215. A stickler
© Bruce Goodman 13 May 2014
Maureen had a thing about words. She was a stickler for spelling, and a perfectionist when it came to grammar. After all, she’d taught English to secondary school students for thirty-seven years.
She didn’t mind an American spelling, provided it was from America and found in Websters Dictionary. She didn’t mind a British spelling, provided it was from an appropriate sector of the British Commonwealth and found in the Oxford Dictionary. Of course, the modern versions of these dictionaries contained “ain’t”, and included language that one might well hear on a building site, and occasionally, and inappropriately, in the secondary school yard. Maureen’s editions of the dictionaries were a little older than that.
She found it disconcerting, one winter’s evening, to be watching the weather on television, and the weather lady gave the windage. Windage? Windage! It was a word, of course, but not to be used like that! She meant “wind”.
“I give up,” said Maureen. “This ain’t the wayage the weatherage should be presented. Our beautiful language is plummeting into a dark and bottomless abyssage. No one has any careage anymoreage.”
With that, she turned the television off, sat down, and penned her resignation from teaching. Thirty-seven years fighting a losing battle was long enough.