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The Personal 'A'

I was just writing about my Spanish class last night and our little lesson on the 'personal a'. My very (often unintentionally) entertaining Spanish textbook had this to say in regard to the usage of the 'a', which had me choking on my chocolate milk:

Rule 3. You will use the 'personal a' with your pets and/or other animals with whom you have a personal relationship. You will NOT use the 'personal a' with strays, nesting birds, alley cats, squirrels in your backyard, insects, cockroaches, and any other animals with whom you do not wish to form an allegiance.

Gotta watch out for those nesting birds. And heaven forbid those cockroaches, lest we decide to form an "allegiance".

I'm assuming the use of the 'a' is appropriate, however, when referring to my personal army of red imported fire ants (RIFA).

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The Inimitable Miss M

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