Paul V. Coates – Confidential File, Dec. 12, 1959
December 12, 2009 | 2:00 pm
Mash Notes and Comment
"Re your column in which you became confused over the use of the words 'lay' and 'lie' and settled by saying 'get prone.'
" 'Lie' would have been the correct word. Intransitive, you know.
"But it would be difficult to 'get prone and read my column' -- as you suggested.
"Perhaps you meant 'supine.'
"Look them up in the dictionary. Undoubtedly some friend of yours has one.
"But do not worry about split infinitives.
"Only a pedant would insist that, because the Latin infinitive is one word, the two-word English form must not be separated.
"In fact, juxtaposition adds strength to the adverb." (signed) Leonard E. Miller, Montrose.
--Listen, Lenny, why don't you just let sleeping dogs lay?
(Press Release) "It had to happen -- and, of course, it could only happen to KMPC's Johnny Grant.
"Grant reports with all the chatter going around town about disc jockey 'payola' -- that the first Christmas gift he received was a wallet.
"It came from a record company." (signed) Publicity Dept., KMPC, Hollywood.
"Apparently there is no escape for anyone from you or your spies and espionage system.
"I was having a bowl of soup in the cafeteria on Vine St. off Hollywood Blvd. today when this spy of yours at the next table asked me if I had seen you recently.
"We became quite chatty in moments and I found myself being closely questioned as to my opinions about you.
"In brief, I confided that the last time I'd seen you, there was considerable panther-like pacing of the floor on your part. I said you had aged quite a bit and had quite a waistline.
"Your spy asked if I was aware that you helped many persons.
"I retorted that the only person you helped was yourself, in fact, quite conceited.
"He has yet to find his SELF, I explained.
"I explained that he shouldn't conclude that I dislike you because of my criticism of you.
Here's How It Is
"If I did not like you, I would ignore you.
"But what I can't understand is why don't you face up and admit to yourself that you've been ruthlessly using other people for your own devices.
"If you can admit that, you'll be a better man for it. Anyway, Merry Christmas." (signed) Memphis Harry Lee Ward, P.O. Box 1963, Hollywood.
"I am a little mad at my friend Memphis Ward of Hollywood. He wrote me a letter saying Parkey if you have to have $200 to get your book published, quit buying beer. Go to the grocery and buy canned beans, drink milk, and quit playing the horses.
"Paul that's one thing I never do even if I knew the jockey.
"He also told me to buy canned fish. Paul you can't go on a bean diet when you weigh 230 pounds like I do.
"Tell Memphis Ward I don't need his advice Paul."
(signed) Parkey Sharkey, Bay Road, East Palo Alto.
--Tell him yourself. I'm not speaking to him.