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Death brought the gift of kindness

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21.06.2019

OPINION: Husband-and-wife comedians and commentators Jeremy Elwood and Michele A'Court give their views.

Michele A'Court

More than almost anything else, my mother loved words. Reading them, saying them, using them correctly. Donna kept The Oxford Guide to English Usage beside her armchair like a theologian might keep a Bible concordance in easy reach.

She would have made a fierce sub-editor for any publication. Countless times over the years, I have printed a piece of writing and walked it round to her place – her flat is downstairs from us – and made green tea while she looked it over. "That's lovely, darling, but if you're going to use the Oxford comma here, you will need to use it there, too. Otherwise, very good."

Donna made the occasional appearance in these columns. "Don't write about me too often," she'd say, "or they'll think you are short of ideas." It was an elegant modesty typical of her. As is the neat file she kept of those particular pieces.

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Donna died last week, and she is the only idea in my head. She died exactly as she wanted to –........

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