Thursday, April 26, 2018

“Say telephone.”

High school, and Beverly Bunn and Claudine Klum are friends:

In freshman English, tiny Miss Hart led us through Treasure Island, which pleased the boys. The book bored me. This was followed by As You Like It and Silas Marner. We also waded into a compact little green book, The Century Handbook of Writing, by Garland Greever and Easley Jones, a valuable book that was to accompany us for four years. Completeness of thought, unity of thought, emphasis, grammar, diction, spelling, “manuscript, etc.,” and punctuation — we went over it all every year.

Claudine and I, who were inclined to giggle at almost anything, found The Century Handbook entertaining. We often quoted examples. If I said, “Phone me this evening,” she replied, “‘Phone. A contraction not employed in formal writing. Say telephone.’”

After a test, one of us quoted, “‘If I pass (and I may),’ said Hazel, ‘let’s celebrate.’” This, from a rule on the use of quotation marks, was worth a fit of giggles.

Beverly Cleary, A Girl from Yamhill: A Memoir (New York: William Morrow, 1988).

[From a 1922 edition of The Century Handbook of Writing, in Google Books. But no sign of Hazel.]

Related reading
All OCA Beverly Cleary posts (Pinboard)

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