"Mrs. Byrne" "Mother" Brian, make up your mind...
..."she wouldn't be soft on anybody," recalled Brian Byrne, a son. "They would get whacked by Mrs. Byrne, too..."
Brian said that if he or any of the other kids got into trouble at parochial school and got thrashed by the nuns, "mother would give me another beating for making the nuns upset."
--Clark and Scanlan, pg 70-71
Okay, this may just be a personal style issue, but did any one else notice that these two quotes were provided by the same person--Marie Byrne's son--and in the two quotes, he uses a different name for his mother? At first mention, he calls her "Mrs. Byrne"?? Why? As I was reading this obit, this practically jumped off the page at me. I had to reread the paragraph, because I thought that maybe Brian wasn't her son, but just one of the many runaways she took in over the years, but that's not the case, unless he's Marie's good friend "Uncle Mary"'s son, since they both had the same last name. This really confused me.
At first I thought that maybe it was just his way of showing extra respect for her--or maybe it was an enforcer for just how strict she was. But I can't see very many people forcing their children to address them as Mr. or Mrs. So-and-so.
Later in the story, Brian refers to her as "mother." I just don't get it. I know this isn't a "news" article, but you'd think the author of this obit would have given parallelism a thought. The book even points other examples of good parallelism. But hey, maybe this is just me being to criticizing. I have that tendency from my days as a copy editor for my high school paper. It's not like the author couldn't have put "[mother]" or [mom] instead of "Mrs. Byrne."
Then I thought that maybe the son and his mother had a falling out of sorts, but later in the story, he seems to speak of her fondly, even if she was beating him for upsetting the nuns. For me, this lack of congruency totally ruined the story for me...
I dunno, maybe it's just me, but for some reason, that REALLY irked me...
For more thoughts, Click Here.