheerfully. I stood there stupified. I am 56, not even 60 yet? A mere child! Senior citizen? I took my food and walked out to the truck wondering what was wrong with Elmo. Was he blind? As I sat in the truck, my blood began to boil. Old? Me?
I’ll show him, I thought.. I opened the door and headed back inside. I strode to the counter, and there he was waiting with a smile. Before I could say a word, he held up something and jingled it in front of me, like I could be that easily distracted! What am I now? A toddler? “Dude! Can’t get too far without your car keys, eh?” I stared with utter disdain at the keys. I began to rationalize in my mind. “Leaving keys behind hardly makes a man elderly! It could happen to anyone!”
I turned and headed back to the truck. I slipped the key into the ignition, but it wouldn’t turn. What now? I checked my keys and tried another. Still nothing. That’s when I noticed the purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror. I had no purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror. Then, a few other objects came into focus. The car seat in the back seat. Happy Meal toys spread all over the floorboard. A partially eaten doughnut on the dashboard. Faster than you can say ginkgo biloba, I flew out of the alien vehicle. Moments later I was speeding out of the parking lot, relieved to finally be leaving this nightmarish stop in my life.
That is when I felt it, deep in the bowels of my stomach: hunger! My stomach growled and churned, and I reached to grab my coffee, only it was nowhere to be found. I swung the truck around, gathered my courage, and strode back into the restaurant one final time. There Elmo stood, draped in youth and black nail polish. All I could think was, “What is the world coming to?” All I could say was, “Did I leave my food and drink in here”? At this point I was ready to ask a Boy Scout to help me back to my vehicle, and then go straight home and apply for Social Assistance benefits. Elmo had no clue. I walked back out to the truck, and suddenly a young lad came up and tugged on my jeans to get my attention. He was holding up a drink and a bag. His mother explained, “I think you left this in my truck by mistake.” I took the food and drink from the little boy and sheepishly apologized. She offered these kind words: “It’s OK. My grandfather does stuff like this all the time.”
All of this is to explain how I got a ticket doing 85 in a 40. Yes, I was racing some punk kid in a Toyota Prius. And no, I told the officer, I’m not too old to be driving this fast. As I walked in the front door, my wife met me halfway down the hall. I handed her a bag of cold food and a $300 speeding ticket. I promptly sat in my rocking chair and covered up my legs with a blanky.
The good news was I had successfully found my way home.
This is a Hoot! – The Boss Not Happy With Proper English Issues!
We must make sure we stick to the rules on how to describe people, because to stray from consistency causes confusion. The suspect in the Wikileaks case is an American soldier called Private Brad Manning. He is also known as Specialist Brad Manning. We should stick to the familiar, and refer to him at all times (until he is convicted of anything) as Pte Manning. We have started to call him Mr Manning; which, as he is not a civilian, is just plain wrong. The only exception is with officers (usually of the rank of Lt-General or above) who have also been knighted; in which case they should be called (for example) General Sir David Richards at first mention, and then may be either Gen Richards or Sir David. Many of our readers are or have been in the services and have great attention to detail on matters of rank. Since they know at once when we get it wrong, we need to have that attention to detail too.
If you find yourself using a word of whose meaning you are unsure, do look it up in the dictionary. When we get a word wrong it is embarrassing. It demeans us as professional writers and shakes our readers’ confidence in us. In recent weeks we have confused endocrinology – the study of the body’s endocrine system – with dendrochronology, which is the study of dating trees. More embarrassing still, we accused the eminent broadcaster Sir David Attenborough of being a naturist – someone who chooses not to wear clothes – when in fact he is a naturalist; and during a story about a coach crash in Paris the nationality of the driver changed from Austrian to Australian. Homogenous and homogeneous are not interchangeable and their respective meanings should be studied in the dictionary. Like embodied and embedded, which we also confused, effecting and affecting and eligibility and legibility, these pairs of words almost come under the heading of homophones, as do prostate and prostrate. We must take more care and ensure we are using the right word.
Homophones remain abundant and show up the writer and the newspaper or website. We are quality media, and quality media do not make mistakes such as these: “the luck of the drawer”, “through the kitchen sink”, “through up” “dragging their heals” and “slammed on the breaks”, all of which are clichés that might not be worthy of a piece of elegant writing even if spelt correctly. We have also confused Briton and Britain, hanger and hangar, hordes and hoards, peeled and pealed, lightening and lightning, stationery and stationary, principal and principle, peninsula and peninsular, licence and license and, in something of a pile-up, born, borne and bourn. If you are unsure of the meanings of any of these words, look them up before proceeding further.
Many of these mistakes are caused by carelessness and not properly reading back what one has written. We have had an increasing number of literals in recent weeks, both online and in the paper, which suggests the problem is getting worse rather than better. Heads of department have a particular responsibility to ensure that their staff perform to the best professional standards in this respect. We managed to perpetrate one of the worst literals of all recently – pubic for public- which may seem a laughing matter, but is not.
Some Americanisms keep slipping in, usually when we are given agency copy to re-write and do an inadequate job on it. There is no such verb as “impacted”, and other American-style usages of nouns as verbs should be avoided (authored, gifted etc). Maneuver is not spelt that way in Britain. We do not have lawmakers: we might just about have legislators, but better still we have parliament. People do not live in their hometown; they live in their home town, or even better the place where they were born.
Sometimes we do not properly think of the sense of what we are writing. There is a marked difference between the meanings of convince and persuade that is not recognised by some of you. If you are unsure of the distinction, look the words up. We wrote that “too many bomb disposal experts” had died in Afghanistan, which prompted an angry reader to ask what an acceptable number of dead experts would have been. We wrote of “an extraordinary killing spree” and were asked, in similar fashion, what would have constituted an ordinary one. We wrote about someone’s youngest child being her first, which was obviously not the case. Be careful too of the distinction between renting a property and letting it. And readers also asked us how there could, as we reported, be an 18-month long investigation into a crime that was committed only 14 months ago. We need to ensure that our facts, like our arithmetic, add up.
There have also been some grammatical difficulties. The style book (which, in case you have lost your copy, is also online) specifies the distinction between “compared with” and “compared to”, and it may be worth examining. One of our writers began a sentence with the phrase “us single ladies” which suggests we need to brush up on our pronouns. We should always write one in four is, not one in four are, since one is inevitably singular. Bacteria is plural. Put adverbs in a sentence where they make the most logical sense, if you have to use them at all. This will never be by splitting the infinitive, but to write “to go speedily to town” will always be preferable to “to go to town speedily”, or any other such variant. It is different from, not different to. Under age, like under way, should be written as two words.
Finally, may I mention some factual matters? Ottawa is the capital of Canada. Air Chief Marshal is spelt thus; and Mark Antony thus.
With best wishes
The Daily Telegraph
Believe it or not these questions about Canada were posted on an International Tourism Website leading into the Olympics.
Obviously the answers are a joke but the questions were really asked!
Q:I have never seen it warm on Canadian TV, so how do the plants grow?
A. We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around and watch them die.
Q:Will I be able to see Polar Bears in the street?
A: Depends on how much you’ve been drinking.
Q:I want to walk from Vancouver to Toronto – can I follow the Railroad tracks?
A: Sure, it’s only Four thousand miles, take lots of water.
Q:Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Canada ? ( Sweden )
A: So it’s true what they say about Swedes.
Q: Are there any ATM’s (cash machines) in Canada ? Can you send me a list of them in Toronto , Vancouver , Edmonton and Halifax ?
A: No, but you’d better bring a few extra furs for trading purposes.
Q:Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Canada ?
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe Ca-na-da is that big country to your North…oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Calgary Come naked.
Q:Which direction is North in Canada ?
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees contact us when you get here and we’ll send the rest of the directions.
Q: Can I bring cutlery into Canada ?
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.
Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys’ Choir schedule?
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is…oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Vancouver and in Calgary , straight after the hippo races. Come naked.
Q: Do you have perfume in Canada ?
A: No, WE don’t stink.
Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Where can I sell it in Canada ?
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.
Q: Can you tell me the regions in British Columbia where the female population is smaller than the male population?
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.
Q: Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada ?
A: Only at Thanksgiving.
Q: Are there supermarkets in Toronto and is milk available all year round?(
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of Vegan hunter/gathers. Milk is illegal.
Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Canada , but I forget its name. It’s a kind of big horse with horns.
A: It’s called a Moose. They are tall and very violent, eating the brains of anyone walking close to them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.
Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go?
A: Yes, but you will have to learn it first.