03 July 2005

grammar patrol, case #450

Saturday, July 2, 2005

The place: a popular ice cream joint in Amish country, Ohio

the crime: Officer Peppermint was off duty, on a fun jaunt to Amish country with her parents. She wasn't expecting this horrifying end to her relaxing day. After consuming a butterscotch sundae and patting her stomach with regret, Officer Peppermint sauntered to the ladies room. The crime occurred in the bathroom stall.

A bright magenta sheet of paper was taped to the stall door. In all caps it read PLEASE USE HAND DRYER TO DRY "HANDS". Officer Peppermint gulped. Two crimes in one little note. Overstating the obvious and reckless use of quotations.

Overstating the obvious--that's a misdemeanor, a triviality that's more humorous than grave. But paired with quotation misuse...it was too much for this officer to handle. She nearly quit the grammar patrol that day, feeling hopeless against an army of ignorance. But eyeing her trusty red pen, her faith in grammar justice slowly renewed itself. She would fight the good fight...for English teachers everywhere.

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