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Even Truer Romance


Like everyone else, I bought the new edition of The Elements of Style, stylishly illustrated by Maira Kalman, on the understanding that "I lost the copy that I had in school" and "needed" a new one.

Sorry, Charlie. The old one, dating from law school days, turned up over the weekend. The only book it's bigger than is A Uniform System of Citation - a lawyer book that is, however, somewhat fatter. Tucked in the middle of Elements was the file card shown above. I proffer it as proof that I know when to stick an awkward preposition at the end of a sentence.

Neither one of us can remember what contretemps prompted this particular stay in the nuisance corner. There is no doubt that I had done something to make me smell like a bad cheese. In those days, most of my contacts with Kathleen were in public, necessitating surreptitious notes by the ream. It was a long courtship, as you can imagine.

What drives me crazy with love for my wife of twenty-four years is the squiggle under "I." You'll note that she underlined "don't," but then found that that wasn't strong enough. Ergo: squiggle. That is Kathleen.


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Oh my god, that handwriting...brings back memories...very distinctive. But I can't believe that you and Kathleen ever had a serious contretemps in law school...you two always seemed to be completely simpatico.

Oooooh, I wanted that. So unfair. I tried to abuse my friendships with folks at Penguin but to no avail. This sucks. No bartering will work. I have to truck it down to the Strand and just get it. I love your personal stories, nonetheless. Ah, grammar, etc. How it brings us all together.

Yes, sir, grammar and style, Mr RJ he always know where it's at. An unillustrated edition of Elements is available at Bartleby.com. 'Disagreeable cheese', this was a note passed between you two in the library or some other quite place? And those whom we love the most are those who love us the most and they discipline us from time to time, n'est-ce pas? It has been sucessful, it would seem, so far, eh? 'I', indeed, don't know but perhaps you do!

I am a kottke.org micropatron

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