First Jesus went and put an offer in on our house. Then on Friday He was kind enough to have my co-workers barrage me with strange emails, providing me with yet more clues that my time at Mulletville Corp should come to an end.
2:14 p.m.: Email #1, from co-worker Andy, aka "Stache" for his strange upper lip caterpillar.
Dear Mrs. Mullet,
Can I ask a small favor? I want to join a gun club and they require two character reference letters to be included with my membership application. Would you be willing to write one for me? Nothing elaborate just attesting to the fact that I would not maliciously shoot up anything—at least not anyone in the office.
You need to include your own address and phone number in case they want to speak to you in person. I hope this doesn't happen, as I realize you have small children at home. I don't know if they'd come to your house. I've never done this before.
3:46 p.m.: Email #2, from co-worker Zack, who fancies himself a savant and who apparently spent a good part of the afternoon obsessing over the minutia of the English language after I casually suggested during a meeting that we make some minor edits to the agenda.
Our conversation after the meeting prompted me to research the origin of "occasion." It is from the Latin, "ob," against or toward, and "cadere," to fall. The "b" becomes a "c" in the compound word. Thus the literal meaning is something falling against or toward something else.
I have had the chance (another word derived from "cadere") to use "occasion" since our conversation and was pleased to spell it correctly.
PS According to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, "vary" does have intransitive senses, including "deviate" or "depart." But, I agree with you that the handout used the word awkwardly if not actually incorrectly.
My reply to both emails?
I'm about to give my notice. Your emails will fit nicely in the appendix I've assembled for my letter of resignation. A final word: Please don't join forces. The world is fucked enough without adding a gun-wielding, wordsmithing dynamo to its roster of villains.
Please seek help, Mrs. Mullet