Wednesday, December 23, 2015


(With thanks to Clement C. Moore)

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a word was stirring, not even a noun;
The verbs were hanged hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that a palmetto Junebug soon would be there;
Franklin and Penelope were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of milk bones danced in their heads;
Willy Dunne Wooters, who couldn't care less,
Had just settled his brain for football and a nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
That Hot Young Anthony and Sweet Young Allison
Considered getting up to see what was the matter.
The Junebug had arrived.
She could be such a bitch grinch ditz.
Thinks she knows grammar better than ever.
She can't leave a missteak.
More rapid than eagles her curses they came,
And she whistled, and shouted, and called writers names:
"Now pronouns! Now modifiers! Now dangling participles!
Vary vocabulary! Vary sentence construction! Choose me as your editor!
To the top of the page! To the first word of the chapter!
Do it all better, or I'll kick your asses!"
A bundle of books Junebug slung on her back,
She commanded all learn track changes and clean up their acts.
Till four in the morning she edited with glee,
Kissed Frank and Penny, and dropped to her knees.
She begged God to teach grammar to all, please, please, please, please.
Then she cuddled her blanket, put down her head,
And thought of lie, lay, lay, laid.
When finally her brain rested from an existentialist bent
Then she dreamed of England, where she wishes she went.
"The Dowager Countess," she mumbles in her sleep.
Downton Abbey will belong to the Junebug.
Now no more said, Lord Grantham. Not a peep.
The Junebug wishes a Merry Christmas to all, no matter where.
She loves big and small, and her son ever so tall.
Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight, sweet prince.
She'll never tell you what Smells Like Teen Spirit means,
so give up--now--learn your em dashes, jeez.
The Chicago Manual of Style stays in its place.
No matter your transgressions, your misuse of apostrophes,
She wishes you a Happy 2016.
Now write, will you, please?


  1. Queens can be so silly! ;)
    The last of Downton is right around the corner!! Can hardly wait.
    Merry Christmas, my friend, and a very Happy New Year!! :)

    1. The same to you. We have to avoid British Web sites because they'll have their Downton Christmas Eve special tomorrow night. Willy Dunne Wooters is in love with Downton. We're on the second season. I don't mind watching them again, but I had no idea he wouldn't want to watch anything else.

  2. Hi Janie - lovely ... a good grammatical Grinchy read through. An interesting man was Mr Moore. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year with one and all ... cheers Hilary

    1. I don't think I know anything about Clement Moore. I'll have to Google him.

  3. When what to your nearsighted eyes should appear
    But Cherdo and Gonzo, both acting like "rears"
    Hubzam was driving, automatic - not stick
    You yelled, "OMG, lock the front door - like QUICK!"

  4. Very clever! Love it!!! Merry Christmas Janie!

    Michele at Angels Bark

  5. Downton Abbey, the final show
    Don't you know
    The Christmas one
    Should be fun
    This green and pleasant land
    I understand
    I where you'd like to be
    Let me see
    I arrange the parade
    Not a charade
    The one just for you
    This be true
    Thanks for your Christmas prose
    Don't you knows....

    Grammatical Gary, oh how scary....

    1. Oh, I'd love a parade when I reach England, but you don't have to worry about the work because I'll never make it past the grocery store.

    2. Okay and yet I had job for the parade. I was going to be the guy at the end of the parade with the shovel and a barrel.

  6. Dear Janie, you are so clever.
    I adore the poem what a treat.
    Sorry I have missed several of your posts. I have lost my brain and I am not kidding. My doctor told me that !

    Hope Franklin and Penelope received their gift (yours) in the mail.
    Merry Merry Christmas.
    cheers, gayle and thehamish

    1. Franklin, Penelope, and I sent you and thehamish a card. We hope you received it.

  7. Merry Christmas! Kiss Penelope and Franklin for me!

    1. Penelope and Franklin receive kisses every hour on the hour.

  8. As a user of Janie's discerning eye,
    She will hound you until you just want to cry.
    But at last you will hold up your head very high,
    And finish your manuscript with a huge sigh!

    Have a wonderful Holiday weekend, my friend.

    1. That discerning eye of mine
      sometimes makes me want to cry.
      I make missteaks
      and think I'll simply die.

  9. This is hilarious! Wishing you holiday joy!

    1. Thank you. During 2016, perhaps I'll learn what it is you seek.

  10. A fun take on a familiar read. Merry Christmas to you and your family, especially our furry blogging friends.

  11. According to Wikipedia (who never gets anything wrong) the poem was actually written by Major Henry Livingston, Jr.?

    1. Apparently tests show that Clement C. Moore could not have been the author. I wonder if he knew he didn't write it.

  12. OK, this isn't exactly related to your post - but I just saw this today. A word is a noun if the accent is on the beginning sound and a word is a verb if the accent is on the ending sound. (Contract - noun, contract - verb). Is that true? How have I gone my whole life not knowing this?

    1. True. I think you went your whole life not knowing it because you didn't need to know it. No doubt the correct pronunciation came to you as naturally as a leaf falls from a tree, except here in Florida where it's 75 degrees after dark.


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