Wednesday, 27 January 2010

An Alphabet of Gratitude - 'a'

I've been mulling over this post in my head for the better part of a month. How to lay out my Alphabet of Gratitude, what to say and how to say it. Faced with a number of choices, I did my usual trick of ignoring it all and deciding not to do anything at all. For example, right now, I should be working on my Year Overviews, but I am obviously... not.

Anyhow, I was trying to decide what should be the proper platform for my musings on gratitude. Should it be alphabetical? Should each letter be a post? Will I have enough to say for each post? What will I be thankful for when I get to 'x'? (I've got something in mind, don't worry.)

I haven't got the answers to most of those questions, but as Faiza pointed out to me when I was home, everything doesn't always need an answer or a solution. I'm slowly learning that it's okay not to have an answer and sometimes, it can be kind of fun not to know.

So what spurred me into action? Tyra's 2009 Valentine's Day show (the season is a bit behind in New Zealand.) She was playing matchmaker and all the men were wearing t-shirts that said "Take me I'm your's."

So my Alphabet of Gratitude begins today with the humble letter 'a.' An indefinite article on its own, but it is also the first letter of one of my favourite things - the apostrophe. Today (and every single day), I am thankful for the apostrophe.

My head actually spins when I think of how much I have to say about the apostrophe. What makes me feel marginally better, is that I'm not alone. Once you come out of the I-love-to-use-apostrophes-correctly closet, a lot of other people come out of the woodwork. Other people actually feel as strongly about this as I do. It's reassuring and I feel a certain kinship with them. There is actually an Apostrophe Protection Society (which makes my heart smile) and I am also a fan of Apostrophe Abuse - they have a list of links along the side, which simply proves that I am not alone.

Phill indulges my obsession and bought me the best Chistmas present ever - an illustrated copy of the book, Eats, Shoots, and Leaves. This book is filled with wonderful and funny gems about punctuation, such as "Why did the Apostrophe Protection Society not have a militant wing? Where do you get balaclavas?" The woman is brilliant. Her children's book, The Girl's Like Spaghetti is pure genius.

I'm not sure that everyone understands how passionate I am about the apostrophe. They know, but they don't seem to understand why it is so important to me. I'm not sure I can explain it myself, but I do know that it makes me smile when people properly punctuate a plural possessive... and that, I am grateful for.


bklyn76 said...

a fellow grammarian! woohoo!

question: how do YOU punctuate the possessive of such proper nouns like chris or james or lucas? do you do: chris', james' and lucas'? or do you prefer chris's, james's or lucas's. i personally prefer the latter, though only last year did i read either can be correct and that some people punctuate differently depending on the number of syllables in the proper noun!

Anonymous said...

It's a toss up. I feel like James' looks neater, but at the same time it looks wrong to me. I used to write James's, but I also read recently that it can be the former... I find that's what I use more often.

I've never heard about the syllable thing though. That's a whole NEW element to play with! What madness!

bklyn76 said...

have you read william strunk's *elements of style*. my former coteacher turned me and my class on to him!

Anonymous said...

No, but I'll pick it up! Phill actually bought me an Eats, Shoots and Leaves calendar for my classroom. My co-teacher and her mum were admiring it yesterday. :)

Alison said...

You have a blog!!! Yay! I can't wait to see the rest of this series. You've been RSSed :)

Anonymous said...

Cheers, Al! I used to have one (as I had previously mentioned) but it fell by the wayside... I forgot how much I like writing - I was supposed to spend yesterday working at home, but instead I lazed around the house and did some writing and I LOVED it! :)

You know... I don't think I've ever been RSSed!

Alison said...

Good for you! Sometimes I forget how much I love to write when I'm writing because I have to. It's nice to just step back and remember why I started in the first place.

Once you've been RSSed, you never go back ;)

Anonymous said...

I think it's like that with anything you love. It's easy to get caught up in all the icky bits and forget the wonderful ones.

I'm feeling all tingly now that I've been RSSed. :)

Megan said...

Never been RSSed? Well, that makes this quite an exciting week. You've been RSSed at least twice so far.

Faiza said...

love what you are doing with the layout :)

Anonymous said...

Megan & Faiza - thanks! I'm glad you like what's happening over here... I'm having a little play. :)

As for the RSSing - whew. That's all I can say.


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