The struggle is real. You’ve driven past that sign every day for months or even years. You know the one. It’s the one where someone used an apostrophe to make a word plural. It’s maddening. Why don’t they fix it? Why is no one taking action to rid the world of this abomination? In the U.K. one man is taking decisive action. He is a “grammar vigilante.”
— Jon Kay (@jonkay01) April 3, 2017
Grammatical errors in an email or a social media post are to be expected. You can usually overlook them without losing your mind, unless someone is a habitual offender. When it comes to outdoor signage though, there is absolutely no excuse.
He has been branded “the Banksy of punctuation” and describes himself as a “grammar vigilante”.
For more than a decade, an unknown corrector of poor English has been venturing out in the dead of night and tidying up the punctuation on Bristol’s shop fronts and street signs.
The identity of the man remains unknown but on Monday the BBC announced it had tracked him down and had accompanied him on one of his night-time missions.
He uses a homemade tool he calls the “apostrophiser” to cover the offending punctuation with pieces of adhesive plastic.
Among the signs he has corrected in and around Bristol – the home town of the street artist Banksy – is a nail shop that used to bear the “gross” sign “Amys Nail’s”. “It was so loud and in your face. I just couldn’t abide it. It grates.”
No one should abide it.
Asked if he’s concerned about the legality of his actions, the vigilante said the error ridden signs are more criminal.
When it was put to him that what he was doing was probably illegal, his defence was staunch. “I’m sticking on a bit of sticky-back plastic. It’s more of a crime to have the apostrophes wrong.”
Let’s hope this encourages copycat vigilantes all over the world.