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Cranky old English teacher pet peeves

Posted Wednesday, October 15, 2008, at 12:20 PM

Over the years, I've developed a sort of running list of most common English mistakes that I continually had to correct in my students' papers. Now that I'm retired, I see the same mistakes out there in the public domain - whether in the blogs, or, sadly, in the newspapers.

Since I'm really burned out on politics, and the hummingbirds are gone, what better time to introduce a new, totally-unrelated topic? Most people seem to think that good grammar is a sort of pie-in-the-sky subject anyway.

I must first point out that there are several levels of English, and not all levels are appropriate all the time. Standard English is, of course, at the top of the list, since it's the "most correct." However, in a social or informal situation, Standard English can be pretentious and "high falutin'."

Colloquial English contains many of the regional variations that I personally find charming - like "ya'll" in the South. Colloquialisms give foreigners fits (ah, I used another colloquialism!), because these words don't make literal sense.

Closely related to colloquial English is Idiomatic English, which may really be the same thing. I never realized how colloquial and idiomatic my speech was until I had foreign exchange students in class. Without thinking, I use phrases like "down pat," "crack the window," and "give fits."

Slang consists of the most current words, often belonging to certain groups, such as teenagers. Slang from my mother's era in the 40's, for example, contains such cute phrases as "the cat's pajamas" and "Oh, murder!" My students tried to keep me updated by saying such things as "I got your back, Mrs. D!" I used to keep a little list on my speaker's stand, so I could whip out a current slang term now and then. It always got a laugh!

Aside from all these regional and current variations, I have a list of common irritants:

* alot - This is a spelling mistake. No such word. It's spelled "a lot." Another similar word is "allot," as in "I'm going to allot you a certain amount of time." Though "a lot" is used a lot in conversation, it really isn't acceptable in formal writing. Here again, we have a distinction between "formal" English and "informal" English!

* It's - This is a usage mistake. "It's" is a contraction for "it is." ALWAYS! No exceptions! To write "The dog ate it's bone" is to say "The dog ate it is bone." Forget the possessive apostrophe!

* affect and effect - These two words are NOT interchangeable! "Affect" is a verb; "effect" is usually a noun. I illustrate: "I was greatly affected by his speech." "The speech had a good effect on me." True, you can use "effect" as follows: "The president's policy effected a very great change."

* mischievous - This word causes a double error: Many people misspell it as "mischevious," so they mispronounce it "mis-chee-vee-ous." It is pronounced "mis-chi-vous." Accent on the first syllable. No "e" sound in it.

These are a few of my favorite grammatical goof ups, but I'm sure we can come up with more.

However, when it comes to Blogger English, the grammar has to be pretty bad before I'll take issue with it. After all, blogs are the ultimate "informal English" situation.

From the golden hills of downtown Tillman, Missouri, this is your sometimes grammatically incorrect and always roving rural reporter, Madeline, signing off on a breath-taking Autumn morning!

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

NO POLITICS! I LOVE IT! Thanks MD, for the much needed break.

Now, I have a question for you. On the term "ya'll". Since it's used as a contraction, I was wondering what the correct way is to spell it. You and I both use ya'll. I've seen others spell it y'all. This one looks gramatically correct, doesn't it? It's short for you all in most cases, so that would be taking out the ou, meaning you'd have to put the punctuation where you replace the letters. Any thoughts?

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 12:41 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Well, I don't know that there is a correct spelling, since it isn't a real "word," but "ya'll" is the only spelling I've ever seen in literature.

The English language has no second-person plural pronoun, which is the problem - so we create our own. There's "You'uns," (which I particularly dislike), "youse" (which is what my middle brother says, having spent his early adulthood in the Baltimore area). Then there's "you all," "you guys"....and that's about all I can think of.

Of all these choices, "ya'll" is by far the best solution, I think!

Ahhhhhhhh....drink in the pure air of GRAMMAR 101! It smell good, don't it????????? Haha!

Thanks for the inspiration. I ain't never going to be the same. You have effected me. Its true. Alot. Ya'll agree? I once was mischevious, but not no more.

-- Posted by shannonhoon on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 3:09 PM

As a fellow-English teacher, I must say that "y'all" has to be correct--if y'all could be correct in any form. I teach my students that the apostrophe takes the place of omitted letters; therefore, it must be in place of the omitted "ou". Congradulations on a good column! (one of MY greatest pet peeves to add to the list--ha! It hurt just typing the letters.)

-- Posted by GONENOW on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 3:39 PM

Oh my word...I have been wrong in my spelling and pronunciation of mischievous my entire life! Luckily it's not a word I tend to use often. You learn something new every day. Thank you Madeline.

-- Posted by backseat driver on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 4:19 PM

Here's one that bugs me. They have fixed it, so it is no longer incorrect but....the Lambert's Restaurant sign on the way to Sikeston!! It used to say, "YOUR HERE!!" Drove me nuts.

And yes, I'm a former English teacher, too! So I have to point out the usage of "student's" in your first line of your message. Were you talking about correcting one student's grammar, or several students' grammar?

"Over the years, I've developed a sort of running list of most common English mistakes that I continually had to correct in my student's papers."

students'-- right?

Don't shoot me! I hate it when someone finds an error with my work because I try very hard to use correct grammar! My dad was a fiend about it. He kept a dictionary next to the dinner table and we would get into some great arguments over grammar, pronunciation, etc.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 5:13 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
AH! Ya caught me - you betcha! The word should have been "students'," not "student's"! Just shows that I sometimes put my own grammar on "automatic pilot"! I'm just pleased that there are people out there who notice such things! (Actually, that was a trap to see who would catch it! haha!)

"Your" and "you're" are two more prickly points!

Also "there," "they're," and "their"! Commonly mixed up!

My oldest son loved to catch mistakes like these, from the time he was small. He loved to laugh at the sign in the local grocery store - "carrot's"! I guess it could be classified as "nerd humor"!!

Does it bug anyone that Sarah Palin drops her G at the end of her "ing" words?

Maybe her name is really Sarah Paling?

Actually, the NU CU LAR bothers me more than the dropping of the G! NU CLE AR, Sarah!

-- Posted by lovebooks on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 5:27 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
It's a part of her folksy charm. Audiences LOVE it! Obama is at a decided disadvantage. His grammar is far too good.

I don't believe we've had a president with perfect grammar since John F. Kennedy - and he had that colorful Boston accent to boot! If Richard Nixon had shaved more closely, he might have won. I don't recall that his grammar was all that bad.

Well, I didn't teach English but I taught elementary school. Most of this stuff kids should have been learning before they got to high school. I think people should just proofread like we did in the old days.

-- Posted by ct on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 5:29 PM

Not important to me. I don't care how a message is written or spoken. As long as a message is understood it is OK. I am sorry, maybe you will take OK to mean Oklahoma.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 6:15 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
We love you anyway, I.B. Your wisdom and common sense more than make up for your occasional misspelled word!

I have never felt that I was capable of teaching anything, as I barely made it through high school, and I surely must have been absent both days that they taught English.

It is quite a burden on my limited education when I try to write a corrospondence or an article, so in most cases I just fall back on my "Hill-Billy" English, and quite often use words with the bark still on them.

I hate to admit this, but most of the time Madeline proof reads my articles before I semd them to the N.S.C and other magazines, so I am sure that these articles are; as she states in the third paragraph of her blog, "Most Correct"

-- Posted by paulcorbin on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 8:24 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Same thing applies to you as applies to I.B., Paul Corbin: Grammar is easy to correct, as long as the ideas are there to begin with. I know of no other person born in 1914 who can remember the details of the past with such crystal clarity!

I can even forgive you for using those semi-colons, when I've told you to leave them alone!!!

I was never an English teacher but had several who were my favorites through my school years. They had a passion for seeing their students learn and I still love them for it many years post graduation. My grown daughters speak highly of their English teachers also. The only students I can remember having a problem with English teachers were the ones who were too contrary to try. Thanks for the enlightenment!

P.S. I thought diagramming sentences was the coolest stuff ever in Jr High.

-- Posted by SKDellinger on Wed, Oct 15, 2008, at 9:04 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
How good to hear that someone actually liked diagramming! When I first started teaching in the mid-sixties, I taught quite a bit of diagramming (a lot), but it fell out of fashion as the years passed. Too bad, because sometimes the only way to explain a sentence's structure was with a diagram.

I know I make my share of mistakes but I am glad to see that Lambert's Restaurant has fixed their sign. That use to irritate me so much every time I went past it.

When did they change it? We have been gone for 7 years.

-- Posted by Gemini on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 12:50 AM

As much as I hate grammar, I still would rather discuss it than the current state of politics. My pet peeve is ensure / insure, it seems very few use ensure in the proper context. I had that one drilled into me from your College Comp. class. Too bad I couldn't remember more, but I am thankful for spell check!

Maybe Joe the plumber should run for president. He seems to have more common sense than the rest combined.

-- Posted by cardfan05 on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 1:20 PM

Also, may need to check the latest sports story concerning this very topic....WoW.

Good one Cardfan...agree.

-- Posted by shannonhoon on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 2:37 PM

Good assessment about the political climate, cardfan05. Has to be pretty bad when everyone prefers to talk about grammar!

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 3:01 PM

Sorry MD,but I must agree with GONENOW,if y'all is being used instead of you all,wouldn't the apostrophe represent "ou"? I have always written it as y'all,so please let me know if this is incorrect.

My pet peeve is the incorrect use of elipses...please use three,and three only!

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 4:26 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Once again, our Statesman blogger buddies are intelligent, observant, and highly creative! I looked up our "y'all -ya'll" controversy in Wikipedia, and you are right:

"Y'all, sometimes spelled as "Ya'll", "Yawl", or "Yaw", and archaically spelled "You-all", is a fused grammaticalization of the phrase "you all". It is used primarily as a plural second-person pronoun, and less often as a singular second-person pronoun.

"Though the you all contraction argument may make sense when considering current-day vernacular, it is prudent to consider the vernacular which existed at the time which y'all was likely invented. By the late 1700s, Scots-Irish immigrants had settled in the Southern United States. It is well established that Scots-Irish immigrants frequently used the term ye aw. Some evidence suggests that y'all could have evolved from ye aw due to the influence of African slaves who may have adapted the Scots-Irish term.

"The evolution of y'all continues today. There appears to be an increasing tendency, especially on the Internet, to spell it without the apostrophe, yall." (End of Wikipedia quote)

There you have it, Bloggers Extraordinaire! The grammar lesson of the day! Just when you think you know it all, someone comes along with a questioning mind and shows you that you still have A LOT to learn, y'all!

Sorry,that was ELLIPSES...accidentally hit the enter key before I corrected myself!

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 4:29 PM

I also am bugged by misspelling of the word misspell. It is mis & spell,not mispell. My mom has just attempted to correct my above statement,as I used the plural ellipses instead of the singular "ellipsis".

I am now becoming confused, I need a ruling on this from our esteemed retired English teachers.

We agree with you on the misspelling and incorrect pronounciation of the word "mischievous". Very naughty indeed!

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 5:03 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Yes, "misspell" doesn't LOOK right, but it is! As for the ellipses............I like them SO MUCH that I get carried away and multiply them ten times ten!!!

I mentioned before about what a stickler my dad was about "the King's English."

One day, after he was gone, I was going through some of his little things he had cut out of the newspaper and stuck in his Bible. He was famous for that, too. I found this poem, yellowed with age, nicely pressed within the pages...

Our Crazy Language

We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes;

But the plural of ox became oxen not oxes.

One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,

Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.

You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice;

Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,

Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?

If I spoke of my foot and show you my feet,

And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?

If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,

Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,

Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,

And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.

We speak of a brother and also of brethren,

But though we say mother, we never say methren.

Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,

But imagine the feminine, she, shis and shim.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 7:55 PM

CUTE! Thanks, lovebooks! I had never heard the poem, and how special that you found it, as if he left a little message for you... (Note, YR, three elippses!)

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 9:39 PM

Actually, when elippses are used at the end of a sentence there should be 4. One is the period. So.... Compliments of the Chicago Manual of Style. When the elippses are in a quotation at the end of the sentence "it should be as follows...." instead of "...". That particular rule drove me absolutely batty at thesis time.

One of my pet peeves is the common practice of using "fortunate" and "fortuitous" interchangeably. They don't have quite the same meaning. Fortunate is having good luck; lucky. For something to be fortuitous it must include the element of chance; accidentally fortunate.

I'd much rather talk about words and grammar than politics. Keep it up Ms. Madeline.

-- Posted by Ducky on Fri, Oct 17, 2008, at 2:13 PM

I absolutely love that poem lovebooks! It really made me smile. It makes me think of when my mom used to read to me from Shel Silverstein's "Where the Sidewalk Ends."

I hate the mistakes "should of" and "had went." However, I've given up on trying to learn how to use lie and lay... I guess I should of paid more attention when I had went to English class. ;)

-- Posted by Youngest Child on Fri, Oct 17, 2008, at 3:04 PM

Oh, I forgot to mention: yes, please more non-political and non-financial blogs. Thank you!

-- Posted by Youngest Child on Fri, Oct 17, 2008, at 3:05 PM

Thanks Ducky,I was using my Mom's computer,and she had me doubting how to spell my own name!

I was referring to the way ellipsis are used to trail off in thought on the blogs,many posters use 10,but you are very correct on 4 to end a sentence,because the last dot would represent the period.

Now this is a great topic,good work MD!

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Fri, Oct 17, 2008, at 3:12 PM

Oh, I love Shel Silverstein! What's the one about Sarah Sylvia Cythnthia Stout would not take the garbage out...? I would like to have that one committed to memory, so I could recite every gross line of it by heart!

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Oct 17, 2008, at 3:42 PM

Lie - to recline - Today I lie on the couch...Yesterday I lay on the couch - I have lain on the couch many times.

Lay - to place - Today I lay the book on the table... Yesterday I laid the book on the table. I have laid the book on the table before.

Lie - what an unscrupulous man does to cover his tracks!

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Oct 17, 2008, at 3:46 PM

Or woman.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Fri, Oct 17, 2008, at 9:02 PM

A rare occasion, indeed...

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Oct 17, 2008, at 9:33 PM

Amen to that, I.B. I hate to be hard on anyone of my gender, but the fairer sex can lie with the best politicians. Just like their male counterparts. Lies are not gender specific.

When I was in college in the Deep South, there was one girl who was totally normal when she was in the girl's dorm. She talked normal, acted normal, sometimes swore like a sailor. You get the idea. When she was out in public in the presence of MALES of any age, race or sexual persuassion she turned into a lily white, southern belle, complete with a honey-drippin' drawl and butter wouldn't melt in her mouth. It was pretty disgusting. Turns out I was there to get a B.A. and she was there to get her MRS. Worked too. Poor, poor fellow.

Being a Southerner, let me say that it doesn't matter how you spell y'all as long as you say it with at least two syllables.

-- Posted by Ducky on Fri, Oct 17, 2008, at 10:30 PM

Haha! Good one, Ducky!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Oct 18, 2008, at 10:12 PM

This blog made reading fun this morning. May I add a couple more pet peeves to the list? If one must use an apostrophe, please be sure there is a reason! A word doesn't need an apostrophe simply because it ends in "s"! How many times do we see signs that have meaningless apostrophes? "SALE'S in

Every Department, or "Employee's Only", or "LOT'S for Sale"?

Another favorite of mine is when a student signs a card or writes, "Your my favorite teacher." You know something, I can overlook the mistake just one time! I love being "there" favorite teacher. Ha!

-- Posted by GONENOW on Sun, Oct 19, 2008, at 8:05 AM

Haha! So true, Gone! I love the compliment and the fact that I affected their lives, but I wish they'd picked up some good grammar along the way!

I remember an old teacher-buddy of mine saying, "If we're selling grammar, they're not buying!"

Email certainly doesn't give them good practice, either. No double duty there.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Oct 19, 2008, at 11:54 AM

HAHA...I was right! Y'all seen that right? lol.

I've never been very good at English. If you were to ever find my high school record, my point would be gravely proven! I try so hard to get everything correct...but sometimes, I just get confused. I have a friend in Michigan who constantly picks on my correct spelling. He always says that school should be spelled skool, because the "c" and "h" don't sound like a "k." Another he uses is sed, as we would spell "said." He has a point, but as I told him...the way most of our words are said compared to how they're spelled is the reason we have english for so many years in school!

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Sun, Oct 19, 2008, at 3:06 PM

It's the Anglo-Saxon influence, plus the fact that English has borrowed so many, many words from other languages.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Oct 19, 2008, at 3:20 PM

I remember how many of my English teachers would say, "Just spell it like it sounds" or "Read it like it looks." More often than not, those philosophies can get you even more confused than you were to begin with.

I didn't even know what ellipsis' were until I read this blog, and I use them all the time! Did I even spell it right?

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Sun, Oct 19, 2008, at 4:13 PM

Exceptions bring about the difficulties. We teach, or learn, the rules; then along come the exceptions. Students today spend so much time learning how to take standardized tests that their teachers have no time to teach the rules we all learned. When they finally make it to high school, they have never even heard of half of the skills we were taught in elementary school, reviewed in junior high, and mastered by high school. It is tough for them. Add to that the constant text messaging, with seemingly NO rules. (We now catch kids texting, while we used to just catch them chewing gum or sneaking m&ms.)

-- Posted by GONENOW on Sun, Oct 19, 2008, at 4:41 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Yes!! We've discussed this topic before, and ALL of the teachers who have posted on this site agree with you, GoneNow. We've raked the M.A.P. and NCLB over the coals so many times!

From Wikipedia: "Ellipsis (plural ellipses; from Greek ἔ''ויריע 'omission') in printing and writing refers to a mark or series of marks that usually indicate an intentional omission of a word or a phrase from the original text. An ellipsis can also be used to indicate a pause in speech, an unfinished thought or, at the end of a sentence, a trailing off into silence (aposiopesis)."

I thought this information from Wikipedia was fascinating. (I love it when they use interesting examples): "An ellipsis may also imply an unstated alternative indicated by context. For example, when Count Dracula says 'I never drink...wine', the implication is that he does drink something else, which in the context would be blood. In such usage the ellipsis is stronger than a mere dash, where for example 'I never drink -- wine' might only indicate that the Count, not a native English speaker, was pausing to get the correct word. In writing the speech of a character in fiction or nonfiction, the ellipsis is sometimes used to represent an intentional silence of a character."

Thanks, Yellow Rose, for entering this fascinating word into our discussion!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Oct 19, 2008, at 7:08 PM

Too much school. I remember learning my ABC's and learning to read in the first grade. Now my four year old grand daughter is in school and she had to know her ABC's before she could start.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sun, Oct 19, 2008, at 8:06 PM

Well, the U.S. educational system is under attack by politicians and others, who criticize us for not being able to "compete" with other countries. In particular, these critics hold the Japanese up as a model - and the Japanese are big into push, push, push.

However, as long as we continue to try to educate ALL our students, rather than the top 20 percent, our statistics won't look as good as the Japanese.

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Oct 20, 2008, at 4:40 AM

What do you think about Proposition A? The last time we cast our ballots to vote for gambling and river boats I thought the money would be added to what we already had for our schools. That appears not to have happened. It looks to me like they just changed where the funding came from. Is this another bait and switch?

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Mon, Oct 20, 2008, at 9:20 AM

Agree GOAT.......agree. So do we in some way TRY to focus on the top 20%. Man, political correctness police probably will censor me for even asking it that way?!!!!!

I do like Japanese food though!

-- Posted by shannonhoon on Mon, Oct 20, 2008, at 9:35 AM

Good questions from both of you guys. I.B., I wish I knew the answer to that one. I know that at least some of that gambling money went to education, all right; I occasionally see the notices in the newspaper. Not sure how much, though. I'm afraid I don't know how much of it went where it was supposed to go. The Mo. Legislature has lied to us before, so I don't have much confidence that they'll keep their word this time. I'm probably gonna vote NO, just out of SPITE!

As for hoon's question, the TEACHERS try to focus on the top 20% - I know that I did. Who could willingly ignore the brightest, the most curious, the most hard-working?

Believe it or not, the ones who got the gifted program in our town AXED were the PARENTS, who griped and griped about their little sweeties not being allowed in the program - just because they weren't as smart as the others! Good example of what can happen when your school board is too spineless to stand up to parental pressure! (or are they a PART of it?)

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Oct 20, 2008, at 1:24 PM

Ok guys and gals...I thought we all agreed on NO POLITICS ON THIS BLOG?!?!

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Mon, Oct 20, 2008, at 3:09 PM

Hahaha! I think we were agreeing to no NATIONAL politics! I don't think we agreed to no LOCAL politics!

However, you make a valid point, dolphin.

Still, if we discuss more grammar, we'll exclude I.B. and hoonie, who are definitely not interested. You wouldn't want to do that, when they're being so sweet and reasonable, wouldya, now??

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Oct 20, 2008, at 3:35 PM

I just don't trust them to add it to the allotted or approved budget. I think all they will do is switch where they get the money from. I don't think it will help one bit and I am not sure that casino money has improved education funding at all. The source of the money has just changed. I promised myself I would not vote for it again and I might not.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Mon, Oct 20, 2008, at 4:36 PM

I agree! If the legislators want money, you can be sure that they WON'T use it for education! They'll find some excuse to claim that schools don't deserve it -- or they'll tie it to impossibly high standards, which they know no one can meet.

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Oct 20, 2008, at 9:11 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
To all the retired and active teachers and other interested bloggers who posted on this little grammar exercise, THANKS A BUNCH! It was fun and educational - and (more importantly) a good diversion from POLITICS!! Hahaha!

Do you realize how fortunate we are to have a large group of educated, intelligent people capable of giving advice on spelling, grammar, and vocabulary??

We must do it again some time!

Madeline, I agree with you that the blog list is made up up of educated and intelligent people, and this being the case you should be able to realize how difficult it is for me to be a part of this fast moving world.

With my limited education I have come to the conclusion that anyone who can fluently speak, and correctly write the English language should be considered a genius, as this treatise of synonyms and homonyms is a mentaly confusing jungle of, alike speech sounds that have different meanings, and words that are spelled differntl;y, but have the same meaning. Then there is the acronyms that do not spell anything, yet we use them to identify certain objects,conditions, and situations.

Any way I regard this situation as a mental challenge, which may keep me off the Alzheimers list a little longer

-- Posted by paulcorbin on Thu, Oct 30, 2008, at 5:42 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Yes, indeed, I think your mental work has stood you in good stead! I think it's far too late for you to get Alzeimer's now!! You've staved it off so long that it'll never catch up with you!!

Today I met another one of your fans, a young lady who works at Blimpies in Advance. Not only had she read your book, but she read parts of it to her children!

I am so glad that we included your work in the NSC and on these blogs!

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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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