Sunday, August 24, 2008

Correct grammar and go to jail

Well, not quite.

But the AP reports via CNN that:

Two self-styled vigilantes against typos who defaced a more than 60-year-old, hand-painted sign at Grand Canyon National Park were sentenced to probation and banned from national parks for a year.

Apparently there was historical value to this sign:

Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson pleaded guilty August 11 for the damage done March 28 at the park's Desert View Watchtower. The sign was made by Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, the architect who designed the rustic 1930s watchtower and other Grand Canyon-area landmarks.

But there's a little more to the story.

Deck and Herson, both 28, toured the United States this spring, wiping out errors on government and private signs. They were interviewed by NPR and the Chicago Tribune, which called them "a pair of Kerouacs armed with Sharpies and erasers and righteous indignation."

I tend to agree with their mission. It's too bad that the sign that got them into trouble was hand-painted and sixty years old. Unfortunately, I agree that they should have been fined or even placed on probation. Maybe they were banished because of the embarrassment they could cause pointing out the numerous grammatical errors in national parks.

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