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Thirty-Third Sort

An avalanche of actual letters.

by Dear Jon
March 19, 2001

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Thirty-Third Sort_Dear Jon-An avalanche of actual letters. AN AVALANCHE OF ACTUAL DEAR JON LETTERS:

Dear Jon,
In reviews for the new film "15 Minutes" the reviewers say stuff like "the title refers to Andy Warhol's famous line about fame." Who is Andy Warhol, and what in the world is this "famous" line? Can't a guy read anything anymore without being confused by really obscure references?
-Campbell


Dear Campbell,
No, a guy can't read much of anything anymore without being confused by really obscure references. The safest thing to do is not read at all. Which is why they came out with Playstation II, thank God. (By the way: "Playstation II" is a home video-game system produced by Sony, which is a Japanese conglomerate. "God" refers to the supreme deity of Abrahamic faiths. ("Japanese" refers to citizens or properties of "Japan," an ancient island nation off the Pacific Coast of Asia. "Abrahamic" refers to the person "Abraham" from Genesis Chapter 12 who was promised by "God" to become the ancestor of nations and of a people who would bless the whole world. Tradition holds that his off-spring include all the Arabic peoples of today, the world's Jews, and, through conversion, the world's Christians. ("Pacific" refers to the "Ocean," part of the massive body of salt water that covers 3/4 of the Earth's surface and determines its weather patterns. "Asia" refers to the largest land-mass on the Earth. "Genesis" refers to the first book in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles. "Arabic" refers to the peoples whose primary language is Arabic, and also to an association of countries whose primary trade and legal language is "Arabic." "Jews" refer to the people who by ethnicity are descended from Abraham through Isaac and then Jacob. It also refers to those who observe one of the Reformed, Conservative, Orthodox, Hassidic, or Sephardic forms of Judaism, which is the religion established by "God" through Moses. "Christians" refers to all people who believe in their hearts and confess with their lips that Jesus Christ, a Jew, is the Son of "God" and that he rose from the dead. "Earth" refers to the planet on which you live.))) I hope this clears everything up.


ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

What's with your Politically Correct obsession with diversity in the Partial Observer? Don't you know that the term "partial observer" itself admits to a narrow-minded view? What can women and minorities possibly provide?
-Kool Kentucky Kirk


And what's with nobody beginning their letters with a salutation like "Dear Jon" anymore? Is courtesy finally dead, or has it just lapsed into a coma?


ANOTHER GHOST WRITER WITH AN ACTUAL LETTER:

"The fact that" effectively emphasizes a point that the writer is trying to make. I don't know what my mentor was complaining about, and I regret that conscientious readers of "The Elements of Style" may be overly critical of their own writing efforts because they use the phrase.
woooooh, dude!
-White's dumb-downed ghost.


Dear Dumb, Thank you for expressing your opinion. A good place to share opinions, about writing style or, gosh, even interesting subjects like sports or politics, without receiving advice back, is on the "Forums." Because you have entered my column, I am going to do what I do, which is, give you advice. My advice is, Next time you think anyone cares, think again. Except for the fact that I am a writer myself, obviously, since I publish a column two times a week, it is unlikely that the readership is going to pick up on your references (see "Campbell" above) and they will definitely not bother to look them up.


ANOTHER ACTUAL LETTER WITHOUT A SALUTATION:

I'm writing a report for school. Do chicken-birds build nests on mountaintops?
-Linus


Dear Linus, As you know, Dear Jon is the last person to ask, because I never have time to look anything up. Something that might interest you, the Webmaster, and editor@partialobserver.com, is that one of the toughest advocates for his personal intellectual property was Charles Schultz. He actually sued High School Yearbook committees for using his cartoon characters without permission. Not that he needed any of their money; it was a lesson in principles. Now that he is dead, I do not know whether his estate continues that crusade. I guess we all hope not, eh?


ANOTHER ACTUAL LETTER:

Woooo-oooooh -Woooooo- oooooh -oooooooh!!!! Why are people writing "try and" when they mean "try to?" woooooooooh -woooooooo- ooooooh -wooooooooh!!!!
-Ghost of Strunk


Dear Ghost, Seems to me you should try and get a life.

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