When you see bad grammar or improper punctuation out in the wild, what do you do? Laugh? Fume? Post a picture of it on Twitter?
At least one staunch defender of the English language has taken matters into his or her own hands at an art college, Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. This week, The New York Times posted a short documentary
by filmmaker Jay Dockendorf chronicling the many corrections that this person—or perhaps group of people—has made to the placards accompanying works in the institute’s sculpture garden.
Dockendorf interviewed the park’s curator, David Weinrib, and asked how the typos and errors on the placards happened. Weinrib said his assistant, who is French, transcribed the information and probably made the mistakes.
The filmmaker was unable to find the rogue copy editor(s), however. No one responded to fliers he posted at various spots in the sculpture park. Dockendorf asked Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson, two friends who went across the country correcting spelling errors on signs for the book “The Great Typo Hunt,” whether they were involved. They flatly denied it.
In an informal Ragan Communications/PR Daily Facebook poll
, only one of a dozen respondents admitted to actually taking a pen to a sign to correct a flub. Most respondents, 10, said they point out errors to whoever will listen.
Perhaps we’ve found the culprit.
RELATED: Tumblr site corrects graffiti language flubsMatt Wilson is a staff writer for Ragan.com.