Pros: Nothing too unusual, good review of basic 'confusing' words. Middle-school/HS level.
Cons: Not the most entertaining read of the year. Murphy wanted pictures.
The large precinct room was open and claustrophobic at the same time. Large, solid columns spaced too close together told you immediately this was not modern construction. Old worn chairs butted up against too-small desks piled too high with papers, folders, and open, crumb-filled donut boxes. From the overflowing trashcans it was hard to tell when the cleaning crew had last been through.
From a desk near the back the tired (even at this early hour) police captain pointed a bony finger at a sergeant and beckoned him over.
Murphy, get over here..!!
Whadda ya mean 'yes cap'n'..?! Give me your report, damn it..!!
He quickly jabbed both hands into his pockets. One eventually found and drew out a wrinkled sheet of paper; the other came out empty, going to his forehead to wipe a thin film of sweat from his furrowed brow.
We done what you ordered, captain. Me and Lebowski rounded up all the (his eyes dropped to the crumpled paper and he slowly, almost moving his lips, read the words...) we rounded up the '100 words almost everyone confuses & misuses'. I got the list of 'em right here.
He stuck the sheet out toward his captain, but when he showed no interest Murphy pulled his hand back. He waited impatiently, his eyes had the look of a dog's eyes, waiting for a reward after obeying a command.
The captain slumped deeper into his chair, if that was possible. This was really the best man I had for this job..?? he thought.
OK, Murph tell me what you got. Tell me you rounded up the usual suspects..??
You bet captain. Affect-effect, discreet-discrete, complement-compliment, flaunt-flout, wreak-wreck. We got a bunch of those that always work as a team, trying to mess up writers. And we collared a bunch more that like to work alone. Impeach, kudos, sacrilegious, penultimate. Some of these perps have been scamming the English language for a long time. We even got evidence from old quotes and stuff.
The captain's eyebrow arched ...wow, better than I had hoped.
So what did you do with 'em then Murphy..??
Well, we knowed we had to get them ready for booking so we sent them down to the boys in the lab. They labeled 'em with what parts of speech they were ...you know, noun, adjective, intransi . . .intransitive verb and such. Then they divided 'em into syllables, gave their pronunciation, a good definition, and related forms of the words. If they knew they had a rap sheet for being particularly troublesome they fitted them with a Usage Problem & Usage Note label and explained real careful like how ornery they could be.
They even gave the . . .etymology of the words. Lebowski and me told them lab guys we didnt care 'bout their religion. 'Save that for the chaplain..!!' we said. But the lab boys laughed and said 'no, where the words come from we mean'.
But Lebowski and me did not care to hear any hard luck stories. We was raised poor too and you dont see us out confusing the citizens.
The captain was thinking that maybe this might just turn out all right after all. Seems like his boys had done some good work bringing in some tough and confusing customers.
So Murphy, you think we got anything good here to work with..??
Oh yes captain. Me, I woulda liked some pictures or something but it looks like we got 100 troublesome words wrapped up tighter than Dillinger's hands on a bank deposit bag.
I think if we can get '100 words almost everyone confuses & misuses' in the hands of citizens that need to learn the ins and outs of some of these confusing perps, just maybe this might keep some poor sap from becoming the next victim of poor word choice. That's what makes this job all worth while cap'n.
Cue music ...roll credits ...fade to black.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Certified 'lean-n-mean' review.
Check out the 2009 write-off here: Lean-n-Mean VIII
A 'wordle' view of the words featured in this book is available here:
This review has absolutely nothing to do with anything Texan, Swedish, or any weird perversion of the two. It thus has no connection to fellow user texas-swede's Texas+Sweden Write Off. So do not even think about clicking that link. Seriously, Murphy will break your kneecaps.