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You can look but you better not touch

Posted by Jan Freeman, keep until April August 25, 2008 03:51 PM

As the Globe and many others have reported, Somerville resident Jeff Deck and his buddy Benjamin Herson pleaded guilty to vandalism in Arizona, after they corrected some of the punctuation on a sign inside the Desert View Watchtower at Grand Canyon National Park.

The sign, unfortunately for the punctuation vigilantes, had been handpainted by the watchtower's architect, Mary Colter; they're paying $3,000 to have it restored.

Here's a photo of the sign, pre-correction, from Flickr, where you can find the original with large enough lettering to edit (remotely and theoretically, of course).


For more comments on the apostrophe hunters' bust, see Language Log (which provided the Flickr link), You Don't Say, The Greenbelt, and Watch Yer Language.

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Rules and realities of English usage from Boston Globe Ideas columnist Jan Freeman.
Jan Freeman, a former Boston Globe editor, has been writing the weekly column The Word since 1997. E-mail her at

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