Mighty Red Pen

September 18, 2008

Taking a bite out of crime

So over at the Typo Eradication Advancement League (TEAL), grammar enthusiasts Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson have finally posted a statement relative to their recent conviction for vandalizing National Park property in their zeal to correct perceived typos on a sign at the Grand Canyon. Here’s an excerpt:

A Statement on the Signs of our National Parks and Public Lands

There are many aspects to the ongoing task of being a responsible American citizen.  One aspect in particular is often overlooked; namely, that one should not vandalize or damage signs on the National Parks and public lands.  Such actions include but are not limited to fixing spelling mistakes on signs.  It is absolutely egotistical for one to think that one can tell others how to spell. In addition, one never knows whether a sign has historic value concealed within it.  What appears to be an ordinary sign may in fact be the work of a heroic local artist.  Some signs may be irreplaceable and unfixable.  One should ask before modifying signs, because altering signs without the permission of the owner is a crime!!

So there you have it, folks, and any would-be grammar vandal or vigilante beware: altering signs without the permission of the owner–no matter how justified you may feel your cause–is a crime. And, evidently, it is “absolutely egotistical” to even for a second think that you can tell another person how to spell. Well. Okay then.

Read the rest of TEAL’s statement.



  1. This has all the earmarks of something that they had to write but don’t for a minute believe (except maybe the crime part).

    Comment by The Ridger — September 28, 2008 @ 8:09 pm | Reply

  2. “…It is absolutely egotistical for one to think that one can tell others how to spell.”
    Yes, of course… particularly for language and literature teachers at schools. Which is why this sorry state of reading, writing and comprehension of the English language exists in America today, where – inexplicably – stupidity seems to be institutionalized!!

    Comment by Suirauqa — November 13, 2008 @ 11:31 am | Reply

  3. I sense much sarcasm in their statement. Maybe it’s just me.

    Comment by Annonymous — April 30, 2009 @ 4:15 pm | Reply

  4. Do you have any instruction regarding the use of brackets? i often see them with one letter or two or half of a word???


    Comment by cliff brannick — August 4, 2010 @ 11:50 am | Reply

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