Ever felt the impulse to whip out a red pen and go to town on a badly written menu or sign? Resist it. From the Arizona Republic:
Two self-anointed “grammar vigilantes” who toured the nation removing typos from public signs have been banned from national parks after vandalizing a historic marker at the Grand Canyon.
Jeff Michael Deck, 28, of Somerville, Mass., and Benjamin Douglas Herson, 28, of Virginia Beach, Va., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Flagstaff after damaging a rare, hand-painted sign in Grand Canyon National Park….
According to court records, Deck and Herson toured the United States from March to May, wiping out errors on government and private signs. On March 28, while at Desert View Watchtower on the South Rim, they used a white-out product and a permanent marker to deface a sign painted more than 60 years ago by artist Mary Colter. The sign, a National Historic Landmark, was considered unique and irreplaceable, according to Sandy Raynor, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix.
I sympathize with them. I really do. My first real job was as a copy editor. Once you’ve been a copy editor, you see sins against language everywhere. Just remember: One man’s typo is another man’s “unique and irreplaceable” artifact.
(Via Language Log, which has previously noted the activities of Deck and Herson and the Typo Eradication Advancement League. Watch here for TEAL’s statement on “the signage of our National Parks and public lands.”)