Craig Brown has to mind his Ps and Qs when he goes carol-singing with The Pedants’ Association
It’s always pleasant to go carol-singing, or carols-singing, with The Pedants’ Association, formerly The Pedants Association, originally The Pedant’s Association. I first joined ten years ago with the long-term aim of attracting the requisite number of votes in order to change its title to The Association of Pedants, thus rendering the apostrophe redundant, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. In fact, far from it: Rome was built over a period of a good many centuries. Indeed, the last time I paid it a visit, I noticed a great deal of building work still in progress.
Each and/or every year, an evening of carols kicks off the Association’s Christmas celebrations, though not literally so, as there is the world of difference between a football and a carol. One of them is round, and the other cannot be defined by shape, though our seasonal song-sheets tend towards the rectangular.
But I digress! When the company had assembled, Mr Little spoke up. ‘Pray silence while I take the roll-call,’ he said.
‘On a point of order,’ piped up Ms Everett, ‘may I ask Mr Little whether or not he is planning to take the aforesaid roll-call off the premises, and, if so, when he proposes to return it to its appropriate home?’
Mr Little welcomed the interjection. ‘I am most grateful to Ms Everett for delivering herself of a characteristically pertinent point. I stand corrected, or would so do were I not standing but sitting. I should make it clear that I shall be “taking” the roll-call only in that verb’s secondary, or even tertiary, sense of “conducting” the roll-call. Furthermore, my clipboard plus attached sheets will at all times remain on the premises.’
As there were only eight (8) pedants present, the roll-call took no longer than half an hour, including all checks and clarifications.