Friday, March 03, 2006

The Shameful Purpose of the Glabback

I have spent the morning drinking endless mugs of fortified wine and lamenting my wicked folly in creating new punctuation. The purpose of the glabback has made itself known to me, and its function is far from the noble and elegant one that I had envisaged when I first hit upon the scheme.

As all proud grammarians know, an apostrophe is used in the contraction "it's" because it replaces the letter "i" in "it is" or the "wa" is "it was" or the "ha" is "it has". The possessive form of the pronoun "it" is "its" and never takes an apostrophe, unless you are a cretin of the highest order.

Thus, a silver-whiskered, erudite grammarian would write, "It's tragic when my gopher skins its tail", while a slack-jawed simpleton with one eye would write, "Its tragic when my gopher skins it's tail". Those who know this rule and can consistently apply it correctly have historically been elevated in society to positions of power, while those who do not know this rule have traditionally been birched and delegated to ignominious positions, such as watchmakers and fennel growers.

Alas, the glabback replaces the apostrophe in the contraction "it's" and is added between the "t" and the "s" of the possessive "its", so that the "its" apostrophe rule is now rendered null and void. There is now no reliable method of discerning who is an intellectual and who is a buffoon. For this I apologise tenfold. It is as though all my nightmares have coalesced and manifested themselves in the oddities of English punctuation.

The function of the hurd-glabback has yet to reveal itself, and for that I am grateful.

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