Dear Ms.DeMonte

Dear Ms.DeMonte,

It seems you taught English in school. Its also said that you have yelled. And felled those boys and girls, sometimes with nothing else but stern looks that were as ominous as a Swine Flu warning.

Of course, at times their notebooks have been airborne in a flash, at speeds that would have delighted the Indian Air Force. Crashing into corridors and corners. Enraged. For reasons ranging from faulty punctuation to fumbling pronunciation. Incorrect past tense to imperfect future tense !

Over time your students are said to have (usually) learnt that missing an apostrophe was catastrophe ! Atleast, In your class ! Many years after they moved on into adult life, atleast in one of them, its stuck right through.

This chap that i am talking to today, has a penchant for poorly executed semantic gymnastics. And that too on, as public a forum as a blog ! “The gall”. Wont you say. Like a local weight lifter trying a Olympic ballerina act ! In your name..

But there sure are things that you must be happy about. Like for instance, if you come to know that upon spotting this store

this chap thought of you.

Thinking of the lady who taught him English in class two while his missus is besides him, can well have chaps who read Freud arching their eyebrows in interest. Much like a biology student eyeing a lab specimen.

But before your anger is airborne its important to specify that the thoughts were about English language ! And so he says. Like giving ‘different meanings’ to this notice, just like you would do.

He gave it four. Without changing anything of what was already written there. Just adding those full-stops !

1. Mans. Gift Store Woman Welcome
2. Mans Gift. Store Woman Welcome
3. Mans Gift Store. Woman Welcome
4. Mans Gift Store Woman. Welcome

And was all excited! Like an urban two year old spotting a bullock cart. Additionally he confessed that you visited him in his dream and gave him a pat on his back.

[ Of course, much to the annoyance of his missus. Any missus would be. If the husband, wakes her up in the middle of the night and asks her if she patted his back. ( He also murmurs that ‘what for’ from the missus kept his restive for the rest of the night ) ]

So you see Ms.DeMonte, to say that you have been an ‘influence’ would be a gross understatement. Perhaps a little short of the likes of an Indian film director, ripping off a Hollywood blockbuster. Frame-by-frame. In the name of ‘inspiration’ !

Teachers like you are a rarity these days. Some of them don’t subscribe to your line of thought. Many others don’t understand it. Like that apostrophe-catastrophe bit !

Missing the apostrophe is one thing. Looking up the dictionary for ‘catastrophe’ is quite another. Those stern looks and airborne notebooks indeed seem to have left a lasting impression.

A sober chap talking to another who is four drinks down. About his 2nd standard teacher called Ms. DeMonte for three full hours, says a lot. Wont you think.

Your Truly,
Four drinks down. Three hours now.

PS : I have noticed, despite a general haze in the air, that the apostrophe isn’t there in any of his four options. Am i to expect catastrophe?

13 thoughts on “Dear Ms.DeMonte

  1. Nu says:

    Kavi,what a post 🙂 Geee.. wonder what a single dot can do to the sentences…

    Good observation 🙂

    nice change of template 🙂

  2. Aparna says:

    I too had a Ms DeMonte. Her name was Mrs. Kamala Chopra. I often wonder what she would have thought of my blog. Specially when I see the mistakes in the post and still do nothing to edit them. She surely would have cringed. And starting a sentence with an ‘and’after a fullstop! What a blatant error!

  3. I like the last derivation the most. I wonder what such a woman would be like. Very nice play of phrase throughout… it reads like a poem.

  4. Kevin says:

    Wow, what a post !!!

    Now we know who is the influence behind your knack of extracting endless meanings from simple sentences.
    That was an amazing description of ‘a’ Ms DeMonte. It also brings to mind all the teachers who I ‘encountered’ in school. When I get to talking with any of my school mates, its always an endless discussion of those people who shaped our early years.

  5. nsiyer says:

    Fantastic is what I can say about the play on words. My salutations to Ms. DeMonte and her student, the great blogger.

  6. Sriram says:

    hahaha. this post is a riot. super!

  7. sujata says:

    I always though english was a tool to express my mind..until the pieces I write for the business journal at work were proof-read!! That day I learnt english all over again from apostrophes that cannot be used to commas that must and many many more!!

  8. Hilarious.

    Try introducing commas and it becomes more interesting!



  9. Neha says:

    ewww, I always make a note of grammatical errors in the post that i am reading…I always stop myself from pointing them out thinking the author may feel know, i always end up confessing something on your blog…wil ve to do smthng bout me..

    n about the post – Kavi, I have become your fan all over again…I love sarcastic humour…”This chap that i am talking to today, has a penchant for poorly executed semantic gymnastics.” – I was laughing for 5 minutes after reading this…you are simply fantabulous 🙂

  10. Lou says:

    This is very clever, one of your best! I think many of us have had a Ms. DeMonte. We never forget them, do we?

  11. Kavi says:

    Nu : Thank you indeed ! But i havent changed the template much. I just knocked off a few parts that werent relevant

    NR : Thank you !

    Aparna : And starting a sentence with And ! Ofcourse, i would have had a duster flying in my direction ! 😉

    I guess we have all had our Ms.DeMontes !

    Christine : Thank you !! 🙂 Well, the last one is of particular interest to me as well ! 😉

    Kevin : When we meet, it is them that the conversation usually is all about…it is them that shaped our lives. You are bang on Kevin !

    NSIyer : Thank you sir ! Wishing you a very speedy recovery

    Sriram : Thanks mate ! 🙂

    Sujata : Business writing ! Oh my. tell me about it ! DeMonte maa’am would have hauled them up ! then and there !

    VSP : Thank you sir ! The commas always are more interesting than full stops ! For with commas you realise that it isnt over ! yet ! 😉

    Neha : Thank you !! I wish there were more people like you in appreciating such lowly placed semantic gymnastics ! indeed ! 🙂

    Lou : Thank you!!! And oh yes. They never go out of our minds !

  12. Shaili says:

    LOL this is funny… i think everybody had a Ms.DeMonte at least once in their school life… but afsoos, not everybody developed a penchant for poorly executed semantic gymnastics
    geee. nice post.

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