CBS Sunday morning — Bill Geist, I think — did a segment a week or two ago about two young men whom he refers to as migrant grammarians. When these guys travel, they are on the look out for and ready to correct any ungrammatical signage they come across. They usually ask permission first, after getting smacked with a big fine for correcting a government sign, but most people take the corrections in stride.
I’ve actually considered making some giant commas, apostrophes, quotation marks, etc., along with various sizes of blank paper to do temporary corrections when I travel. You know, stand in front of that sign at the local bank that says, “We Copy. We Scan. We Faxes,” with a blank page over the final “es” and take a snapshot. Block out the unneeded apostrophe on “Tomato’s For Sale.” (I really get a laugh when it’s “Tomato’s for Sell.”) I’d like to have a copy of the ballot printed for a statewide election in California that left the l out of “public.” I’d also like to amend that sign by the lake north of here that always says, “Catfish tournament. Free kids.” (Though, of course, I’d have to know their intention before I could fix it. Are kids entered in the tournament for free, or are they giving away kids?)
Hey, road trip, anyone?