The Grammar Vigilante

In case you missed them, there have been several articles making the rounds about the “Banksy of punctuation” in the U.K.:

The campaign began under cover of darkness.

It opened with a skirmish or two in Bristol more than a decade ago — a superfluous apostrophe scratched off a street sign here, a possessive rendered plural with the stroke of some tape there.

But now, the battle between one mysterious man and the grammatical mistakes besieging the British city has spilled into the harsh light of international media.

There’s even an upcoming documentary airing about this man on BBC called The Apostrophiser. But, really, fixing punctuation on signs is nothing new. I saw Lynne Truss, the author of “Eats, Shoots & Leaves,” instructing schoolchildren on this practice several years ago in a video put out by Teachers Media.

What really got me about the article–and I mean had me laughing furiously at my desk–was the following sign contributed by the Fourth Stooge on Twitter, hoping that the grammar vigilante would take tape to it:

A sign reading: ATTENTION Toilet ONLY for DISABLED ELDERLY PREGNANT CHILDREN
Photo courtesy of @PeakyBlunders on Twitter.com

I mean every time I thought about it while walking, driving, or trying to work yesterday, I’d break into giggles. The kind of giggles that make strangers/coworkers think you’re nuts. Of course laughter isn’t a bad thing, so I suppose poor punctuation serves a purpose.

Oh, and if you look at the above sign and think, “Well, what’s wrong with that?” I think you need the services of a professional editor.

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