Monday, September 19, 2011


Things have been rather sombre on Sicily Scene recently so in an attempt to cheer you all up, I am posting my entry for the wonderful Stan Carey's limerick competition.  Stan is an editor, linguist and writer so, not surprisingly, the poem has to be about language.  Misuse of the apostrophe in general, but particularly in "its" irritates me no end but my Italian students, at least, have some excuse for their errors.  They don't believe me when I tell them that many British people also make mistakes when writing "its" and that mostly they add the apostrophe where it is not needed rather than omitting it:

Oh, what a problem is “it’s”
It’s driving me out of my wits
When “its” means “belong”
the apostrophe’s wrong
but students think “its” is the pits!

I wish that my name were Lynne Truss
who, spotting this error in us,
put it all in a book -
you should have a look,
She made a few million thus.

Lynne Truss is the author of Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.

If you would like to join in the limerick fun, pop over to Stan's blog - you have until 23rd September - and you will learn a lot about language while you're there.


Liz Hinds said...

Oh tell me about it, pat! Great limericks.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Liz.

Claude said...

WOW! You're good, Pat. Good luck with the contest. I love Stan's blog because it helps me so much with English. Stan (like you) knows French, and he accepts my little French poems, now and again. Of course, this limerick has to be in English. I have no chance of winning, but I wanted to put my two-cents-worth. Here's what I sent:

I have but a few years to go
My mind is getting a bit slow
Words jump here and there
And run everywhere
And never obey a NoNo!

It's so much fun to read all the entries. Best Grammar Lessons I ever had.

Whispering Walls said...

It's the pits

James Higham said...

We could all do with a good cheer up at this time.

Ellee Seymour said...

It's a great way for your language students to understand our idiosyncracies. I wonder they have an Italian version.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Claude. I love your rhyme too. I agree - it's great fun reading the entries chez Stan. It is, WW! Then I hope I have succeeded in your case, James. Hi, Ellee. I think the limerick would be beyond them, actually.

Anonymous said...

Definitely go check out Stan's limerick contest! There are so many awesome (and hilarious) entries. And the prizes are awesome too (they include a Kindle and some great books on language)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Lauren and welcome. Yes, the entries are so funny and the prizes are fantastic.


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