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terri schiavo

well everyone else on the damn internet has weighed in on this, so why not me? my brief note at the end of yesterday’s blog notwithstanding.

i’m glad i waited to write this, because i have a bit more perspective now than if i had blogged about this, say, over the weekend, when, as one of my beloved former students used to say, “fire shot out of my ass.”

or “was shooting”. but that’s not the phrase she used.

oh, and by the way, i know i’m supposed to put the period inside the quotation mark. technically. it should be “was shooting.” i taught english for fifteen years, after all.

but i think that it looks stupid and makes no sense. it’s not the phrase that’s ending, it’s the sentence. and the quoted phrase is part of the sentence as a whole, so logically to me the period goes outside.

that’s how they do it in england, by the way, i think. and since they invented the goddamn language or at least refined it and evolved it from what it was or whatever, i think we should tip our hat to the british on this one, and listen to them, and put the period outside the quote mark.

unless, of course, what’s inside the quotes is itself a sentence, in which case you should logically put the period inside the quotes. but no period outside the quotes.

you know what else i hate? when people correct me when i use “ain’t” in an negatively-phrased interrogative question about myself. such as “ain’t i looking good today?” which i am. i wore a tie to work, because i’m going to the opera this evening. that’s right, the opera. having just turned 42, i can become an opera queen if i want to, although i most likely will not because that would require actual effort and spending of money. but i’ve never been to lincoln center to see an opera, and i’ve been in new york city for 6 years now, and friends of mine are going, and we all got seats in the back row where it’s cheap like me, so i’m going to the opera.

and when people ask me why i’m wearing a tie, i say “ain’t i an enigma today?” with the question mark inside the quote. see above. and thankfully no one has corrected me, because if they did, i’d ask them what they thought was correct.

and they’d say “aren’t i an enigma today?” and i’d ask them what they’d say if it wasn’t a question, but a statement. and they’d say “i am an enigma today.” not that they would be.

but the negation of the contraction for “am i” is not “amn’t”. it’s not “aren’t” either, because i am not enigmas in the plural and “aren’t” is plural. so what are you left with to form a question about yourself that’s phrased in the negative? “ain’t”, that’s what.

and that’s what i’d tell them. while wearing a tie, and they’d be so befuddled by my answer that they’d forget asking me in the first place about why i was wearing a tie, or they wouldn’t care anymore and think me very odd, which i wouldn’t care about.

except that no one has asked. about the “ain’t” thing.

and that’s what i think of terri schiavo.

ain’t i an enigma today?

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