Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Really, Congressman Ciscomani?

I sent a personal, heartfelt, request that my elected Representative actually represent our District and vote my way on whatever gun safety bill was inching its way through the House last month.  I used the generic form on his website, stated my position with vehemence and personal detail, and checked the box requesting a response.  

Let's go over it together, shall we?  My ravings are, appropriately, italicized and in red.

August 15, 2023

Dear Ms. H: If you're going to be persnickety and know to use : for a business letter, then you also should know that grammar purists will insist that, since its inception, there hasn't been a . after Ms.

Thank you for contacting my office, it is an honor to represent you in Congress. You need a ; not a , here. I am grateful you took the time to share your message expressing your concern over gun violence. Safety, not violence, Congressman.  It's a different mindset, seeing responsibility and common sense versus demonizing the other and stoking fears.  It is important to hear directly from you in order to effectively represent Arizona’s 6th Congressional District.    

I agree with you that this is a pressing issue and one that is personal to our community.  I'm intrigued by the last clause.  Some one or some algorithm must have picked up that phrase, because it sounds like me.  It also sounds like all the other Tucson survivors I know.  Perhaps enough of us have written him enough times that he's had to plug it into the template.  What template, you ask?  Read on or start again, replacing every bold phrase with your hot button issue.   I want to assure you that I will be paying attention to the discussion and potential legislative solutions for gun violence. As our community’s elected Representative, I will carefully consider any legislation that comes before the full body of the U.S. House of Representatives.  

I appreciate your bringing this important matter to my attention, and I will be sure to keep your concerns in mind as I review any legislation related to addressing gun violence in the future. I am grateful that constituents like you continue to contact me and help me stay informed on the issues most important to our community.  

Thank you again for taking the time to reach out. Please stay in touch as we continue to move our district and nation forward. You can reach my office at 520-881-3588, 202-225-2542, or my website at, where you can also subscribe to my free newsletter. 




I'm not looking for a detailed response, considering each and every nuance.  I wrote about a current event. I asked for a specific answer to a specific question.  Instead, my tax dollars were spent producing and sending me drivel.

Can you tell I'm having a good time with this?  Why not? 

I'm feeling G'ma saying that, as memory puts us back to her 1960's kitchen table, me with a red pen and she doubled over with laughter as I eviscerate the latest letter from their Congressman, Norman Lent.  Mr. Lent didn't have much of a personality, but I wasn't editing for style. Spelling (did no one check it before they ran it through the mimeograph?) and punctuation and split infinitives and tense misconstructions were rampant and don't even get me started on his issues with the subjunctive.

It's one of my favorite memories, and it just came to me after I took my 21st century red pen to my 21st century letter from my Congressman.  

I'm going to write again.  


  1. I have been pointing out the superfluous . after Ms (it's not an abbreviation) for years but to no avail.
    You have pointed out the "artificial" in Artificial Intelligence.

    1. And we know about that . because we were there ellen it started. Nice to know I'm not the only one who remembers.


Talk back to me! Word Verification is gone!