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Comma Cause

Re: Kelly Jane Torrance’s Jots and Tittles:

Ms. Torrance is absolutely correct in her analysis of grammar and today’s young students. I teach at a community college, and walked by the sign “Future Teacher’s Of America” for one day before I could stand it no longer. The poor young things had no idea why I was upset with their sign!
Mary Myers
Fort Myers, Florida

How utterly refreshing to read Ms. Torrance commenting on the fact that she is a “grammar nazi.” Well, so am I. She snorts at an ad listing banana’s for sale. I can go her one better. I have actually seen bananas for sale like this: bana’na’s for sale. Just today, when buying two roast beef sandwiches at Arby’s, there was a professionally written sign on the wall: complimentary salad dressing. My husband wondered if the salad dressing was going to pay a compliment to the salad. I’m a little tired at the moment, so if someone finds a grammatical mistake, I apologize. I just felt that I had to write. Ms. Torrance made my day!
Peggy DeLong
West Union, Ohio

How wonderful! I must needs buy this book and place it prominently next to my two volumes of the OED-Compact Edition. Thanks for writing it, and thanks too to Wlady for posting it on TAS.

In closing, I was on a trip to Sydney, Australia in the ’80’s and at a party I overheard two “sheilas” referring to a nearby man as a “wombat.” I inquired as to the derivation of that term, and was told that it referred to a wombat’s diet; “A wombat eats, roots, shoots, and leaves.” Tells you something of the Aussie male’s habits.
Bob Johnson
Bedford, Texas

Speaking of hyphens, that one connecting (or is it separating?) the words poorly and read in “Jots and Tittles” is either correct and the missing one two graphs below between the words grammatically and incorrect is incorrect — or vice versa. Where’s Miss McConnell when we need her?
Sarsfield Matthews
Bellport, New York

Re: Daniel J. Mitchell’s Be Nice to Liberals Day:

While Daniel Mitchell is to be admired for his generous spirit of detente with the Lefties among us, perhaps a more appropriate and beneficial gesture could be found in the celebration of a national “Take a Liberal to Work Day.”

After all, most of them could benefit from a full day’s exposure to serious capital enterprise. Seeing how hard conservatives work for their money might make them more appreciative of our reluctance to give it all to the government for their feel-good programs.

Plus, it might do wonders for them to spend eight hours in the presence of grownups. That should have some maturing effect on all but the most diehard Peter Pans among them.

And yes, Daniel, at the end of the day, we send them off with a big hug, because, just as you say, feelings are the most important thing to a Liberal. At least they’ll remember that part of their experience.
Russ Vaughn
Lakehills, Texas

Who really wants a “Be kind to liberals” day? Why help them on the path of recovery as the article (tongue in cheek as it is) suggests? The best thing we can do for liberals is take them off life support and declare them brain dead or just take them off life support since you have to be brain dead to be a liberal.
Pete Chagnon

Re: George Neumayr’s A Collaborative Big Lie:

I’m left wondering why the 9/11 Commission even addressed the possible “collaborative relationship” between Iraq and al Qaeda. Isn’t their responsibility to look BACK at what actually happened and to make recommendations to prevent it from happening again?

All of the liberal hand wringing over that one phrase is almost laughable considering the importance they attach to the August 6th PDB — and how the President “didn’t connect the dots.” Well, perhaps he didn’t, but that was PRE 9/11. This war we wage today is POST 9/11, and with respect to the “gathering threat” from Sadaam Hussein, the dots were connected accordingly and appropriate action taken. Perhaps we should have waited until Saddam Hussein attacked us so that we could convene yet ANOTHER commission to determine why the dots weren’t properly connected. Personally, I look forward to the day when the “has been” 9/11 Commissioners slip back into the obscurity from whence they came.
Cathy Thorpe
Columbus, Georgia

It is apparent to me, and I should hope to most other followers of the political scene, that the Left in this country (and, perhaps, the world) is suffering from a severe case of collective amnesia. President Bush, long before the invasion of Iraq, made an extremely forceful case for the campaign based on the link between the Iraqi government and the Middle East terrorist networks. The case was examined by a Congress comprised of both left and right members. The conclusion: to support the President and to give him the authority to conduct whatever military means he felt were necessary. One of the senators to vote for this authorization was — you guessed it — John Kerry. No one in the administration claimed any link between what happened here on 9/11, and Sadaam Hussein’s regime. And no one in the Congress, including Mr. Kerry, perceived that such was the case. All of a sudden, due to the intellectual dishonesty of several liberal politicians and the horrendous media bias which we experience daily, history has been re-written to say that this “link” was President Bush’s excuse for going to war. If this media campaign weren’t so dangerous to the country, I would be laughing up my sleeve at this nauseating deception.

I’d also like to weigh in on the 9/11 Commission. This inept, bumbling, Larry, Curley, Moe operation has to be the political cum governmental version of the keystone kops. All semblance of validity vaporized at the precise moment that the Commission decided not only to retain Jaimie Gorelick, but also to refuse to call her as a witness. She more than any other American is responsible for the “fire wall” between the intelligence agencies. This wall was the single most dangerous political creation of the Clinton administration. Most of us know why this wall was created, and we are sickened by it.
Joseph Baum

Why is it that some facts that are so obvious to some of us are totally lost on the Left? The attempt by the DNC to politicize everything in an attempt to discredit President Bush is laughable. All of the Leftists’ ranting about President Bush and his policies reminds me of a Biblical passage: “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?” If the links between Iraq under Saddam and al Qaeda were any more obvious, you could read them blindfolded. But then, that seems to be the condition of the Left today — blind to everything except their self-centered agenda.
Stephen Garfield
Prescott Valley, Arizona

Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s Let Them Eat Deer:

Thank you for a reminder of why we are so truly fortunate to live in the United States.

Thanks, too, for pointing out European attraction to our cowboy culture. Once, on a mid-May trip to the Grand Teton National Park, I met a Frenchman at the only gift shop open in the still very-much snow-covered park. On a two-week tour of the American West, he’d just come from the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. Excitedly, he said I must go see it because of how impressive it was (I did; it is).

Attired in casual American cowboy-type garb, he also told me he was part of a rodeo and/or horse-riding-performance group that traveled around France, even performing in Paris. He was very proud of that-he beamed, if you will-and said the group was well-received wherever they went.

One more serious thing, though, about your piece — and I agree with the spirit and letter of what you said: “If the French and the Germans have any sense of honor they will lend a hand in rebuilding Iraq.”

If my late Grandma Amos were still alive, she’d grin, then laugh and say what I heard her declare more than a few times about such improbable happenings, “And if a frog had wings, he wouldn’t bounce his behind on the ground.”

Using France, Germany and honor in the same sentence is oxymoronic. The only things the French and Germans appear to have are nauseating senses of entitlement and a preposterous pomposity — and being stuck in the illusion of some long-gone grandeur.

Their involvement in Iraq? Humanitarian it won’t be, unless there’s some financial payoff for them.

Likely, all they’ll seek is to situate themselves, through whatever whining and hand-wringing or ingratiating words or false promises or sham deals required, to partake of what they consider their “rightful” portion of the spoils of a war-and our and the Coalition’s troops-that they actively fought and conspired against.

You know, maybe we, the Coalition and the Iraqis would be better off if they just stayed at home.
C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

I truly wonder how the tourism industry in those two countries will fare when Islam takes over.

It’s like watching the crew rearrange the deck chairs while their ship is sinking. Germany and France produce nothing new, innovative or cultural anymore. These two countries are dying and they do not even notice.
Gene Deveney

Re Le Eat Them Eat Deer: “If the French and the Germans have any sense of honor they will lend a hand in rebuilding Iraq. “

If the Americans had the sense of honor they would not be asking for money like beggars, and they would limitate their ambitions in the world to what they can afford.
unsigned (Utilisateur 1)

Re: Bob Johnson’s letter (“Supreme Wisdom”) in Reader Mail’s Getting Out:

Bob: In my heart I hope you are right and I am wrong. But I am not yet convinced till I have time to read the full finding of the court. Especially considering the Supremes are now into quoting international law for the purposes of domestic jurisprudence.

I will concede that the thrust of the case was not parental rights but the Establishment Clause as it relates to the Pledge. I believe that I stated as such in my first paragraph. And yes Family Court is not generally a Supreme Court venue. But Bob, I think you would have to consider that in order for the Court to find Newdow to be wanting of his standing before the Court they had to determine first, did he have sufficient rights to be there in the first place?

So on the face of it that would have at least required inquiry and determination. Unless a USC procedural ruling was invoked and determination remanded back to the family court by specific reference; I contend that the door is still open that modifications have been introduced into family court law. Hence noncustodial parents may find their standing in the eyes of courts everywhere changed. But again I hope I am wrong — reverently so.

Bob, I am in the book. If you want to have the gentlemanly discussion an hoist a few I am certainly interested.
John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas (Yep, right down the road from Bedford, Texas)

Re: Shawn Macomber’s Reagan vs. Clinton:

The difference between Reagan and Clinton: Reagan didn’t think he was great but everyone else did; Clinton thought he was great but nobody else did. That’s the difference.
Sean Fennessy
Chicago, Illinois

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