Tuesday, April 15, 2014


SPELL is the acronym for the Society for the Preservation of the English Language and Literature and I am a member of that organization. Our newsletter is entitled SPELL/Binder and the motto is "Binding Together Lovers Of Our Language". There's a section called "MURDERERS' ROW" with "Examples of the Pervasive Poisoning of the Mother Tongue as Seen and Heard by Members of SPELL".

After I joined, I noticed that there were regular submissions to MURDERERS' ROW from a fellow resident of Washington Court House. His entries were usually items from the Record-Herald of Washington Court House. One of my favorite "goofs" which he reported: "With election time coming up, it's time that American's started to vote their conscious." He pointed out "American's" should be "Americans" and "conscious" should be "consciences". (see MURDERERS' ROW page here)

When I saw his submissions, I knew I had found a kindred person and I wanted to call him but his telephone number was unlisted. Serendipitously, a short time later, I was working at a Poll on Election Day and his name was on the voter list.

When he came in to vote, I told him that I was also a member of S.P.E.L.L. and he exclaimed, "I can't believe there are two of us." I then recited one of my favorite Emily Dickinson poems:

"I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you Nobody too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Don't tell--they'd banish us--you know!

How dreary to be Somebody!
How public like a frog,
To tell one's name, the livelong day,
To an admiring bog!"

He liked my BLOG and gave great opinions, suggestions, corrections, and critiques. He was a retired school teacher who was old enough to be my father. As I always ask permission before writing about people, I requested several times to write about him but he always declined.

I was saddened to learn of the death of my fellow antagonist.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So, did you give him a gift subscription? ML