Daniel Akst's column about business's struggle to find qualified workers leading to corporate involvement in American education, "Show and Tell? Business Can Bring Reform" (Jan. 29), reminded me of a recent incident while I was checking into a hotel during a business trip.
"O, apostrophe, capital R-e-i-l-l-y," I answered the girl at the computer terminal, when she asked me to spell my last name. She looked puzzled, so I repeated the name. She stared into the monitor as if looking for an inspiration, her fingers poised above the keyboard.
Finally, with a nervous glance over her shoulder, she beckoned to her supervisor and pointed to the monitor. "Would you mind spelling your name again?" he asked. I obliged a third time. She filled in the information and handed me the completed form.
Then I realized the reason for her hesitation. There was no apostrophe in my name. She did not understand what an apostrophe was.