When the world needed a hero, he stepped forward

grammar vigilante 1

As you may have noticed, I’ve been a bit bothered by the state of the world lately.

Well, after seeing this, I feel better:

This man goes out in the night and deletes erroneous apostrophes, wherever they rear their ugly tails. As long as they do so in Bristol, England. That’s his Gotham. Says he:

“People might say what I am doing is wrong, but it is more of a crime to have the apostrophes wrong in the first place.”

Bloody well right.

Going by the video, he’s mainly attacking the most idiotic of apostrophe errors — placing them so that they turn what should be plural nouns into possessive ones.

I haven’t seen him deal with my own particular bête noire — the open single quote where an apostrophe should be at the start of a word or number, as in a truncated date.

But hey, he’s just one man, doing all he can.

Maybe he needs a sidekick. And I’ve been looking for an excuse to go back to England…

Don't you love this -- a huge apostrophe where there shouldn't be one, and NO apostrophe where there SHOULD be...

Don’t you love this — a huge apostrophe where there shouldn’t be one, and NO apostrophe where there SHOULD be…

4 thoughts on “When the world needed a hero, he stepped forward

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    Well, I thought it was cool, anyway.

    I think one reason I and others have compared this guy to Batman is because that’s the kind of hero he is. He doesn’t have physical powers like Superman or the Flash — his power comes from the device he has invented: the Apostrophizer, with which he is able to reach apostrophes inaccessible to other men. Like Batman with his utility belt and the Batarang, etc.

    Also, he works at night…

    1. Bob Amundson

      538 thinks it is cool, too. The story from THE GUARDIAN was mentioned in its FiveThirtyEight Daily Newsletter.

  2. bud

    I know this is your blog and you are entitled to post whatever you want but seriously dude not even a token shoutout for the lady gamecocks? Sigh.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      1. I didn’t see the game, because I don’t have cable (the boys’ games were on CBS, so I did see those).

      2. All day Sunday I was fasting, and taking a super-laxative solution. I couldn’t leave the house to watch it elsewhere — and wasn’t as interested as I’d normally be.

      3. Monday I had a colonoscopy. By the time I felt well enough to blog on Monday, any events that happened Sunday which I had in any case not seen were forgotten.


      Anyway, I’m very happy for them. I’m not as proud as my good friend Roscoe Wilson (father of A’ja), but I’m happy…


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