Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Grammar blogs for dorks like me

Very few things are as offensive to me as badly punctuated or misspelled signs. It's one thing to misspell words and misuse commas, apostrophes, and such in your own writing. It's another thing entire to assault the world with a sign that reads, "Cake's for sale everyday." There oughta be a law!

As such, back when I lived in Texas and the Great Ann Richards was governor, I wrote her a letter arguing that the state needed a department to regulate all public signage: the Texas Department of Grammar. Agents would drive around the state and inspect any and all signage placed where the public could see it; infractions (from misspelling to bad punctuation, etc.) would result in citations and fines. Great way to generate income for the old state guvmint! If a signage owner got three citations in a year, then he'd lose his right to post signage for one year. I argued that we had to do something to combat all the ignorance and bad grammar for which Texas is famous!

Needless to say, I got a nice form letter from Ann, but no job. (After Ann left, GW ran up the state's first-ever deficit; imagine if I'd been around to generate dollars!) Still, now that the blogosphere is here, people everywhere are forming their own online departments of grammar! It's so great to see that someone else shares my pet peeves for correct grammar and punctuation on signage.

Check out some of these links:

Apostrophe Abuse -- a gold mine of apostrophe errors
Curious Signs -- badly written signs of all kinds
The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks -- a hilarious look at people's obsession with putting things in quotation marks
Apostrophism -- more apostrophe errors

Have fun!


Robert Rouse said...

I usually go to Copyblogger every now and then for tips.

dguzman said...

Perhaps the makers of these signs should've done the same thing.

It pains me to see this stuff, though not as much as it did back when I taught English. Then I would bring samples of bad signage to class and half the time, the kids didn't know what was wrong with the signs! I would just groan, shake my head, and go back to the basics... again.

FranIAm said...

This is great because I fear for my weak grammar skills... Yet you still seem to be fond of me Delia!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

One of my pet peeves is people who do not use spell check on their blog posts before posting them.

Matty Boy said...

Herb Caen used to have "The Apostrophe Police" show up every once in awhile.

If I ever get off my butt and create The Unified Football Theory website, I may start my War On Adverbs posts. If you listen to color commentators on sports, most have decided that adding an "ly" to an adjective to make it an adverb is just too much work.

dguzman said...

Fran, I've never noticed any errors in your posts! Just remember my life motto: you're smarter than you think you are. That motto has gotten me through more than I care to remember!

Dr. Monkey, I'm a spell-check snob, refusing to use it. But every once in a while my pride bites me in the butt and I commit a spelling error or typo. The word "embarrass" is one of my nemeses.
(that is how you spell it, right?)

Matty Boy, I can't WAIT for you to do that blog!

NotSoccer Mom said...

i love apostrophe abuse and the unnecessary quotes blog!

found you via Dr. M.

Distributorcap said...

it is amazing how bad grammar has become -- i remember that in GRAMMAR school we learned grammar

not now

dguzman said...

NotSoccerMom-that's one creepy avatar! Welcome to my bloggy; that Dr. Monkey's such a great monkey.

D-Cap--I once proposed to go under cover as a "school classroom inspector" (checking out the heater, AC units, etc.) just to see what the hell they were doing in English classes because I just KNEW they weren't teaching them grammar!