‘Isn’t’ Isn’t ‘Ain’t’, Nor Is ‘Aren’t’

There used to be an advertisement in Australia that contained the statement, “Oils ain’t oils!”.

Now, I know little about oils, but I do know that ‘ain’t’ should not be a member of a child’s vocabulary — or an adult’s for that matter!

It is such a pity that so many supposedly learned individuals employ its usage, virtually without exception.

‘Isn’t’ is used when the subject is singular (one).

Example: Ralph (singular) isn’t coming.

‘Aren’t’ is used when the subject is plural (more than one).

Example: They (plural) aren’t coming.

Betty and James aren’t related.

Take Two!: Monday, 12th December, 1977

Tiki suddenly remembered that it is the second anniversary of our marriage and immediately accused me of having forgotten this fact as well — which I had!

The early overcast cleared to a warm sunny day. The now open blister, that was caused when my finger stuck fast to a coil in our fridge, is now oozing a watery pus.

After work, Tiki drove to Manly. She parked the car in Wentworth Street and we walked down one side of the relatively new Corso Plaza before doing likewise on the other. Turning to the left, we headed northwards, past the large area of flat land on the corner where the old, white Pacific Hotel once stood. At North Steyne’s dressing sheds our course was altered by one hundred and eighty degrees — give or take a couple — and we set our bearings for K’s Snapper Inn, which we reached by half past five.

Because the restaurant was several minutes late in opening, an old grey-headed bloke, who was dependent upon a walking-stick and wore a gaily coloured shirt, began to knock impatiently on the door. Once inside, we were seated in the lower section and one table back from the front windows.

Tiki ordered calamari as an entree while I selected scallops kebab and a half-litre carafe of rose. I swapped my bacon for some of her chewy calamari. Tiki had a whole, grilled lemon sole and I, a whole flounder. My dessert consisted of pavlova served with ice-cream while Tiki had opted for the banana fritters. A cappuccino each rounded off our meal.

An obese lady, who had been to Canada and the United States, sat opposite us and talked to a young woman about her travels. At one point I heard her state that Australia has the best beaches in the world.

My chair backed on to that of the criminologist, Dr Gordon Hawkins, whom I recognised from “Casebook”, the television series that is compered by Geoff Stone. Dr Hawkins twice left his seat and in the fairly cramped conditions apologised on both occasions for the fact that his chair had made contact with mine. He appears to be about sixty years of age and was wearing a green safari suit over a pink shirt.

Having paid the bill of twenty-two dollars and twenty cents, we departed to walk to Queenscliff Beach and the green seat on the foreshore at which I’d proposed to Tiki on the fourth of November in 1975. She, not altogether unexpectedly, had me re-enact my original proposal.

It was half past nine before we arrived home. Tiki turned on Channel Two to watch the old movie, “Sherlock Holmes”, which features Basil Rathbone, only to fall asleep about half of the way through it.