An accident of theres

In a rare moment of reading for fun, versus for editing or doing my own writing, I’m hanging with Jasper Fforde’s One of Our Thursdays is Missing, the sixth in the Thursday Next series. I had to stop and laugh at this section:

The taxi slowed down and stopped as the traffic ground to a halt. The cabby made some enquiries and found that a truckload of their had collided with a trailer containing there going in the opposite direction, and had spread there contents across the road.

‘Their will be a few hiccups after that,’ said the cabby, and I agreed. Homophone mishaps often seeped out into the RealWorld and infected the Outlanders, causing theire to be all manner of confusions.

This explains so much.

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About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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12 Responses to An accident of theres

  1. Krista says:

    Victims of these kinds of accidents may never fully recover. My boss is an example. In his case there was also an apostrophe truck involved somehow. I haven’t asked the details because I don’t want to trigger post-dramatic stress.

    • oregon expat says:

      Would that be your boss’s post-dramatic stress, or yours?

      I think that apostrophe accident must have involved jumbo jets colliding in mid-air. It’s the only explanation for how the apostrophes were dispersed over an entire continent.

      • Krista says:

        Now that you mention it, it would be worse for my post-dramatic stress. I don’t know which I like less: when I have to proofread his emails, or when I have to read what he wrote by himself.

        Thanks for the explanation of the Apostrophe Catastrophe! I always thought it seemed as though they had just fallen out of the sky.

  2. I love the Thursday Next series. So creative!

  3. joanarling says:

    Even though the discussion mentions apostrophes, I felt at a loss when the quote didn’t include a “they’re”. Perhaps that was included by exclusion, like an unwanted relative everybody knows but does not want to acknowledge?

    • oregon expat says:

      You’re right, Joan, the last “theire” could have been a “they’re.”

      As I’m reading this book, I keep thinking, “Those poor, poor proofreaders…”

  4. Lisa Shaw says:

    Most proofreading (well, light copy editing, to be precise about it) seems to consist of, inserting commas and removing apostrophe’s. Or is it the other way around? 😉

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