Saturday, December 7, 2013

Charity grinds to halt over whether to capitalize “Foundation” on second-reference, other grammar rules


Metro’s largest charity has closed its doors temporarily because of a heated dispute among its top leaders about grammar issues.

The Metro Hospital Foundation ran into trouble during the production of their latest print newsletter that no one reads when the Communications Director and the Finance Director nearly came to blows about whether to capitalize the word “Foundation” on second-reference.

“Shelia was very capitalizing the ‘F’ in Foundation throughout the newsletter and Wendy kept on crossing it out. Wendy told her that Associated Press style wouldn’t allow the capitalization of ‘Foundation’ unless it was a direct reference to our official name,” said a Foundation source.

Things went from bad to good when old school major gifts manager Marvin admitted that he never capitalized the titles of any of the senior leaders of the Foundation, including Executive Director Durbin Snidely. According to what he was taught in school, all titles were lowercase.

Snidely reportedly was extremely angered by the revelation and demanded to see all of Marvin’s correspondence with donors, telling him that since her business card had her title in caps, he should follow suit.

“I see he’s been lowercasing me all this time. Who does he think he is not capitalizing me. I’m the one in charge around here,” Snidely reportedly said.

The real crisis came after staff began to actually read the material they send to donors. More instances of capitalization came up, reducing some meetings to yelling matches where staff battled with grammar books and dictionaries.

“This is a capital campaign we’re doing here and it starts with a capital ‘C’,” Snidely angrily told a hurried staff meeting in the reception area near the end of the day.

Board Chair Burt Investment tried to calm the situation down, but lost all control when he found that his title was only capitalized some of the time.

“I’ve been capitalizing the ‘Executive Director’ for years only to find that she lowercases me,” he reportedly said. “She’s always been a loose cannon. She’s never realized that the Board is in charge. She will now!”

Sources say the Foundation could be closed for days until the capitalization row is settled.

“These people are just crazy,” said one source. “I just hope no one notices  that we appear to be using two versions of dates – month/day/year and day/month/year.”

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