Category Archives: Grammar Vandalism

Guy’s Side of the Story

Following my last post, I was surprised to receive an email in my inbox from a featured player in the story of Professors Row!

Here it is:

Greetings Kate,
Sorry for the confusion. There’s only one professor who lives on that street. All the rest of the homes are fraternity and sorority houses with the occasional dorm. Sorry for bailing out on you. TUPD tends to get a bit odd during the summer and I was already late for a business dinner. I hope you didn’t get into too much trouble.
Good luck!
Bald guy

Hey, for the record, I called you Guy in the story, not Bald Guy. :-)

So, apparently there’s only one professor living on Professors Row. In that case, would that change the placement of the apostrophe?

It depends.

Does this row belong to one professor? Is this one professor’s row? If that’s the case, then the street should be called Professor’s Row, not Professors’ Row, and definitely not Professors Row.

If that’s the case, then it is more than certain that Professors Row is an incorrect term.

However, I doubt that the street was named with the intention of it belonging to one professor. To be perfectly frank, I don’t feel like researching this, so is there a Tufts scholar out there? Is there anyone who knows the history of the street?

This is just a guess, but I would think that the street was named after multiple professors, it historically being a place where professors lived, back in the day when all professors lived on campus.

In that case, Professors’ Row would be correct.

Either way, they could have simplified things by simply titling it Professor Row. That could indicate one or many professors.

I need someone to check on this. Was the street originally in place for many professors, or has it always been home to one professor, guarding over the fraternities?

Guy’s Side of the Story

Following my last post, I was surprised to receive an email in my inbox from a featured player in the story of Professors Row!

Here it is:

Greetings Kate,
Sorry for the confusion. There’s only one professor who lives on that street. All the rest of the homes are fraternity and sorority houses with the occasional dorm. Sorry for bailing out on you. TUPD tends to get a bit odd during the summer and I was already late for a business dinner. I hope you didn’t get into too much trouble.
Good luck!
Bald guy

Hey, for the record, I called you Guy in the story, not Bald Guy. :-)

So, apparently there’s only one professor living on Professors Row. In that case, would that change the placement of the apostrophe?

It depends.

Does this row belong to one professor? Is this one professor’s row? If that’s the case, then the street should be called Professor’s Row, not Professors’ Row, and definitely not Professors Row.

If that’s the case, then it is more than certain that Professors Row is an incorrect term.

However, I doubt that the street was named with the intention of it belonging to one professor. To be perfectly frank, I don’t feel like researching this, so is there a Tufts scholar out there? Is there anyone who knows the history of the street?

This is just a guess, but I would think that the street was named after multiple professors, it historically being a place where professors lived, back in the day when all professors lived on campus.

In that case, Professors’ Row would be correct.

Either way, they could have simplified things by simply titling it Professor Row. That could indicate one or many professors.

I need someone to check on this. Was the street originally in place for many professors, or has it always been home to one professor, guarding over the fraternities?

Now I’m a Grammar Criminal, Evidently

I just had my first brush with the law for the sake of grammar! I’m proud that it happened so soon.

I’ve been taking some wonderful long walks lately. I go by Tufts sometimes, and the sign for “Professors Row” has always bothered me. This is the row of the professors, therefore it should be Professors’ Row.

Do you think an apostrophe was in place?

Please.

Anyways, I originally went up there to change the sign yesterday, but realized that I was far too short to do so. I had also misplaced my comma stickers, so there really was no point. I went back today with a folding chair (I couldn’t find my stepladder) and my five-inch platform slides, and I had found my packet of punctuation stickers.

I tried to reach it, and I was about three inches too short to reach the sign. Hmmmm. Clearly, I would need to find someone to help me.

That area of town isn’t short on walkers, so I grabbed the first guy I saw. He was about thirty, bald and perhaps 6’2″ or so.

Me: “Hi! I was wondering if you could help me with something. I need to get a sticker up there. I’m too short, even with these.”

I show him my platform slides. He looks at me skeptically.

Me: “I actually run a grammar blog — it’s thegrammarvandal.com. It’s a great blog, really. I go around and correct grammar. The Globe is doing a feature on it this week. It’s great stuff.”

He stares.

Me: “You see that sign? Professors Row is missing an apostrophe. Could you just help me put it up there? I’ve got that chair right over there.”

Guy: “Sure.”

Me: “Oh, thank you so much. I appreciate it.”

Guy comes over and stands on the chair. He can reach the sign — and he starts putting the apostrophe between the R and the S in Professors!!

Me (shrieking): “NO! NO! YOU CAN’T DO THAT!! THAT’S NOT WHERE THE APOSTROPHE GOES!! THIS IS THE ROW OF THE PROFESSORSSSSSSSSS!”

Guy: “Oh, sorry. What do I do?”

Me: “AFTER THE S! AFTER THE S!”

He pulls it off and sticks it on the end. It’s flimsy and part of the black has come off, making it look messy. I do not like messy. It looks terrible. I’m going to ask him to rip it off and put on a new one instead….

And then a police cruiser stops, the words Tufts Police emblazoned on one side. (Side thought: I wonder how many years it will be before Fairfield decides to change its name from Public Safety to Fairfield University Police, spending another few grand in a pointless fashion.)

Cop (yelling): “What are you doing?”

Me: “Just fixing the sign.”

Cop: “What are you doing to it?!”

Me: “Officer, this is incorrect grammar. Oh, and I don’t even know this guy! I pulled him off the street!”

Guy looks more terrified than the average man when confronted by a cop in a Tufts Police cruiser.

Cop: “Are you together?”

Me: “No! He was on the street! And tall! I’m too short to reach the sign!”

Guy jumps on the chair, pulls the sticker off, and hands it to me.

Guy: “Sorry.”

Guy takes off like a bat out of hell.

Me: “Officer, I was just trying to correct the sign. Don’t you see that an apostrophe is missing?”

Cop: “Yeah, before the S?”

Me: “NO! Not before the S! We’re not talking about one professor here! This is the row of multiple professors, meaning that the apostrophe should be AFTER the S! Let me tell you about the blog. It’s called thegrammarvandal.com, and the Boston Globe will be doing a feature on it that will appear in the City Weekly section this Sunday….”

Cop: “Okay, okay.”

Me: “I just need to fix it. Now my tall guy is gone.”

Cop: “Well, I hope you find another one.”

Cop drives away.

I walk around and look for somebody else who is significantly taller than me. There are fewer walkers by now. There’s a baseball game going on in the field, but only three girls are watching, and they all seem to be short.

I walk around for a few minutes, then see three college-aged students — two guys and a girl — who each appear to be around six feet tall. I wave to them.

Me: “Hi, I was wondering if you guys could help me. I’m in need of a tall person who can help me put a sticker up on a sign.”

They stare.

Me: “I run a grammar blog. It’s called thegrammarvandal.com, and the Boston Sunday Globe is doing a feature on it that will be appearing this Sunday in the City Weekly section. I go around and I correct grammar errors. You see that sign for Professors Row? It’s missing an apostrophe. Is there any way you could help me?”

Cool Guy: “Sure.”

Me: “I appreciate this so much. Thank you. It’s that sign up there — the one with the chair perched next to it. A cop stopped me earlier, but don’t worry. He’s gone now.”

They stare.

Me: “Yeah, he said I could do it, as long as I had another tall guy. You should have seen the guy who helped me before — he got so scared, he ran away! Ha. But it’s cool, since the cop said so. Good times.”

We walk.

Me: “It drives me crazy that the apostrophe isn’t there.”

Cool Guy’s Male Friend: “Yeah, between the R and the S, right?”

Me: “No!! This is the row of the PROFESSORS! Multiple professors! The apostrophe goes AFTER the S!”

Cool Guy’s Male Friend retreats, probably thinking that I’m some kind of psycho. We eventually get to the sign.

Cool Guy: “So right after the S?”

Me: “Yes, right after the S. That would be perfect. Thank you so much, again.”

Cool Guy puts the sticker up. It’s a bit askew, and it’s not facing the direction that gets the most traffic, but I don’t care. I’m not going to ask him to put it on the other side, too, even though it will continue to drive me crazy. He has to work to get the sticker up, and he’s done enough.

The end result:


Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

And, just so you can see how tall this sign was:

What a day. I’m exhausted from all the effort. But I’ve made another difference, and I am educating the general populace about grammar. Even if nobody ever sees it, I still gave a lesson in grammar to Guy, Cop, Cool Guy, Cool Guy’s Male Friend and possibly Cool Guy’s Female Friend (even though she said nothing the whole time). I hope that everyone goes on to use apostrophes appropriately in their respective lives.

If Cool Guy is reading this, thanks for the help, man!

Yeah, so….I just got stopped by a cop.

For the first time ever, I’ve been caught and questioned by a cop — while correcting grammar.

Details will be posted later tonight.

Now I’m a Grammar Criminal, Evidently

I just had my first brush with the law for the sake of grammar! I’m proud that it happened so soon.

I’ve been taking some wonderful long walks lately. I go by Tufts sometimes, and the sign for “Professors Row” has always bothered me. This is the row of the professors, therefore it should be Professors’ Row.

Do you think an apostrophe was in place?

Please.

Anyways, I originally went up there to change the sign yesterday, but realized that I was far too short to do so. I had also misplaced my comma stickers, so there really was no point. I went back today with a folding chair (I couldn’t find my stepladder) and my five-inch platform slides, and I had found my packet of punctuation stickers.

I tried to reach it, and I was about three inches too short to reach the sign. Hmmmm. Clearly, I would need to find someone to help me.

That area of town isn’t short on walkers, so I grabbed the first guy I saw. He was about thirty, bald and perhaps 6’2″ or so.

Me: “Hi! I was wondering if you could help me with something. I need to get a sticker up there. I’m too short, even with these.”

I show him my platform slides. He looks at me skeptically.

Me: “I actually run a grammar blog — it’s thegrammarvandal.com. It’s a great blog, really. I go around and correct grammar. The Globe is doing a feature on it this week. It’s great stuff.”

He stares.

Me: “You see that sign? Professors Row is missing an apostrophe. Could you just help me put it up there? I’ve got that chair right over there.”

Guy: “Sure.”

Me: “Oh, thank you so much. I appreciate it.”

Guy comes over and stands on the chair. He can reach the sign — and he starts putting the apostrophe between the R and the S in Professors!!

Me (shrieking): “NO! NO! YOU CAN’T DO THAT!! THAT’S NOT WHERE THE APOSTROPHE GOES!! THIS IS THE ROW OF THE PROFESSORSSSSSSSSS!”

Guy: “Oh, sorry. What do I do?”

Me: “AFTER THE S! AFTER THE S!”

He pulls it off and sticks it on the end. It’s flimsy and part of the black has come off, making it look messy. I do not like messy. It looks terrible. I’m going to ask him to rip it off and put on a new one instead….

And then a police cruiser stops, the words Tufts Police emblazoned on one side. (Side thought: I wonder how many years it will be before Fairfield decides to change its name from Public Safety to Fairfield University Police, spending another few grand in a pointless fashion.)

Cop (yelling): “What are you doing?”

Me: “Just fixing the sign.”

Cop: “What are you doing to it?!”

Me: “Officer, this is incorrect grammar. Oh, and I don’t even know this guy! I pulled him off the street!”

Guy looks more terrified than the average man when confronted by a cop in a Tufts Police cruiser.

Cop: “Are you together?”

Me: “No! He was on the street! And tall! I’m too short to reach the sign!”

Guy jumps on the chair, pulls the sticker off, and hands it to me.

Guy: “Sorry.”

Guy takes off like a bat out of hell.

Me: “Officer, I was just trying to correct the sign. Don’t you see that an apostrophe is missing?”

Cop: “Yeah, before the S?”

Me: “NO! Not before the S! We’re not talking about one professor here! This is the row of multiple professors, meaning that the apostrophe should be AFTER the S! Let me tell you about the blog. It’s called thegrammarvandal.com, and the Boston Globe will be doing a feature on it that will appear in the City Weekly section this Sunday….”

Cop: “Okay, okay.”

Me: “I just need to fix it. Now my tall guy is gone.”

Cop: “Well, I hope you find another one.”

Cop drives away.

I walk around and look for somebody else who is significantly taller than me. There are fewer walkers by now. There’s a baseball game going on in the field, but only three girls are watching, and they all seem to be short.

I walk around for a few minutes, then see three college-aged students — two guys and a girl — who each appear to be around six feet tall. I wave to them.

Me: “Hi, I was wondering if you guys could help me. I’m in need of a tall person who can help me put a sticker up on a sign.”

They stare.

Me: “I run a grammar blog. It’s called thegrammarvandal.com, and the Boston Sunday Globe is doing a feature on it that will be appearing this Sunday in the City Weekly section. I go around and I correct grammar errors. You see that sign for Professors Row? It’s missing an apostrophe. Is there any way you could help me?”

Cool Guy: “Sure.”

Me: “I appreciate this so much. Thank you. It’s that sign up there — the one with the chair perched next to it. A cop stopped me earlier, but don’t worry. He’s gone now.”

They stare.

Me: “Yeah, he said I could do it, as long as I had another tall guy. You should have seen the guy who helped me before — he got so scared, he ran away! Ha. But it’s cool, since the cop said so. Good times.”

We walk.

Me: “It drives me crazy that the apostrophe isn’t there.”

Cool Guy’s Male Friend: “Yeah, between the R and the S, right?”

Me: “No!! This is the row of the PROFESSORS! Multiple professors! The apostrophe goes AFTER the S!”

Cool Guy’s Male Friend retreats, probably thinking that I’m some kind of psycho. We eventually get to the sign.

Cool Guy: “So right after the S?”

Me: “Yes, right after the S. That would be perfect. Thank you so much, again.”

Cool Guy puts the sticker up. It’s a bit askew, and it’s not facing the direction that gets the most traffic, but I don’t care. I’m not going to ask him to put it on the other side, too, even though it will continue to drive me crazy. He has to work to get the sticker up, and he’s done enough.

The end result:


Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

And, just so you can see how tall this sign was:

What a day. I’m exhausted from all the effort. But I’ve made another difference, and I am educating the general populace about grammar. Even if nobody ever sees it, I still gave a lesson in grammar to Guy, Cop, Cool Guy, Cool Guy’s Male Friend and possibly Cool Guy’s Female Friend (even though she said nothing the whole time). I hope that everyone goes on to use apostrophes appropriately in their respective lives.

If Cool Guy is reading this, thanks for the help, man!

Yeah, so….I just got stopped by a cop.

For the first time ever, I’ve been caught and questioned by a cop — while correcting grammar.

Details will be posted later tonight.

It’s gone!

Well, it seems that Reebok has ended its “Run Easy” campaign in the Boston area. The signs are mostly gone. And, unfortunately, my beautiful handiwork on the ad by South Station is no longer visible to the public. The sign has been replaced by the following iPod ad:


Well, at least the comma is still there. You have to turn at an angle in order to see it.


I don’t know how this makes me feel. I’m kind of sad that I don’t get to see my work on an almost daily basis anymore. But I feel the slightest hint of smugness deep inside, thinking that I helped Reebok’s advertising campaign fail. (Did it fail? I have no idea. I hope so.)

Oh, well. All this means is that I have to do some more grammar vandalism! This weekend, I’m going with my friends to Washington, D.C. It’s the whole Brood — my two best friends from high school and myself — visiting our other best friend, who lives there now.

I can’t wait to see the grammatical errors that await me in our nation’s capital!

It’s gone!

Well, it seems that Reebok has ended its “Run Easy” campaign in the Boston area. The signs are mostly gone. And, unfortunately, my beautiful handiwork on the ad by South Station is no longer visible to the public. The sign has been replaced by the following iPod ad:


Well, at least the comma is still there. You have to turn at an angle in order to see it.


I don’t know how this makes me feel. I’m kind of sad that I don’t get to see my work on an almost daily basis anymore. But I feel the slightest hint of smugness deep inside, thinking that I helped Reebok’s advertising campaign fail. (Did it fail? I have no idea. I hope so.)

Oh, well. All this means is that I have to do some more grammar vandalism! This weekend, I’m going with my friends to Washington, D.C. It’s the whole Brood — my two best friends from high school and myself — visiting our other best friend, who lives there now.

I can’t wait to see the grammatical errors that await me in our nation’s capital!

The Moment I Became a Grammar Vandal

This is the sign that infuriated me.

RUN EASY BOSTON.

RUN EASY BOSTON?!

Sheesh.

I already spoke about this at length in the previous post, not to mention in my original blog, katesadventures.com, so I won’t rattle on and on about this.

The adhesive comma came from Lynne Truss’s book Eats, Shoots and Leaves. To be honest, I started the book and don’t really have much of a desire to finish it. I’ll elaborate on the book in a later entry.

It just blew my mind that this sign ended up in public. Aren’t there editors that work for Reebok, or Reebok’s advertising company?!

Most people know that when directing a statement at someone, the comma separates the name from the rest of the sentence.

Examples:

Those are my urine-stained pants, Floyd, and I do hope you return them soon.

Really, Mathilda, do you find it necessary to be a cold-hearted sycophant every day of the week, or just the days that you see me?

I’ll see you in hell, just as I do each day between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Joe.

The comma, you see, is necessary. You make the pause in your speech, and that is why you add a comma.

The fact that this error made the final cut in Reebok’s advertising is beyond egregious. Because of it, I believe that I need to write a letter to Reebok, and possibly also to Reebok’s ad agency, letting them know just how much this error chills my bones.

I know that I’m not alone. The entry on katesadventures.com caused so much of a stir, I know there are thousands who feel the same way.

So, Reebok, what do you have to say about this?

The Moment I Became a Grammar Vandal

This is the sign that infuriated me.

RUN EASY BOSTON.

RUN EASY BOSTON?!

Sheesh.

I already spoke about this at length in the previous post, not to mention in my original blog, katesadventures.com, so I won’t rattle on and on about this.

The adhesive comma came from Lynne Truss’s book Eats, Shoots and Leaves. To be honest, I started the book and don’t really have much of a desire to finish it. I’ll elaborate on the book in a later entry.

It just blew my mind that this sign ended up in public. Aren’t there editors that work for Reebok, or Reebok’s advertising company?!

Most people know that when directing a statement at someone, the comma separates the name from the rest of the sentence.

Examples:

Those are my urine-stained pants, Floyd, and I do hope you return them soon.

Really, Mathilda, do you find it necessary to be a cold-hearted sycophant every day of the week, or just the days that you see me?

I’ll see you in hell, just as I do each day between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Joe.

The comma, you see, is necessary. You make the pause in your speech, and that is why you add a comma.

The fact that this error made the final cut in Reebok’s advertising is beyond egregious. Because of it, I believe that I need to write a letter to Reebok, and possibly also to Reebok’s ad agency, letting them know just how much this error chills my bones.

I know that I’m not alone. The entry on katesadventures.com caused so much of a stir, I know there are thousands who feel the same way.

So, Reebok, what do you have to say about this?