I’ve been reading with my kids a lot this summer. Reading the same books they are, that is. My daughter and I are still in the middle of the Ebola epidemic (by the way, several women in my book group pronounce it Eh-bola, which I think makes it sound like they don’t think Ebola is a big deal, and let me reassure you it most certainly is; but can someone confirm that it’s pronounced EEEbola which admittedly sounds like you are scared of it) but Young Ladrinka and I took a lighter tone and decided to stick with The Series of Unfortunate Events. I love these books and am furious at everyone who didn’t insist that I read the series earlier. Which, I believe, includes all of you, so nice going.
And now I’m on the third Unfortunate Events book which I love because the orphans are living with Aunt Josephine and Aunt Josephine loves grammar. And as any person who loves grammar, she heartily disapproves of people confusing its/it’s. She is a character after my own heart and I am thisclose to starting to write Aunt Josephine fan fiction. 50 Shades of Aunt Josephine perhaps.
At one point Aunt Josephine, after being handed a card that says “Captain Sham’s Sailboats. Every boat has it’s own sail” says,
“This card says ‘it’s’ with an apostrophe. I-T-apostraphe-S aways means ‘it is.’ You don’t mean to say “Every boat has it is own sail.’ You mean simply I-T-S, ‘belonging to it.’ It’s a very common mistake, Captain Sham, but a dreadful one.”
I don’t want to give too much away, but this is an important point in the book, and incidentally, in life. So this morning I decided to check in with Young Ladrinka to make sure that he understood.
Here is a transcript of our conversation. For those of you who are more visual, please imagine Sofia Vergara in my role and Alfalfa in Young Ladrinka’s. But obviously a glommed up version of Sofia Vergara.
Marinka Vergara: Did you understand the whole I-T-S and I-T-apostrophe-S thing?
Young Ladrinka: Yes.
Marinka: So if you were to say “A mother loves blank children” how would you fill in the blank?
Young Ladrinka: Her?
Marinka: Oh, you’re a smart guy, huh? Ok, I meant a mother dog, obviously.
Young Ladrinka: Still her.
Marinka: A stuffed mother dog. And spell out the word, please.
Young Ladrinka: I-T-S-apostraphe.
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