Tuesday, July 22, 2008

i fought the law

Jeff Deck had seen a lot of misspellings on signs around his city, and one day he decided he just couldn't take it anymore. He got together the Typo Eradication Advancement League (TEAL) and set off on a nationwide quest to repair the mistakes by any means necessary, including chalk and adhesive letters. For the next three months, the four team members travelled highways and byways wielding the red pen of justice and blogging their exploits.

What is far more important in my eyes is a body that monitors misuse of punctuation or phrases. I stumbled upon this genius website a couple of weeks ago that documents the errors behind the eternally misunderstood punctuation mark known as quotation marks. The above picture in particular has all kinds of shenanigans going on. Since when do labs rate real estate agents and if it’s not "an independent lab", WHAT IS IT?

Like the misuse of the term “begging the question” (don’t even go there), another issue causing a ruckus in the grammar circles at the moment is the misuse of the word literally. When speaking of a married couple, a writer proclaimed that- “...they are literally two peas in pod”.... well no, they’re not. Because that would be just be creepy. Another tried to say that a football player “literally blew up all the defenders and ran for a touchdown every time”.

All this reminded of a show I heard on NPR with a Missouri man whose official legal name is They. Formerly known as Andrew Wilson, They says that he changed his name because he wanted to have fun and test the limits of English grammar. For example, "They is here" is now proper English.


alex said...

Ooh and now when people (/the media) say "they say" we know who they're talking about.

neha said...

totally! now we just need someone to change their first, middle and surname to "a close source".