In the news recently is a story about a man in Bristol who vandalizes signs in order to comment on their improper grammar. It seems many people who take issue with grammar mistakes have come out in support of this person. But one editorial, by Rob Drummond, takes an opposite view.
I’m somewhere in the middle. I don’t think that vandalism can be justified—so I would argue against this person’s actions on that basis—but, at the same time, I also completely understand and (at least emotionally) support the motivation that led him to do this.
Aside from a few times in my past, the majority of all efforts I’ve made in my personal life to inform somebody of their mistakes in the use of the English language have either fallen on deaf ears, or have actually resulted in a kind of defensive disdain directed back at me.
When faced with this, it’s not difficult to understand the motivation that might have led to the actions of this so-called grammar vigilante. Even though, in the end, I don’t agree with those particular actions.
I do believe that, as Mignon Fogarty argues, we as a society vote on our language. But I also believe that, in this case, the votes have still not been counted.