WERE the 18 years a punishment, or are you thinking of (understood) the whole period of 18 years WAS a punishment?It is stuff like this I used to explain daily to my students for a small hourly wage!Big MommaVery picky in Latin French or English but messy in everything else in life.On reflection, it were a punishment; in participation, it was.In newsrooms writing for tomorrow’s fish wrap (an oldie but still a goodie) it never rose to the heights I had expected since bylines never met bills. In editing trade magazines (also not glamorous since much time was spent on building sites) I occupied a cubicle and the only excitement ever was setting my wastepaper basket on fire, pushing it into the hallway, and doing a dance around it. Script writing was slightly better but matched Ben Hecht’s “I'm a Hollywood writer, so I put on my sports jacket and take off my brain.”I started my advertising/public relations agency with the sincere intent to write exciting prose driving consumers to open their wallets and found myself writing on kitty litter, the cleanliness of gas station washrooms, and petitions for the next beg-a-thon. I sold the company later to fools who thought they could write better prose. They didn’t. No one could since I was most lyrical ever about washrooms.Now, I believe the only way to make money in writing is in terse ransom notes rather than at five cents a word paid in media.MichaelRBy the way, shouldn’t there be a comma between ‘French’ and ‘Latin’?