• The Low Down

Lifetime member of the LLPA

The Editor,

Dear Hunter,


Just read, with surprise and disappointment, of your imminent departure from the Low Down pages. I have always looked to your articles for clarity, thoroughness and reliability. Many readers will miss you, I’m sure.


You don’t explain the mystery of your presence here. Chelsea is hardly a popular destination for Californians. Were you doing a reverse Steinbeck, or perhaps a Kerouac imitation? Anyway, Chelsea is the better for it. Nor do you write of French, yet I assume you had to master the language while here to report. Remarkable.


I’m reminded of our first exchange. A couple of years ago, as a self-appointed grammar policeman, I wrote you, in a jocular (I hope) spirit in response to one of your articles: “Dear Hunter, ‘officers .. ordered all four youths to lay on the ground …’ How about, ‘to lie on the ground’? Lay, as you’ll agree, is a transitive verb, as in lay eggs.

Problem is, lay is also the past tense of lie, which seems to create confusion.” You were kind enough to reply appreciatively.


So, when, a month or so later, I read in your column, “A 10-wheeler lay on its side ...,” I wrote, “Some might have been tempted to put ‘laid.’ Congratulations, Hunter, you are qualified for the LLPA award of the year” — John Edmond, president, Lie/Lay Protective Association.


It seems my name alone created anxiety; you replied, “Ha ha, seeing your email address in my inbox sent a shiver through my spine. I thought I messed up again! I'm relieved to read that I got it right this time! Keep up the good lie/lay fight, John!”


I hope you will now accept an honourary (with a “u” — as you’ll have learned, we don’t follow Noah’s dictates north of the border) lifetime membership in the LLPA.


Are you staying in journalism, perhaps as Chelsea correspondent for the New York Times (make sure they understand it’s not the lower west side of Manhattan one)? I’m copying this to editors, to suggest that you be invited to do a guest column periodically to keep us abreast of your journey. Whatever it may be, may you prosper and be happy.

John Edmond

La Pêche, QC