Fredericton — Janice Leavitt, a retired Grade 1 educator who taught at the former Alexander Gibson Memorial School in Marysville, has been found responsible for all 10 people in New Brunswick who know how to use words such as “you’re” and “your” in the correct context.
“Well, we noticed that no one in New Brunswick seems to be able to articulate a coherent thought in writing and their grammar is atrocious,” said Brian Kenny, minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, “so myself along with a carefully selected task force began seeking out any exceptions to this rule. My team and I quickly discovered that only 10 people in the entire province are able to differentiate between common words like ‘you’re’ versus ‘your’ or ‘they’re’ versus ‘their’ or ‘there.'”
The task force mostly monitored social media use as well as comments on the CBC New Brunswick website to locate the wily wordsmiths.
The team was especially impressed by one commenter who’d spelled all of these words correctly in a single sentence. The comment, by 34-year-old James Reed, read as follows:
“The Liberals — there seems to be a problem with their governing skills, but they’re reluctant to address any issues; if you’re still questioning this, you need to examine your priorities.”
“I mean, wow! We were blown away! He even used one of those semicolon things!” exclaimed Kenny, ignoring the unfavourable commentary on his party’s efficacy.
“We gathered this James guy and all the people who can spell together in one room and we quickly traced them all back to the same Grade 1 teacher. Regardless of where these 10 adults are now and what they’re doing, this one woman was the common denominator. Unfortunately Mrs. Leavitt has retired — she really won’t budge on this — so our province is in need of a new emergency education plan.”
The Manatee spoke with Mrs. Leavitt, who said the province actually asked her to resume teaching.
“Those sweet boys Brian and Brian seemed very concerned,” said the 77-year-old, referring to the Education minister and the premier. “I asked them where they learned their homophones, if not from me, and they just looked at each other anxiously and said, ‘Hey, who are you calling a homophone?!’
“Not too bright, I’m afraid,” she added, clicking her tongue in disapproval.
Mrs. Leavitt said her retirement plans include spending time with her grandchildren, crocheting phone-book covers, and pruning her rose garden — not fixing an illiterate province.
So, the 10 geniuses are currently locked in a room together until they come up with an education-overhaul plan that Kenny can present in the legislature as his own.
“Well, crap, man,” said James Reed. “If I’d known this is where being able to spell would get me, I’d never have learned all that possessive and contraction shit. Damn you, Mrs. Leavitt!”