Two Men Banned from Natl. Parks for Correcting Grammar

Two men calling themselves the Typo Eradication Advancement League drove around the country fixing typos on signage in national parks- until the park service caught them defacing a historic marker in the Grand Canyon.
August 25, 2008, 6am PDT | Tim Halbur
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The two "grammar vigilantes" are Jeff Michael Deck, 28, of Somerville, Mass., and Benjamin Douglas Herson, 28, of Virginia Beach, Va.

"Deck's diary account of the Grand Canyon incident was submitted as evidence in court. It says the two men climbed Desert View Watchtower while on holiday from their typo-enforcement duties 'and discovered a hand-rendered sign inside that, I regret to report, had a few errors. I know today was supposed to be my day off from typo-hunting, but if I may be permitted to quote that most revered of android law enforcers, Inspector Gadget, 'Always on duty!' I can't shut it off. . . . Will we never be free from the shackles of apostrophic misunderstanding, even in a place surrounded by natural beauty?'

After correcting a misplaced apostrophe and comma, Deck reported, he was aghast to discover what he described as a made-up word: 'emense.'

'I was reluctant to disfigure the sign any further, so we had to let the other typo stand. Still, I think I shall be haunted by that perversity.'

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Published on Friday, August 22, 2008 in The Arizona Republic
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