Remember Shirley A., the lady who e-mailed me last October that while reading my book English Plain and Simple, she was inspired to pursue writing as a late-in-life vocation, hoping “to be able to fend for myself when I have nothing more but written words to see me through?”
(http://tinyurl.com/m38zzpm). We have kept up our correspondence since then and, last December 20, she copied me a quaint, interesting bit of history about the popular carol “The 12 Days of Christmas” (http://tinyurl.com/ktyzcw4).
My cursory research gave me the feeling that it is apocryphal history, but I marveled at its sheer inventiveness and decided to share it with members of Jose Carillo’s English Forum. I then thanked Shirley for the pass-on and, as a postscript, asked if she had finally gotten her copy of my third book, Give Your English the Winning Edge that she had been looking for in bookstores.
Here’s the pertinent part of Shirley’s reply:
“Yes, Joe, I immediately e-mailed you the story of how I finally got the book. I’m afraid you are too busy and that’s why you have not heard from me after that. I didn’t want to intrude on your time. But later, I will dig it up from my files and e-mail it to you again… My daughter’s Nook has arrived and I am now reading a lot of classics, too, bringing me back to the days of my childhood when I read and barely understood such stories as Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and my favorite, [Fyodor Dostoyevski’s] Crime and Punishment…”
I wrote Shirley back:
“I couldn’t find that e-mail of yours where you say you related that you finally got hold of a copy of Give Your English the Winning Edge; what I have is the one letting me know that you were informed by National Book Store that a copy was available in one its branches. Perhaps a glitch in my Yahoo! mailbox at the time made that later e-mail vanish before I could read it. So yes, please dig it up and send me a copy. I’d also love to know what you think of what you’ve read so far in that book…”
And here’s the pertinent part of Shirley’s rejoinder:
“Ms. Angie of NBS Greenbelt One branch asked me to wait awhile after she wasn’t able to deliver the copy from their Taft Avenue branch. She said she had to search high and low for a better copy—nakaka-intimidate daw ang earnestness ko so she thought I deserved a better copy than the slightly damaged one that she had first offered. I wonder if companies or organizations such as NBS notice their jewels of employees such as Ms. Angie—I’m afraid I didn’t get her last name. She even managed to sell me four small books of Ernie Zarate, which are also fun to read. I bought dozens of these books last year as Christmas gifts for some people whom I thought needed to improve on their English usage but I neglected to set aside any copies for myself.
“So far, I am enjoying reading your Winning Edge and I am thankful because I feel I am getting the nearest equivalent to a college education.
But from high school I remember the phrase: ‘The more you know, the more you know that you don’t know’ or words to that effect, and that is exactly what I feel now as I am getting all overwhelmed by the many kinds of sentences I need to pay attention to. Still, learning or studying something is still the best form of entertainment for me, and I thank the Lord for masters such as yourself and the knowledge you share; certainly, I appreciate all the work you had put into these books.
“Have a very Merry and Blessed Christmas!”
Visit Jose Carillo’s English Forum at http://josecarilloforum.com. Follow me at Twitter.com @J8Carillo.