Friday, June 16, 2006

Darling Luke, La Gaceta's new terminally cute Cutie Pie, etc.,

You get no slack on quotation marks. And cut the charm riposte. I come from White Oak, Georgia, where the filling-station gallants hone their charm spiels whilst in perpetual residence in our small-town garage-culture graduate school of seduction. Listening to these insinuating louts inoculates us belles for life from the magnetic spiels of less gifted practitioners, of which consider yourself one.

Any more displays such as you have perpetrated, and you sleep with the Tampa Bay fishes or, worse, get perpetual reporter duty as scribe to the Hillsborough County Commission's colloquies--a fate worse than Satre's Huit Clos hell.

You get to use quotation marks sarcastically one time per column and then knock it off. Why? Because I said so. Your mother taught you the no-appeal-to-a-higher-court finality of that command. Heed it. So don't try to work your way up to the sympathy of those sexist twits Scalia, Thomas, and the last two patriarchal anti-choice ding-dongs that Bush inserted on the bench.

Subsequent use of quotation marks except for one grace time per column suggests you lack the cajones (sp?) to spit out what you mean. Not following this advice from your GFG (Grammar Fairy Godmother) invites major repercussions. Caveat emptor: Her wand is a Obi Wan Kenobi zap apparatus.

And cut out the logorrhea. That gets a GFG wand zap henceforth.

I will not tolerate my Roslin buddy Andrea's getting buried in the back-pages truss ads of La Gaceta after my First-La-Gaceta-First-Amendment Martyr glorious exit. You can't prance on the page next to Patrick's--prime real estate for the in-house columnist star, formerly glamorous moi. When the local illiterati finish Patrick's lucubration, their eyes swing right to the star columnist essay. That's my old slot. My readers used to complain that they had trouble with some of my words, to which I responded, "Look them up, goddamit, and become a polymorph." See: I too can be charming when need be.

When did I tell you that you could hole up next to His Hiney, Patrick, and push back Andrea to truss-ad-land? I did not. So you do not nail down that slot. Fugedaboutit.

Every time Patrick buried me in the back-pages limbo to replace me with, for God's sake, "Pachero's Dreams," I squawked. So work out some kind of gallant understanding with Andrea, or meet me in the La Gaceta parking lot for probono fisticuffs.

And don't go easy on me because I am a girl, lack upper body strength, and am, besides, a sweet little old lady and granny of ten, seven of which are strapping boys who will clean your legal clock if you touch a snow-white hair on their sainted granny's head.

Have a nice day, my son. And review my to advise me how I can phrase some insult to the school administration to goad those dummies who have captured the school-taxes treasury for their vile uses into suing me for slandering their non-existent virtue. I pine to spend the rest of my life in the pokey as a First Amendment martyr, from which I shall give benedictions through the bars to First-Amendment pilgrims, I pausing betimes from needlepointing another wedding rug for my granddaughters to tell my ACLU vassal to fetch me another cup of chamomile tea.

Your benevolent when she's not malignant GFG,


----- Original Message -----
Angie Manteiga
Lee De Cesare
Sent: Friday, June 16, 2006 10:02 AM
Subject: FW: A Rebellion To Free Quotation Marks
See how charming this guy is?

From: Luke [] Sent: Thursday, June 15, 2006 8:17 PMTo:; 'Angie Manteiga';;;;;;;;;;; 'Paul Guzzo'Subject: A Rebellion To Free Quotation Marks

My Dearest “Fairy Godmother,”

Please accept this Post Script to my earlier plea of nolo contendere to the charges of being grammatically “impressionistic.” I must tender a follow-up to my earlier mea culpa, specifically as to the following excerpt of your respectful and warm critique, to which I endeavor to submit a “change of plea”:

“Since I have pledged to become the grammar-punctuation fairy godmother of the press, we must talk quotation marks. They have limited use. You went as berserk with them in your first column almost as badly as does superintendent Dr. Clayton The Quotation Kid Wilcox of Pinellas County. This second column is not as bad as was the first, but quotation marks still clog it.

“Reread the small section on quotation marks in your grammar primer. You will see that your overuse of them to flag words in a special sense far exceeds the leeway of that quotation-marks resource. I suspect your resorting to quotation marks means you intuit that there exists a better word than the one you gussy up with quotation marks but that you are too hubristic, incurious, or lazy to take the time to discover the right word for the occasion. As Twain said, ‘The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.’”

After much soul searching, research, and not without hesitation, fear, horror, terror, fright, trepidation, consternation, anxiety, dread and apprehension, not to mention anatomically reflecting a certain “tightness” in areas I dare not mention, I urge you (ever so cautiously) to reconsider your castigation over “quotation marks.” Most of the “learned treatises” to which you refer fail to embrace the robust satisfaction one feels, and communicative value one effects, by using quotation marks to manifest a mild sarcasm otherwise left void in the vapid vacuum of grammatical constraints. I do not desire to vex or vent to such a venerable visionary as yourself, but the use of quotation marks (excluding the physical two finger gesture of “scratching the air” during conversation, unacceptable at any time) is a vehicle to vanquish the vassalage of the verbal vise. It is a practice neither vain nor vague, never vulgar nor villainous, but conveys and vocabulates a valuable vibration unachievable through any other punctuation. You da best, Chica, but cut me some slackage on the quotizzle, capizzle?

Love, Luke


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