The Cat's Pyjamas

Vicar’s Reflection: The Cat’s Pyjamas. 2nd of Epiphany, 12th January 2020

Well sadly, the Apostrophe Protection Society was disbanded in December last year. The Society was formed to preserve the correct use of this very useful but poorly understood punctuation mark. I thought of this while on holiday travels and visited a public toilet that was brazenly named: GENT’S. One of the useful purposes of the apostrophe is to indicate the possessive form of a noun. It communicates belonging. ‘This’ belongs to ‘that’ as in ‘the cat’s pyjamas’. Taking out the apostrophe changes the meaning from one cat to any number of cats. John Richards, the founder of the Society gave up because of collective “laziness and ignorance” towards the use or non-use of the apostrophe, which is just a little thing but it contributes so much. Take for instance The Lords Prayer. Written this way, where does this prayer come from? Who does it belong to? Who are the Lords mentioned? But written correctly: The Lord’ s Prayer, it is clear the prayer is from our Lord Jesus Christ. Clarity about belonging is also important. It may seem just a little thing, but when we know we belong to the Lord it shapes us in our prayers, thinking, behaviour, and identity. Through baptism and personal commitment, I know I belong to Jesus; therefore, I belong to the community of faith formed by all others who follow Jesus and want to serve as he served and live as he lived. To me that is better than the cat’s pyjamas.

Alex Czerwonka

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