The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

19 October 2007

Report to parents

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! said the blue paper from the Monroe School First Grade Team. And indeed, there was much to be congratulatory about:

Your child is now a proud owner of an official metropolitan library card! They have checked out a book from the Belle Isle Library (located at Villa and N. W. Expressway). They may keep the book for two weeks. It must be returned to the metropolitan library by Tuesday, October 30th 2007, or you will be charged a late fee. Do not return this book to Monroe.

Your child has been shown where to find books in the library that are appropriate for their reading level and they are excited about beginning this new adventure. Keep the enthusiasm going by establishing a regular routine of visiting the public library every week or two. (You can count these books on their reading log.)

Remember, your positive attitude and effort toward your child's reading will create an excellent reader!

There is much to cheer about here: getting started on a regular reading habit is clearly a Good Thing for a child, and a little encouragement always helps. But looking at the actual sheet, I see three potential problems:

  1. As Daffy Duck might have said, "Pronoun trouble." I can appreciate not wanting to get into that whole gender-of-words thing, but until such time as the Surly Grammarians League approves plural pronouns for a singular person, it's wrong.

  2. It's in Comic Sans, fercrissake. How is anyone supposed to take it seriously?

  3. And perhaps most grievous: I found it in my flower bed, which means there's a good chance that the parental unit for whom it was intended never saw it at all.

Still, I figure that at least the area first-graders are seeing the inside of a big building full of books, and you know that can't be bad.

Posted at 8:09 AM to Almost Yogurt


I think that's wonderful. Libraries are the holiest places there are, in my opinion.

Though the whole Comic Sans thing is pretty dumb.

Posted by: Nate at 9:05 AM on 19 October 2007

"I can appreciate not wanting to get into that whole gender-of-words thing, but until such time as the Surly Grammarians League approves plural pronouns for a singular person, it's wrong."

I'm with you, champ. The same goes for the "he or she / him or her" business, too. The frequency with which gender-neutrality enforcers try to harass me about that sort of thing is legendary...as are the stunned looks they assume when I tell them their English needs remedial treatment, and they should sit down and shut up until they get it, lest they embarrass themselves even further.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at 12:31 PM on 19 October 2007

You quote Daffy Duck, and then complain that anything written in Comic Sans can't be taken seriously?

Posted by: Mister Snitch! at 9:43 PM on 19 October 2007

Damn right. Mr Duck is a cultural icon, and deservedly so. Besides, when's the last time you saw Comic Sans in an actual comic? Thought so.

Posted by: CGHill at 10:17 PM on 19 October 2007

"Mister" Duck? Come on, no one ever gained credibility by calling themselves "Mister".

Posted by: Mister Snitch! at 12:51 PM on 20 October 2007

Captain Duck?

Duck of the World?

International Duck of Mystery?

Posted by: McGehee at 3:12 PM on 20 October 2007

Or, for that matter, Duck Amuck. (Only Spock has Amok Time.)

Posted by: CGHill at 3:26 PM on 20 October 2007