Tuesday, 3 November 2009


Tony, who surely merits the soubriquet, 'the Garrison Keillor of the Wyre Forest', shared his short story, Delay. What to some was a gentle snapshot of domestic life was to others a feat of controlled disclosure where portents of an uncertain future arrived unheralded in the humdrum life of the protagonist. At first sight a simple story but one which, because of its hidden depth and haphazard punctuation, stimulated much discussion.
There is much to admire in Tony's writing, particularly its gentle tone and his mastery over mood and dialogue.
The critiques prompted further discussion on: the proper use of the word 'properly'; whether the vocative comma should be used in two word exclamations (surprising Chris's pet subject should come up despite his absence with Swine Fever); commas in general and semi-colons in particular; a mini-diversion through the swamp that is point-of-view; and the correct punctuation of reported non-speech (ie speech we were told did not happen).
An excellent meeting with much pedantry, spirited debate and Tony raising the catering bar to new heights with the provision of chocolate cookies with a chocolate coating on one side.
Tony also hit pay dirt coming up with a sentence where the inclusion or omission of the vocative comma changes its meaning drastically: What is this thing called, love?
Lovely Jubbly! (or should that be, Lovely, Jubbly! or Lovely jubbly!?)

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