Friday, August 22, 2008

Grammar Police Have No Authority

Speaking of misplaced apostrophes, check out the latest piece of John McCain memorabilia from an independent online retailer If you look real close, it reads, "Student's For McCain." Apostrophes do not just denote possession or contractions anymore; they are slowly taking over plural nouns as well.

Here's the link:

I found this article on about two grammar "vigilantes" (yes, the writer actually compared them to gun-toting civillians) who removed an apostrophe and inserted a comma in a seventy-year-old sign at the Desert View Watchtower in Grand Canyon National Park. If anyone knows what the sign originally said and what the corrections were, please let us know.

This just further proves one of the unwritten rules of grammar: the older it is, the more correct, or should we say "acceptable," it is.

**UPDATE** Thanks to Joe in Albuquerque for the link to a picture of the sign courtesy of the The Daily Telegraph online (see above). No word yet on what exactly was changed.


Andrea (Possum contingent) said...

Perhaps someone could suggest a sentence where leaving out punctuation really alters the meaning?

John in Albuquerque said...

The page has a picture, though it is not really large enough for any significant detail.

Andrea said...

Thanks so much John from Albuquerque.

I was interested, Brady, to see the 'Student's for McCain' political souvenir.

You an call me the 'grammar police' too, but using in an apostrophe in this manner in Australia would definitely get the red pen treatment!

An excellent find.

Anonymous said...

I too have sympathy for the grammar police' I've been known to sort of 'smudge out' errors on the chalkboard outside a local fruit and vegetable shop! I'm afraid when I see, tomatoe's or potatoes' on the sign, I just see RED.