Thursday, February 11, 2010

National Grammar Day: And So It Begins

John McIntyre, the wizard behind the words at You Don't Say, has crafted a new installment of Pulp Diction--the world's first and most gripping bit of grammarnoir.

Something to note about this year's tale: He introduces a new character, Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl. He even calls her "pert."

This means it's time to announce the news we've been keeping to ourselves. Mignon is the official host of National Grammar Day 2010. (Insert delighted gasping sound effect here, followed by a smattering of giddy applause.)

She will be dishing up useful tips, pulling back the curtain on grammar myths, and generally delighting us March 4.

Without further ado, we give you Pulp Diction.

Pulp Diction: 15 items or trouble

You get ’em in the checkout at Safeway — harried mothers with kids clamoring for candy, bleary-eyed old guys pushing a cartload into the fifteen-items line, kids with green hair buying exotic produce. Some chat with the cashier, but nobody talks to the bag boy. Fine with me. I liked anonymity when I was a copy editor. I like it better now.

I was pushing a train of carts back toward the store when she grabbed my arm. I turned. “You,” I said. It wasn’t friendly.

“Mr. McIntyre, I really need to talk with you,” she said. Mostly, she was a pert little thing, but this time her voice trembled.

“I don’t have anything to say to you, Fogarty.” That’s Mignon Fogarty, Grammar Dame, Grammar Girl, something like that. Big-time blogger, raking in big bucks from rubes who couldn’t tell the present from the preterite if it jabbed them in the keister.

“Please, it’s urgent. I’ve heard from Martha Brockenbrough.”

More female trouble. The last time I saw the Brockenbrough skirt, I was in the witness stand, and she was at the defense table, trying — not convincingly — to look innocent. I’d turned her in for a homicide. I didn’t stay for the rest of the trial, but I’d heard she copped a plea to manslaughter while the jury was still out. Now she’s in the Big House for a good long while. You know the story.

“Sister, I’ve still got nothing to say to you. How the hell did you know to look for me here, anyhow?”
Read the rest.


Andygirl said...

That! was delicious.

Peggy said...

Superb! In honor of the beloved Grammar Day, I even wrote a SWEET (Suite 101) article: National Grammar Day Is March 4 and subsequently was honored with an Editor's Choice Award. I think it had to do mostly with the DAY itself. Grammar Day!

Martha Brockenbrough said...

Peg, will you please send me a link to your story? info AT

Anonymous said...

If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.............................................