August 23, 2008

  • Eats, Shoots, and Leaves the National Parks

    When pictures of the author of Eats, Shoots, and Leaves surfaced, showing Lynne Truss fixing the punctuation in the Two Weeks’ Notice movie marquis, I was tempted to carry whiteout and a Sharpie in my purse. It would be fun to help the world communicate better. I mean, hey, I make typos, too, and I appreciate it when people help me clean up my words. How noble it would be to help others that make mistakes and errors of ignorance!

    It seems that I was not the only one inspired to good deeds. Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson challenged the country to the 2008 Typo Hunt Across America, sponsored by TEAL (Typo Eradication Advancement League):

    This March through May, we, sworn members of TEAL, will be taking a road trip around the country to stamp out as many typos as we can find, in public signage and other venues where innocent eyes may be befouled by vile stains on the delicate fabric of our language. We do not blame, nor chastise, the authors of these typos. It is natural for mistakes to occur; everybody will slip now and again. But slowly the once-unassailable foundations of spelling are crumbling, and the time has come for the crisis to be addressed. We believe that only through working together with vigilance and a love of correctness can we achieve the beauty of a typo-free society.
    The itinerary is as follows:
    •Whole of March: From Boston to San Diego, via the steamy South
    •Much of April: Up the West Coast
    •Late April – Mid-May: From Seattle, through the Northern plains and mighty lakes, to New England once again
    (from, which is now only available in a cached version)

    Their travels came to an untimely end when they decided to “fix” a sign that was a historic landmark in the Grand Canyon. Documenting their permanent marker and whiteout repair on their website, Deck and Herson led federal prosecutors right to them, and they were charged for vandalizing government property. They pled guilty, and they were fined to pay for the restoration of the sign. (Will they fix the typo?)

    The worst is that they are banned from national parks for a year! That is traumatic. I love national parks. I think I’ll keep my Sharpie in my purse.

    |||||| lynard

Comments (4)

  • See, now THIS is scary! Who knew that in America, one day it would become a crime to be a PROOFREADER! So, suddenly I feel like I belong to a dangerous profession! This, and the Mark Twain quote on my own Web site:  “Yesterday Mr. Hall wrote that the printer’s proof-reader was improving my punctuation for me, & I telegraphed orders to have him shot without giving him time to pray.”

  • Unbelievably over-the-top response to the Typo Hunt guys! Give me a break! (I speak of the gov’t., not you.)

  • BTW, Here is a picture I took when driving into Denver on the way home from Calvin:

  • @Melkhi - 

    It seems a little much to me, too, but I don’t know enough about the historic significance of the sign itself. I guess it is its own national landmark. They did similar things to signs at other parks, but did not incur the government’s wrath. I wish I could see the actual sign, but I have done an image search and came up empty browsered.

    I did find another story about these two ambitious guys before they got caught:,0,824563,full.story

    Your sign is hilarious—and so bold and professional, too. I guess if it means one shop, it could be saying “shop is,” but this is not likely.

    @Austruck1 - 

    The only thing more dangerous would be to be an editor *and* a murder investigator. Sounds like a good book, eh?

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